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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board


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Hi everyone. :wave: Hope you don't mind me posting - I'm really sorry but this may be a very lengthy description!! I would be so grateful if anyone has time to read the details, though, as I am so worried. I live in England, I'm 29, and have been having some very odd symptoms, mainly episodes of numbness, tinging, heat patches, and recently, muscle and finger twitching. I would very much appreciate it if any of you could give me your opinion. I am very worried that they may be symptoms of MS. They never completely disappear, although they do seem to improve, and every few weeks or months I have been getting a worse episode. I will describe basically what has happened recently first, then I'll add a bit more separately, if anyone wants to read the rest.

I have been to my GP (family doctor) before this last "episode" a couple of weeks ago, and she sent me for a CT scan (without contrast dye), and she did a brief basic physical neuro examination (though she couldn't remember some of what to check at first!). She sent me for the CT of my brain, rather than MRI, as I have metal plates in my jaw. The result was fine, no different to one I had about 5 years ago to check out my migraines. However, I am worried, as MRI is obviously a better test. I have just phoned a BUPA (private) hospital and they say they CAN do MRI of both my brain and spine (my GP did not mention my spine) - the metal might just make the interpretation of the results more difficult, but it is safe to have the test even with metal in my jaws, apparantly. Should I go back to my GP and insist she sends me for an MRI? I am worried that she did not want a scan of my spine - I have read that you can have no evidence of MS in your brain, but have it in your spine, on scans. I am worried about the neuro exam too, as she said that my responses were very "brisk". Also, she did not even look at my feet when she was testing them, as she was talking to me at the time! I have read (after my examination) that brisk reflexes can be an indication of MS. However, she told me that them being brisk is nothing to worry about - I can't remember exactly what she said now, but I think she said because they were ALL brisk, as opposed to on one side of my body only.

I asked her if it could be MS. She said she didn't think so. Her conclusion is that my symptoms are related to my migraines. She did not give a name, but I have since been researching, and I imagine she would say "complicated migraine" or "migraine aura without pain" if I asked her. She prescribed me Pizotifen (I have tried various medications for migraine before) - however, according to the leaflet in the box (to be fair to her, this is not mentioned in the BNF - doctor's book of drugs, which I have checked), it can cause tingling - one of my symptoms! So I have not taken it, and have not yet been back to her to discuss anything else.

Now I have had a further flare-up, and I am wondering if there is any point in going back to my doctor. She seemed concerned initially, but once I mentioned my migraines (it was the first time I had seen her, having moved house), she associated everything with that. I wondered if it could be pernicious anaemia as I have been vegetarian for 13 years, and eaten very, very little dairy products for the past 3 years, without a large dose of vitamin B12 supplement. But she said if it was that, the tingling would be constant.

Here is the background and details of recent events....

I have had both migaine with visual aura (blind spots etc - on average, about twice a year), migraine without aura (on average, several times a month), and chronic daily (or near daily) headaches (caused by muscle tension, antagonised by my tooth-grinding in my sleep) - all since 1998. Before the first visual aura migraine, I had what I think was a migraine with some pins and needles (in August 1997). I have never had pins and needles with a migraine since then - just the occasional visual aura.

Then, around the end of last year, I had a migraine with visual aura and some numbness in my left hand, which lasted around 2 minutes, at the most, and then cleared up completely (the headache pain persisted as usual). This was the first time I have ever had any numbness like that, with or without a migraine.

After this, I had no problems until around March, when my left foot started having a strange sensation of heat (almost as if it was dipped into a bucket of warm water), lasting around a minute, then resolving. I had this at least once a day, most days, if not every day. I had recently started taking Kelp at the time, which my husband thought might be causing it, but stopped taking it soon after these sensations started.

Then in mid-April, I had the most severe episode of numbness so far (and with no headache) - it started one evening as patches of numbness (incomplete numbness - I still had some sensation) moving over my arms, hands, fingers, face, lips, tongue, nose and legs (less in my legs). It started in my left arm, and moved around (most areas lasting only a couple of minutes or so), and stayed in my face for the longest - it lasted for about 3 days in various degrees and part of my face felt slightly numb (right side, I think) for most for that time. The tips of my little fingers also felt slightly numb for days - about 2 weeks, I think - they took the longest to clear up.

After that, I began getting tingling areas (not as uncomfortable as bad pins and needles, although I have had a few episodes just lately which were quite uncomfortable), in quite large patches all over, one area of my body at a time, lasting around 5 seconds. I have been getting at least several of these each day. I also started getting weird hot sensations, again in patches. I also had a few very fleeting sensations of something being not quite right, very slight numbness, mainly on the back of my hands - but no sudden flare-up like in April.

This heat and tingling eventually began to reduce a little in frequency, until the next severe episode of numbness. This occurred at the end of June (I think) and was not quite as numbing but still similar in nature/area etc. It also lasted a few days - longer actually than the previous one, and my nose felt strange for about 4 days, plus my little and 4th fingers (mainly right hand) again, which lasted around 3 weeks.

It was at this point (mid-July) that I decided to go to the doctor, when she sent me for the CT scan, as I have already said.

The day after my first doctor's appointment, I had the second (and so far only) migraine which was directly associated with numbness, when I had another migraine, again with visual aura, and some numbness in my right hand this time - it literally crept over each finger, resolving in one as it reached the next. Again, it cleared up completely in around 2 minutes. However, the day after, I also had some more patches of mild numbness, without headache or anything. These are the only episodes of numbness which I can relate to specific migraines.

After I'd seen the doctor, the tingling and warm sensations continued every day, plus the occasional fleeting numbness, but again started to reduce in frequency, eventually, until the 14th of October, when I had a day of really strong, frequent patches of tingling. The next day, the backs of my hand felt numb, which came and went, and then spread quite severely to my face, mostly the right side, but the left side too, off and on. Again, it was several days before this felt totally right. Around the same time as the numbness started again, the sensations of heat increased in frequency. Then a day or so after the numbness started, I started getting muscle twitching, and fingers/feet/legs jumping by themselves - mainly fingers/thumbs. The twitching has been in most areas of my body. While my face was at its numbest, I had very small area by my nose (on the numb side) which continually flicked and twitched for about two hours. Even when I couldn't feel it, I looked in the mirror and could see it. The twitching all over my body is still occuring, numerous times a day, and I am still getting the tingling - but more heat - and my face still does not feel right.

The numbness in my face sometimes feels a little like it did after orthodontic surgery in 1995, when I had metal plates put in my jaws to re-align them. That numbness occasionally flares up, usually in cold weather, less so in recent years - but this is different. What I can't understand is why I would start with numbness related to my migraines NOW (as my GP thinks), when I have been having them for years - and why am I getting these symptoms almost continuously with worse flare-ups every few months/weeks, and unable to relate them to a specific headache starting - either I have not had a headache when the symptoms have occured, or I already had a headache BEFORE the symptoms started again. I have done a little reseach on migraine aura without pain on the internet, since my GP suggested it as a cause, but have been unable to find much that sounds like this - most of it seems to be about visual auras - the blind spots and disorted vision - which, as I said, I do get, but only once or twice a year, at the most. The rest of the time I get no aura, just headaches.

That's the situation basically!! Sorry to be so lengthy, but I need to feel like I have explained the details! I would like to commend you all on your bravery with everything you are going through - I have been lurking here for a few days until I had time to post. I wish you all the very best with your symptoms and treatment.





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