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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

Multiple Sclerosis Board Index


I've been suffering since February from a strange variety of symptoms throughout the left side of my body. The right side of my body, on the other hand, feels totally normal.

It all started out as a deep internal itching and pressure sensation in the area of my left ovary. It was maddening and I often fantasized about reaching inside and tearing my insides out. I went to my ob/gyn several times, had two vaginal ultrasounds, full blood and STD tests and was told that I was completely healthy gynecologically. I also received a clean bill of health from a gastroenterologist and urologist. The itching and pressure seemed to improve so I decided to stop spending money on doctors and chalk it up to getting older.

About 3 months ago, the pressure and itch returned, but with it came sensitive skin pain on the front of my left thigh and shin (my pants rubbing against my leg hurt), occasional left knee and ankle pain and muscle tightness in my back and shin. It often feels like I have a shin splint in my left leg and my mid-back from my spine all the way around my left ribcage will sometimes feel like it's cramping up or squeezing (not horribly painful, just uncomfortable). I also have a small tingly/numb patch in that area of my back. MS didn't come to mind until the day the left side of my tongue suddenly went numb. The numbness lasted three days. That really freaked me out, and when I googled it, "MS" was the first thing that came up. I made an appointment with a neurologist who specializes in MS. He had a six-week waiting list.

Then, one morning about a month ago, I was woken up by stabbing pains in my left eye. The stabbing pain went away within seconds and then I just felt a dull ache in my left eye. For the next few days, I would sometimes see random flashes of light and shadows in my vision. I did not lose any vision, but ever since then I seem to have had a notable increase in what is referred to as "afterimages" (which I understand are a normal occurrence, they just seem to be happening far more frequently than before). My sister-in-law has MS and has had several ON outbreaks, and assured me that ON-related visual disturbances are usually not subtle at all--in other words, I would KNOW if I had it. That made me feel better. I was probably just being paranoid.

I saw the neurologist a few days ago, half-expecting him to say I was fine and to see a chiropractor or something. Instead, he spent a long time examining my eyes. He asked, "So you've never had blurry vision?" The doctor explained that my left optic disc looks pale and that he wants me to have a brain MRI (he also sent me for all the usual MS bloodwork). He said that he saw all the vessels in my eye, and considering I hadn't lost vision, it may not be a big deal. But he did bring up the possibility of MS (I purposely hadn't brought it up, as I didn't want to seem like a "google hypochondriac"). I was a little troubled to hear the news about my optic disc. I guess my question is, is a pale optic disc something I should be concerned about? Is it possible to have a pale optic disc due to MS without experiencing any vision loss?

I asked, "If the MRI comes back okay, then what? Could it be something else? Like a pinched nerve or something?" He replied, "It doesn't sound indicative of something like that. If the MRI comes back okay, then we just wait and see if your symptoms worsen." Does that sound like an indirect way of telling me he thought it is MS?

Sorry for the long rambling post. I'm trying to stay calm since it's impossible to know anything until I have the MRI, but my head has been kind of spinning with "what ifs."

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