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  • Very scared of MS symptoms, Please Help!

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    Old 04-26-2016, 06:08 AM   #1
    Deseree19
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    Very scared of MS symptoms, Please Help!

    Hello, this is my first post here and this will probably be a bit lengthy, as I've been having a wide array of symptoms off and on for about 12 years now. I am absolutely terrified I may have MS and hope that someone takes the time to read this and perhaps ease some of my fears. I have never felt so afraid!

    As briefly as possible, here goes:
    12 years ago (I was 15) I suddenly awoke up from sleep horribly dizzy. I felt like I'd fallen out of my bed but hadn't. This persisted, non stop, for almost 6 months and was accompanied by visible muscle twitches in my legs, like a little bouncing spot on my thighs. Every second of every day, even in my sleep, I was dizzy and had these weird muscle twitches when the dizziness seemed most intense. Doctors couldn't find anything wrong at all. Then one day, it just stopped.

    Fast forward 4 years. Same exact thing happened again. Lasted about 3 months, doctors were still confused, and like before, it went away suddenly.

    This then happened again last year. I had an MRI of the brain with and w/o contrast that came up normal. Only a slight inner ear issue was noted during an auditory test (can't remember the test name) and doctors concluded I probably had vestibular migraines, even though I've never had many issues with headaches. This again, went away.

    Now here I am, and for the last 6 weeks I have been experiencing a whole new array of symptoms that have me terrified this has been MS all along.

    I had just returned from a visit to Tucson, Arizona, when I had a bout of constipation. I am a very fit, health conscientious, active woman and I rarely have digestive issues. I was finally able to have a bowel movement but I ended up giving myself an anal fissure in the process, so all of the pain and weird sensations I started having "down there" I first assumed were from the fissure and would go away.

    Well, then everything got really weird. I went to the gym that night and did some fairly heavy squats (I'm a powerlifter) and was incredibly sore the next day. I mention this because my boyfriend thinks I pinched a nerve that night and that's what's causing my problems. Anyway, the next day I had this aching, cramping muscle in my pubic area and sciatic like pains in my legs. This persisted for three weeks. There were occasional pains in my feet and calves, and at this time I was still having horrible stabbing pains in my rectum, mostly at night, from what I still thought was from the anal fissure. My legs would fall asleep if I sat for more than 10 minutes and my muscles in my crotch were constantly aching. The only time I got relief was when I lay down on my back for about an hour.

    Then during the third week of this, the pain started changing. It would ache in my pelvis (had a pelvic and vaginal ultrasound, normal) and within minutes would work it's way down to my thighs. I started getting some tingling sensations and my feet were always feeling cold. I could feel twitching/vibrating in my groin at times and when I asked my boyfriend if he could feel it, he put his hands on me and said he could!

    This morphed yet again, and I started experiencing extremely cold feet, constant headaches and a stiff muscle pain in one eyebrow, a buzzing in one foot that feels like my cell phone vibrating that goes off and on all day and night, and the same buzzing sensation over my pubic bone. One day I went for a walk and my legs started itching so badly I had to sit down on a bench. Another time my feet got so warm it felt like I was barefoot on the road on a hot day.

    Sorry this post is so long, but I'm at my wits end and I'm driving my poor boyfriend crazy with my worries. I'm terrified the collection of these symptoms absolutely indicates MS, but I'm hoping there's another explanation like a pinched nerve and/or anxiety. I've had my thyroid tested, checked for STDs, a pelvic exam and ultrasound, brain mri without contrast, xrays, and blood tests. Slightly elevated white cell count (probably stress) and a slight toxic granulation (not sure what that means). My MRI without contrast was normal and my mri with contrast last year was also normal, but don't people go years before being diagnosed because these tests can be inconclusive? As I type this I have tingling /itching in both feet and legs up to mid thigh but mostly on my feet. I seem to feel best when lying down for a while, but it's almost constant. I have had a couple instances of buzzing lips, but this tingling itch in my feet is driving me crazy! It very much resembles the feeling of extreme razor burn! Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this and respond! I've never been so terrified and I just want to know what's happening to me! Does this sound typical of an ms flare?

     
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    Old 04-26-2016, 07:53 AM   #2
    Snoopy61
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    Re: Very scared of MS symptoms, Please Help!

    Hi Deseree19,

    Quote:
    My legs would fall asleep if I sat for more than 10 minutes
    Quote:
    I seem to feel best when lying down for a while
    The two quotes is what has caught my attention. Those with MS do not get relief by positional changes.

    Quote:
    doctors concluded I probably had vestibular migraines, even though I've never had many issues with headaches
    Many people don't realize symptoms of migraines can happen "absent of migraines," It can be an odd experience to have symptoms but no headache or a headache that happens after other symptoms begin. I would hope your Dr. gave you information about migraines, their symptoms and triggers related to your type of migraine.

    There are numerous conditions, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, medications and mental health issues that cause the same symptoms as those seen in MS. Part of the diagnostic criteria of MS (The revised McDonald Criteria) is ruling out all other possible causes for a persons symptoms.

    Quote:
    My MRI without contrast was normal and my mri with contrast last year was also normal, but don't people go years before being diagnosed because these tests can be inconclusive?
    It is true there is no single test, by it's self, that will give a diagnosis of MS. Some people remain in "limbo" for years before a cause of their symptoms is found. Some receive a diagnosis fairly quickly. My diagnosis was given 3 months after seeking medical help.

    Even when a person receives a diagnosis it isn't always Multiple Sclerosis.

    Quote:
    I went to the gym that night and did some fairly heavy squats (I'm a powerlifter) Anyway, the next day I had this aching, cramping muscle in my pubic area and sciatic like pains in my legs. This persisted for three weeks. There were occasional pains in my feet and calves, and at this time I was still having horrible stabbing pains in my rectum, mostly at night
    I am wondering if you have a back problem (bulging/herniated discs) as this can cause neurological symptoms if it has encroached or in anyway affected the nerves. An x-ray could be used to determine this or a MRI. Since you are having pelvic problems a x-ray or MRI of the lumbar spine (lower back). It is also possible to have back problems higher up that could also cause this.

    I again go back to the issue of your symptoms being affected by positional changes. Symptoms of back problems can be improved or worsened by positional changes.

     
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    Old 04-26-2016, 08:06 AM   #3
    MSJayhawk
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    Re: Very scared of MS symptoms, Please Help!

    Deseree19,

    Welcome.
    There are many things on your plate, but nothing for which you need to worry. I power lifted until my MS worsened in 2002.

    Stress can cause constipation or increase bowel movement. For me, it is the latter and I use it to intervene on my stress. (Power lifting drained the stress for me at the time). Stress and anxiety can be major MS mimicries.

    If you have persistent symptoms lasting 24+ hours, your symptoms would fit into the MS symptom duration range. However, MS requires a doctor to eliminate the over 400 known MS mimicries.

    Although you had an MRI earlier, it is important to know the specialty of the doctor who read the image. The clearest way to be able to get to a definitive diagnosis is to consult with an MS Specialist. If you still have access to your MRI images, use these as a benchmark against which the MS Specialist can compare. While 5% of MSers present initially with no lesions, given your length of time, if MS is involved, I should think lesions would be noticeable.

    Migraines can also cause lesions as can infections, high fever, etc. MS Lesions have an average size and shape (though not 100%). Migraine lesions, for example are less than 2 mm. MS Lesions are much larger, though still small.

    You need a proper evaluation in order to know what is happening. Thank you for sharing. If you need to locate an MS Specialist, the top section has links. You can also ask your doctor for a referral.
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    Old 04-26-2016, 08:42 AM   #4
    Deseree19
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    Re: Very scared of MS symptoms, Please Help!

    Thank you guys so much, I know my post was horribly lengthy! I'm very grateful you took the time to read it!

    I have practically been in a state of perpetual anxiety/worry after my symptoms didn't resolve after a couple of weeks, and some friends have suggested it may be anxiety at this point. I just have a very difficult time understanding how anxiety could cause such real sensations! So naturally I am afraid this is something more serious than nerve irritation.

     
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    Old 04-26-2016, 09:17 AM   #5
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    Re: Very scared of MS symptoms, Please Help!

    Hi Deseree19,

    Quote:
    some friends have suggested it may be anxiety at this point. I just have a very difficult time understanding how anxiety could cause such real sensations!
    Anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms, this is not uncommon. To rule out anxiety as a cause for symptoms ask your Dr. about using an anxiety medication. If your symptoms improve or go away then anxiety is the cause of your symptoms. A sufficient amount of time should be given to the use of anxiety medication to determine if symptoms are or aren't anxiety based.

    Anxiety can cause neurological type symptoms.

     
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    Old 04-26-2016, 11:33 AM   #6
    MSJayhawk
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    Re: Very scared of MS symptoms, Please Help!

    Deseree19,

    As an MS mimicry, stress and anxiety are statistically significant. While anxiety is not enough to dismiss MS, as a standalone the symptoms it can present are as real as MS symptoms.

    Exercise can reduce the effects, but a doctor is the best to evaluate and separate the symptoms. If it is all anxiety, medications, oral counseling or a balance of both can prove to be quite effective. An MS Specialist might ask you to start treatment for anxiety should it appear to interfere with the diagnostic process. A neuro-psychiatrist is often a valuable member of your medical team.

    Our minds can affect our overall health. With any luck you will find your circumstance to be totally treatable and allow you to return to your normal life again.
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    Old 04-27-2016, 05:24 AM   #7
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    Re: Very scared of MS symptoms, Please Help!

    Desiree19,.
    I am not sure how often you travel, but traveling gives many people constipation. Its a combination of being in a different place, drinking different water and quite honestly- using a bathroom which isnt "home". Its so common that there is a word for it. Travelers constipation! Now that you are back home, things might just go back to normal for you Of course the fact that you caused yourself a fissure, its going to be painful for awhile, which might also throw you off- go see a GI doc, who can prescribe something which will help it heal faster.

    As for the rest of your symtoms, to me, they dont say MS. To me, it also sounds like you have been looking up symtoms. Dont do that. When you use a search engine to look up symtoms, the most looked up diseases will always pop up first. There are 10000 reasons why you might have the pain traveling throughout your body- and the pins and needles hot/ cold body parts. Ive had MS for 12+ years and I only have 2 symptoms which never leave my body. Your symtoms come and go, another indicator that they are not MS related.

    I would explore back injuries....as well as pinched nerves. I would go see an Orthopedic doctor (NOT a surgeon) for some testing. I would stay away from neurological investigation until you have ruled out orthopedic issues...then if you still havent gotten answers, explore neurological disorders.

    This is sounding like anxiety is excaberating it as well. Try very hard to relax and let your body (and mind) heal- stress and worrying about it make it worse and make you hyper aware of every little thing. MS would be one of the last things you need to worry about as it is a chronic illness, not a death sentence. Even if it happened, you would join the 500,000 of us in the US who deal with it daily and be in good company! MS is a very livable disease. Be afraid of things which end badly. MS doesnt have to.

    I know you are scared...but please try to relax your mind. Give your body a break and take care of it. Meanwhile, look into seeing specialists, like Orthopedic doctors...beware of sugeons. Their answer to everything is surgery; but a doctor can at least help you find out if you have a problem.

    Best of luck getting answers on this...but seriously, MS is probably not on the top of the list of things you are dealing with. It just doesnt add up from what you described.

    Hugs,
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