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RobertH 08-30-2007 12:24 PM

Newb with a problem
Hello, my name is Robert and this is my first post here.

40 YO male...On the 20th of this month, I had a sharp shooting pain from the center of my chest down my left arm, but it only lasted a split second. The first thing I thought was "heart attack", but then the left side of my face went numb. Took 2 aspirin IMMEDIATELY, and went to the ER. Facial numbness lasted maybe 10 minutes, but by then I was scared.

As this is a small town, they sent me to a larger hospital. Ran all sorts of tests...(Brain MRI, Catscan, Ultrasound of heart and Carotid(?) arteries, bloodwork every like 6 hours, chest Xray whole 9 yards) No signs of either stroke or heart attack in any of the tests. Released from hospital the following day (they though I might have had a T.I.A.) Dr put me on Lipitor to control my high cholesterol, and 81mg aspirin to thin blood.Since then have been having bad numbness on left side of body, mainly foot and hand and arm. A little in the face. "Attacks" happen randomly with NO warning at all.

I am diabetic. Maybe Diabetic Neuropathy causing numbness? I also have to urinate FREQUENTLY when the "attacks" come on as well...all classic signs of neuropathy(?), but when I take my sugar levels, I am in the 120s to 130s, so Glucose level is not too high.

Any ideas? I honestly feel I am going to die within a month from this. I am NOT exagerrating to get attention. I feel like I am crashing. Local (Family) Doctor is at a loss, but is in the process of referring me to a neurologist.

feelbad 08-31-2007 05:57 AM

Re: Newb with a problem
honestly?i do think sending you to a neuro at this point would be a good idea.if you are having any type of actual numbness,you have nerve involvement somewhere,its just a matter of tracking it back to the source.did they actually do any MRIs on your c spine and thorasic areas while you were doing the 'battery' of testing?if not,i would certainly request it.there is an area at the c 8 level(you do not have an actual c 8 vertebrae but you DO have a c 8 level nerve)down to possibly T 1 or 2 depending on the individual,where alot of nerves kind of 'junction'?some of the facial nerves DO run down thru the c spine area then kind of loop back up into the face or head it is entirely possible to have some level of lower c or upper T problem that can cause certain "nerve" affectation within your face.just some tidbits of info for you.but starting with a neuro is good.

if you have not already done so,obtain ALL and any actual testing reports and also any docs notes made by any doc you have seen(and read thru all of this yourself,espescially the MRIs,as they would contain at least the upper part of your c spine with any brain MRI,look for incidental findings that may have popped up in the part of the c spine that has showed) and keep all of this info in kind of an expanding type of folder that you can carry with you to all appts and any possible ER visits that may pop up in the future.believe me, it saves a heck of alot of time when you have all of your own records to show the docs in any ER that you may end up in.if an emergent situation should pop up at any time,all you have to do is grab that folder and go(if you travel for work or are out of town alot,make certain to always take this with you too).the ER docs would have all of the "baseline' testing to work from right there,and believe me, for you,that is just need to find out where this is stemming from.PN would not generally show up in the face as its first symptom,it is generally at the 'periphery" in the extremities not in the more core parts of your body,hence the name "peripheral" neuropathy.unfortuently any
good solid Dx just takes be patient,eventually they will be able to track this back in some way for you.good luck and please keep me posted.**

RobertH 09-01-2007 04:43 AM

Re: Newb with a problem
I am still waiting for my primary care Dr. to get me a referral to a neurologist. Till then, I have been having mild variants of the original attack. The last one was yesterday AM, and I had pain all on the left side of my body. Shivering like I was cold, and I live in the lower California Desert! My left eye was very blurry, and I was having phantom(?) itching. I kept brushing away a fly that was on my forehead, but there was NO fly!!! LOL

No MRI was done on my Spine...just my brain. It was a very SHORT test :):) :)

feelbad 09-01-2007 07:20 AM

Re: Newb with a problem
yes i have felt the 'neuropathic itch' from he%^.its a torturous little wonder that can pop up in any area where there is some level of nerve affectation.the best thing i have found for this is lidocaine patches and ointment(the iontment for the places the patches just cannot go).it does work to rid the nastiness.just a suggestion for you.

push your doc for that neuro appt and DO most definitley obtain those records.your upper c spine would have been includuded in there with the brain just 'is'.it is not looked at as closely as the brain since it is not the area the doc wanted to look at,but it is looked may state "something' as an incidental finding that your doc just decided not to tell you about since "he" felt that it was not an important finding.believe me,this happens ALOT,way too much with many patients.something IS found but you are just not told about it.this is why it is really important for every patient to just keep track of their own set of records and test results.if a doc(assuming primary but this does occur with specialists too)does not know about a particular finding being important just because they don't have a clue about what it is,you may not be told about know what i mean?we have to be our own advocates in our own healthcare and that means looking into our own medical records and asking questions.i would push your primary for at least the neuro appt and a contrasted MRI done on the c spine.was your brain MRI a contrasted one?the c spine MRI will also take in the very top few of your thorasic as well.the lower c spine is where you really need to look for possible problems.this would be a 'likely" area when considering your symptoms.the inner part of the neck will also be looked at too,not just the boney parts and the spinal areas.just keep pushing things to get where you need to be.good luck and please keep me posted,K? **

RobertH 09-05-2007 06:54 PM

Re: Newb with a problem
Just found out today that my Neurologist Appt isn't for another TWO months! Hmmm, I wonder if I can make it that long? LoL...kinda.

I am going to call the Dr Office in the morning, and ask that if they have any cancellations to please call me, and I could be there in an hour.

Not much change as far as the symptoms, but just not as frequent. I have practically quit smoking, and cut caffeine out totally :confused: , but I feel better because of it.

feelbad 09-06-2007 06:31 AM

Re: Newb with a problem
well those are positive things.i wish i could get off the smokes.its about the only 'vice' i have left anymore.the two month wait for the neuro is kind of par for the usually takes a while to get in to see any new specialist.after that tho it isn't that big of a deal at most specialists offices.its just that initial one that you have to wait forever for.doing the cancellation thing IS a great idea.i have done this too when i really needed to get in to see someone and had to wait like forever?i have also done this with a knee surgery too when i just could not wait the full month i was told as my knee was just falling apart.its just a way to get things done sooner.

i would just advise you to keep track of symptoms and any big things that feel bad or 'off' that may pop up.this will just help the neuro when you see him to give him as much info as really should obtain that MRI tho before you see the neuro just to save time if nothing else.please keep me posted,K?hang in there, **

RobertH 09-20-2007 07:21 PM

Re: Newb with a problem

Cardiologist on the 28th. Going to have a stress test done, and another EKG, and the ultrasound of my heart again. Um, still having episodes, and I think this is more stress/heart related than stroke.

A LOT of cold and numbness/tingling in my fingers and toes, I REALLY need to quit smoking. I feel better, then I have a cigarette, and I start with the "attack" again. Love the smokes (even though not as much as I used to), but know I HAVE to give them up or I'm a dead man at 40.

RobertH 09-29-2007 04:56 AM

Re: Newb with a problem
Had my Cardiologist appointment yesterday, and I think it went well. By that, I mean there were no sharp gasps of concern from anyone :) Treadmill stress test went okay, they didn't have to use the paddles or nitro on me!

However...these "attacks" are happening daily now. I take a Xanax, and within an hour or so I feel better. Can panic attacks happen daily with not really any known stress? Tingling/numbness has gotten worse, and is now in my right toes and fingers as well. I vote Diabetic Neuropathy, although my blood sugar has never gone over 200 except on 1 day. Mostly between 110 and 150 after meals.

feelbad 09-29-2007 06:56 AM

Re: Newb with a problem
beleive me,within the human body,ANYTHING IS indeed possible.what you are now describing does sound more like PN.anxiety CAN cause some really strange symptoms can change your breathing pattern in some cases which can create tingling and even complete numbness in the extremities,just because your O2 CO2 gets really messed up balance wise.its interesting that smoking seems to actually exascerbate the symptoms tho.this could be some level of vascular issue too.just one more possible explanation.when you smoke,the vascular structures will usually constrict some.but what you have been describing just sounds a bit more in depth than that,but then again,like i said,the human body just does some really freaky things sometimes.since my spinal cord and sympathetic nervous system was damaged back in 03,i have felt some of the most insane types of feelings/sensations that i never dreamed the body would be even capable of creating.when nerves become affected in some way,they can create their own little form of hell to have to deal with.hopefully the neuo will have some ideas as to what is the underlying issue here.please keep me posted.good luck, **

RobertH 10-06-2007 05:55 PM

Re: Newb with a problem
Got results yesterday from the Cardiologist. The GOOD news is that I have the heart of a 20 year old, and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with my heart. He gave me Protonix(?) for acid reflux, and I took one today, but the fact I had no chest pain could be just coincidence. The bad thing is that it means something else is wrong and still a month out for my Neuro appointment. I had HORRIBLE whole body chills today almost all morning long, and some mild facial numbness on left side today, along with my left eye twitching. I still haven't quite quit smoking but today I've only had 3. :) YAY me!

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