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Back with a DX...

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Old 01-27-2010, 06:02 AM   #1
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Back with a DX...

... and with some new worries too...

This seems like a chronic condition, at least for me(worrying). Once I pinpoint some symptoms, I always look for the worse scenario... For example If I feel a heartburn, I won't think "It was a strong meal", but "It sure is a stroke".

Let me explain:

I posted for advice some days ago. Nikki(Msink) was kindly enough to keep a track of my case, and gave me some good advice and cheers, which I just can't thank enough for.

I started with a TIA like symptoms(Check my "Advice" post for details), which started as a tingling sensation on my right arm and then on my right leg with occasional bouts of mild weakness.

Yesterday my left arm, part of my back(left side), and my left feet felt numb and weak.

As I doubted big time to have experienced two TIA in two weeks, no pain, no confusion, etc., but feeling all to weird to ignore this, I finally spend the big bucks, to see the neurologist.

BP ok(110/70 pulse 60), nurse even told me if I was an athlete..., Neurological tests(my overall performance) seemed ok, strong grip on both hands can lift them both with ease, no "extra weight" feeling, I got normal reflexes on both legs, eye lids strong, normal smile, could lift my eyebrows normally, and above all, no clear indication of Stroke.

I did have some tingling sensations while tested, specially in my arms and legs, and mostly from knee down, and from elbow to hands.

I went specific on this, because, even as I did felt this tingling in some other places, it kind of concentrated there. The doctor called this "Gloves and socks sign".

Then he asked me if I was exposed to solvents, and as I recall I did, both in a set construction, and also when someone painted a wall in my house, I just couldn't handle the odor, and I couldn't sleep that night.

This both was the first guide for my DX: Toxin Induced Neuropathy, produced by Ethylene Oxide exposure.

As you can see it, in the end it was more related to MS that I thought.

He also told me that he believed it was the solvent, first of all becaiuse I did was in contact with it, and also because the other two common causes for this were: Cancer, which he ruled out because of my overall physical condition, and Diabetes, which tested low 83 in november, 74 last week.

He prescribed me Lyrica, two times a day until symptoms recede.

He also told me that he was going to follow this "light" approach, both because of how he saw me, and because of the solvent stuff. He didn't want me to endure the NCV test now, unless this keeps on going and/or worsens.

I'll begin taking my medication today, because I couldn't find it yesterday.

Now to the worries:

Obviously I checked on tests, symptoms and neuropathy... Saw why he didn't call up on MS, both because of the sudden onset, and again the toxin(this I believe, I don't know).

And the Guillain-Barre Syndrome came up... And I got the worries because, I was so focused on the neurological stuff that I forgot to mention that I've felt weak, like with a flu, and that I've got some digestive issues, mainly colitis like stuff, which I can also relate to stress, of course, and some coughing, again some chronic stuff in me.

I believe(unfortunately don't know it), that this was ruled out because both the toxin stuff, and my overall performance on my appointment. I've read this syndrome evolves fast, usually in days or hours, and it usually starts backwards, from toe to head(Mine started first in arms, then in legs). And the face stuff and weakness is quite noticeable.

I did recall him telling me that my case didn't seem to involve motor functions, at least not in such a degree, because I do feel clumsy and weak on occasions.

Then again, I've read from atypical cases, that start slow, and in different ways, and well, you know the drill.

I kind of hope and believe that a Neurologist should have thought and ruled out this condition as well, but as I didn't discuss it with him, I'm a little stressed out now, and I didn't want to fall into the psychotic patient category, which calls his doctor every 5 minutes for reassurance.

I still woke up uneasy today, I'm not getting good sleep(Lyrica might help with this), and felt some cough and general weakness. I still feel, now much more clear, the tingling and numb sensations in both my arms and legs, fell kind of weak and with lazy feet, but I did push ups normally and though I feel this feet stuff I can walk pretty normally, climb stairs two by two(I did this on purpose), with some mils tingling on my feet but that's it.

Well that's my story, thank you for reading it, feel free to leave a comment.

Last edited by stargrave; 01-27-2010 at 06:08 AM.

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Old 01-27-2010, 06:12 AM   #2
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Re: Back with a DX...

Your diagnosis was a blessing because the solvent could have done even more harm. I would wait until your meds are complete and then go back for a follow-up. If there was a chance that you had MS, the doctor needs to eliminate the variables. I would toss your worries aside and enjoy your blessings!
MS diagnosed since October 3, 1982
MS onset circa 1977
Proud to be MED FREE!
Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><

Old 01-27-2010, 05:07 PM   #3
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Re: Back with a DX...

First of all- youre welcome. I didnt think it sounded very MS like, and I am so glad to hear that you ruled out anything stroke like. I was also 99% sure that taking baby aspirin wasnt going to make you feel any better.

But you made a comment "As you can see it, in the end it was more related to MS that I thought." and Im not sure I understand that one...obviously if this is solvent related its not at all MS related. Why would you worry that it is? Neuopathy is a fancy word for nerve pain...and Lyrica is often prescribed for Nerve pain...and quite often, doesnt work for MS patients. Its used for diabetic nerve pain, fibromyalgia and often unexplained nerve pain and works really well for many people....but for us MSers, we often dont get any relief from it. Our nerve pain is caused by lesions in the brain or spine, which do damage to the body- which can present in the hands/ feet or other parts of the body, but are immune to the type of help that Lyrica provides.
So please stop thinking that what your doctor told you is anything but what your doctor suspects it is...give this a chance to work- and see if it does. Lyrica is often started at low doses and increased if it doesnt work - and it takes 2-3 weeks to really start to take affect. So, please give it an honest try and see if it doesnt help you.

The rest of your symtoms are bordering on anxiety at this time. Youve been thru allot and its understandable, but it sounds like you are in really good hands and that you are on the right I wish you only the best, and please let us know how things work out for you. And, try- please try- not to stress, because it will definately wreck havoc on your already stressed body and immune system.
Be strong!
RRMS- dx 05

Old 01-27-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: Back with a DX...

Hello again Nikki, thanks for your reply.

I felt kind of worse today, with all my deep thoughts on Guillaume Barre stuff, so I made a cross reference of my case with an old friend of mine, an internal medicine specialist, and he told me this.

1. He believes that the Lyrica treatment is aimed both for relieving the symptoms of the neuropathy and as a side treatment for anxiety. You're 100% right and I was wrong, where a neuropathy is one thing, and MS is something else. This is also true about GB Syndrome.

2. He told me that if the neurologist should have thought of either one of those options GB/MS and a stroke, the treatment would be different, as Lyrica doesn't have any direct(as you mentioned) effect on any of those conditions. He also told me that unless it's the strangest case of them all both MS and GB have a very distinctive presentation, that was not the case with me, and that is why the neurologist didn't perform any other test with me.

3. He believes that anxiety/stress made a vicious cycle that I need to stop, or else I could face some other stuff in the future.

4. You're completely right about the effect of Lyrica, it take weeks to kick in, and he also added this: "You might feel worse in the beginning, and as I see your anxiety condition, I'd recommend you to try Clonazepam instead, because it might have better results for your anxiety condition", because in the end he thinks that's my neurologist is aiming for, with some symptom relief support too, and he thinks that my anxiety is worse that my neuropathy at this point. But in the end he said, that there's nothing wrong with the Lyrica treatment, and that it was up to me to choose.

I feel a little bit more relaxed. I really need to talk to him because he listens and he knows me well. He also said that I should take control of my cholesterol and the stress because (he did check me up), found that both my BP and heart rate is well but tends to change quickly from normal readings to a little high ones (135/89 93 were my numbers this time)

He thinks that I have too much adrenaline in my blood which is causing this.

And this is my current status, thank you all for the support, I'll keep you posted, and the best for you all.

Specially for Jay and obviously for Nikki.

Old 01-28-2010, 02:52 AM   #5
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Re: Back with a DX...

Youre in good hands. Youre getting good advice. And you absolutely HAVE to reduce your anxiety! Although Klonzepan would probably help- its a very strong can ask about things like Xanax as well, which will take the edge off, without overMedicating you- and can be used PRN (as needed) as opposed to taking it every 8 hours round the clock.

But your internist friend is right. Listen to him. And give the Lyrica a go- a real honest effort, and see if it doesnt help. And mostly, stop fixating on this stuff. Just do what the doctor said to do and give yourself permissin to take it easy when you dont feel good. I get the feeling you are researching too much online with symtoms...Guillliane Barre is one of the rarest diseases to surface- in any country. The chances of you having it are almost microscopic! So stop looking for something which is probably not there. And if it is there, can only be dx by specific symtoms, none of which you are having. Yes, a Neuro would be ruling out everything that matches up to your symtoms...and at this point hasnt found anything, so he is treating the symtoms- not a disease. Its quite possible you dont have anything wrong with you specifically- but having nerve pain, (neuropathy) is very common, and the cause is not always known. Did you know that Rheumatoid Arthitis is also nerve pain and muscle pain, and is a autommine disease? Its also much more common that something like GB.

Take it easy my friend....dont forget to breathe! This will all pass. I promise.

And, again, youre welcome.
RRMS- dx 05

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