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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board


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Hello, all. I'm a 28 year old, relatively healthy female (I smoke, but I'm quitting), and I'm having a lot of issues that I am worried may be MS. I apologize if I'm just being paranoid, but I would appreciate some input, so thanks in advance. Hopefully this post will amount to the neurotic rantings of hypochondria.

After visiting the doc for numbness/tingling in my left hand and fingers, neck/shoulder pain, and headaches, I was given the diagnosis of muscle spasms and PT was recommended. After my first PT session, during which I did only enough back strengthening exercises to prove to the therapist that I could do them on my own at home, my back seized up and wouldn't unclench for several hours. I finally had to take a muscle relaxer. The numbness/tingling presented fairly shortly after a minor car accident, but the headaches and neck pain have been ongoing for sometime, albeit much worsened and more pronounced after the accident. X-rays shows loss of lordotic curve (normal curvature of the neck bones), which was likely there long before the accident. C-Spine non-contrast MRI was normal, as was EMG on my left arm. No brain MRI done or suggested by the doc. However, something the neuro said made me start to think. She asked what meds I was currently taking, and I said "ibuprofen, you know, for headaches. Just normal stuff," and she replied, "well, most people don't just normally have headaches." I began to think back on a myriad of little things that have been going on, some for years, all of which I have simply ignored or passed off as a normal part of existence.

Symptoms:
-headaches (mostly dull, but sometimes, especially since the accident, bad enough to knock me down and make me miss work) - going on, progressively more frequent, for several years.
-numbness/"pins and needles" - the pronounced numbness/tingling in my hand really began shortly after the accident, but thinking back, I have had occasional bouts of numbness in my toes - sometimes while standing, sometimes while sitting, sometimes w/ or w/o shoes on - not really pins and needles, just numb. I also have a strange numbness sometimes in my pelvic region, kind of in the crease where my legs meet my body and extending downward sometimes to my lady parts. Not often, but it has happened multiple times.
-My feet ache terribly and often, whether I've been standing for a while or not. They feel like they are clenching or bending in on themselves at the arch. I have to make sure I'm sleeping on my back so as not to point my toes and exacerbate the clenching feeling. Spasticity?
-My shoulders are always clenched, as if the muscles are contracted and won't let go, leaving them always sore and tired, and leaving my neck stiff. This has gotten progressively worse over the last few years, and comes and goes, staying around each time for a few days to a few weeks. Again, spasticity?
-I have developed a pronounced stutter sometimes. Not always, but especially when I'm tired. I repeat words or the beginnings of words, and I have to stop sometimes and recollect my thoughts to get the whole phrase out. This is particularly embarrassing when I am on the phone with customers at my work.
-Fatigue - I have NO energy for weeks at a time, no matter how much I sleep. Then sometimes, I feel fine for a while, and life is peachy. I am not depressed. Even when I'm terribly exhausted, I usually am in a pretty good mood, just not up for much of anything.
-Vision - some (not all) of my headaches could definitely be attributed to this. I call it a headache, but more specifically, it's an ache in my eyeball or behind my eye, maybe? Hard to describe. I don't think I've had any real loss of vision, though, although I do get peripheral trails sometimes, like I'm seeing something move out of the corner of my eye that is never there when I look. My eyes are also very sensitive, and they burn a lot.
-Ears ringing - this just happens randomly. I also get a deep itch inside my ears fairly often, although I keep my ears very clean.
-Itching - unexplained itching... I always just called it dry skin, but I use moisturizer regularly. Sometimes, I'm not sure if what I am feeling can really be called itching. It's more like something is crawling on me, usually on my legs, and I've become terrified that there are bugs under my desk at work, jumping on my legs, but have never found anything on me or near me when I look. It's much worse when it's hot. Random fact that may not be related; I have been in a tanning bed twice in my life, and after both times (on the minimum intensity for a very short period of time) my skin itched to the point that I thought I was on fire. It wasn't sunburn, as far as I can tell, and it wasn't an allergic reaction to the cleaner (I brought my own the second time), but it was sure something. I will NEVER again go tanning.
Jaw pain - this is a more recent development, I think. Since my pain/symptoms have been much more pronounced recently, which I would like to attribute to the accident, this symptom has also sprung up. I can't figure out how it would be caused by the accident, though. My lower jaw gets a sharp pain, and I can't tell if it's coming from my teeth or my ear or what. It feels like a toothache, kind of, but it comes and goes, lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours. Sometimes if feels like it's in my cheekbone, sometimes next to my ear, sometimes in my chin, and sometimes next to my nose, and sometimes all of the above. I am planning on seeing a dentist, and I will likely mention it to my regular doc the next time I talk to her.
-Bladder issues? - I drink a lot of coffee and water, and sometimes drink alcohol, so I always attributed this to just drinking to much liquid that makes me have to pee a lot. I haven't had any incontinence issues, just the feeling like I need to pee. However, sometimes I feel this urge almost immediately after I've been to the bathroom, and if I go back, sometimes a little bit more comes out, but sometimes nothing, and the feeling is still there. It has become increasingly uncomfortable and disruptive. I have to get up to pee within 10-30 minutes of going to bed almost every night, even though I always pee right before I lay down. Usually the urge hits pretty much immediately after I lay down, and I stay in bed for those 10-30 minutes convincing myself that I JUST peed, so I can't possible have to go again, and I know that if I get up, there's a good chance nothing will come out, and I'll just make it worse by trying. But eventually, I do get up, and sometimes I am successful and peeing and going back to sleep. I've never had a bladder infection or UTI. If I think back, this problem has been coming and going for several years, with it becoming a nightly thing more recently.
-Head tingling - not a headache, just a feeling kind of like my scalp is crawling or something. Not exactly lightheaded, although that does happen sometimes, too.
-Rib cage pain - I don't know how to describe this... It's usually just kind of a tight feeling in the bottom half of my rib cage, usually on both sides. When this happens, it's usually something I wake up with first thing in the morning, and then it just sort of goes away after a while when I get moving. It doesn't feel like it's very deep or internal, not like my lungs, just kind of right below or right on top of my rib bones.
-Clumsiness - I can't say that I've noticed a pronounced limp or foot drag, but sometimes I just fall, and can't explain why. Like I trip over absolutely nothing. I fell off my front porch a few months ago while attempting to walk down the steps and face-planted on the walkway below and I thought "what just happened? Adults don't just fall?" I didn't feel myself trip on anything. I just fell. I fell in the shower a few days ago, for no reason that I can tell. I didn't slip. I just closed my eyes to rinse my hair, and down I went. Thankfully, both falls didn't injure anything, just bumps and bruises. I also seem to have increasingly bad hand/eye coordination. I overshoot things that I'm reaching for, knocking over cups and things sometimes. I don't feel like I have any real weakness in my muscles, as in, I can always move them. They just feel tired and shaky sometimes. Sometimes my knee "falls asleep" and fails to support me when I stand, but usually only after remaining in one position for a while.
-Aches - My arms ache. My hands ache. My shoulders ache. My face aches. My feet ache. My joints ache. Thankfully, not usually all at the same time. Not sure how to explain the aches further. They just happen. Sometimes sharp and quick. Sometimes dull and lasting. Joints are stiff almost immediately after staying in one position for even brief periods of time. Muscles (neck, shoulders, wrists, arms) ache after staying in one position too long, but sometimes, my muscles just ache... no matter how hard I try to relax, they just don't wanna let go. My calves always feel right on the verge of seizing up, and I can feel knots when I massage them to try to prevent the inevitable charlie horse.
-Twitching? - little twitches in little muscles. My thighs, my biceps, sometimes other parts of me, just give a little twitch sometimes. Not painful. Usually not particularly repetitive. Just enough that I can feel it. Sometimes, if it's a bigger muscle group, the twitch is visible, but not that often.

I feel like there's more that I'm forgetting, but I'm very tired. Please feel free to ask any questions if you have them. Looking at this list of symptoms that have been going on and off for several years listed all together in one place, I feel crazy for ignoring them until now. At any rate, they've gotten bad enough to make it harder and harder to enjoy life, so I have to pay attention to them, and I've got to figure out what's wrong. I can't ignore it any longer. I think I've always been afraid to pay too much attention to any of these weird things that happen to me because I'm afraid of what it may mean. Please tell me if this sounds like I could be presenting with symptoms of MS. Or if there's something else you think it sounds like, please let me know. I feel like I'm falling apart, and I need some sort of direction on where to look and what to do. Thanks again. Sorry for the long post.





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