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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

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I was dx with MS 2.5 years ago. At that time I had just moved back to the US after a year working in a very stressful situation in India. I fully believe that the stress and heat there brought on the symptoms that led me to the point that I needed to be hospitalized. I had numbness on the right side from the waist down. This was not the first time this had happened, but it was more than 15 years prior to this that I had experienced that symptom. After the dx and the follow up visits to two neurologists, I began to piece together other episodes that were MS-related. The emergency room doctor that saw me when I experienced the numbness picked up on it immediately. He told me after doing some tests in the ER, "I think you have MS. You need to see a neurologist." I was stunned. The neuro had an MRI done and they saw small lesions, but needed to see another episode before they would do an LP. That was fine with me. What I didn't realize was that the vision problem I had about 10 years prior was likely optic neuritis, so I never thought to mention it.

Anyway, two weeks ago I woke up with vision problems in both eyes. It feels like someone took a photo of me in the dark with a flash and that my eyes never returned to normal vision after that. What is odd is that it is in both eyes. The left eye seems to be more affected than the left, but they are both not good. It is most noticable when I am reading. Letters or parts of letters seem to disappear, especially with writing on a white background. When the writing is light on a dark background, it is easier to read, but it is not what it should be. I try to see if I can get better vision with my reading glasses or bifocals or single vision glasses, but they are all the same. If I am online and punch up the font to a very large size -- 32 or more, it is much easier to read, but still not what it should be.

I live and work in Buenos Aires right now and the summer has been very hot (we are well below the equator, so it is summer now, although fall is coming soon -- as your Spring begins). I have noticed some episodes of numbing in the left-hand fingertips, but it is usually short-lived. I feel very tired at the end of the day when I've been out in the heat, but I can deal with these things. My neck hurts on and off -- I have a couple of lesions in the C-spine which are pushing on the discs. It also seems to give me a headache from time to time, but Advil clears that right up.

The sight problem is very distressing though. I came home on a long overdue home leave so that I could chill out -- literally and figuratively! :) And I wanted to get with my doctors. I had an MRI today, but don't see the neurologist until Monday. So I am trying very hard not to play Dr. Fran and self-diagnose with the films I have sitting here on the table, but it is very difficult. I pulled out a couple of the films and see leisions, but I am not sure which are new ones. The last time I had an MRI I pulled them all out and studied them and when I went to see the doc, I think he was a little miffed that I had looked at them and put them back in the envelope all out of order. I guess I am not a good enough doctor to play a part on ER or Gray's Anatomy and it's time to resign my position as Dr. of my self, but curiosity gets the better of me. I know I am just 30 minutes away from pulling out the films from today and the last 2 MRI sessions to see if I can compare them all and determine if there is a new leision that is affecting the visual cortex.

I saw my opthamologist on Monday morning and she was apologetic that she didn't come up with anything during her exam that she could "fix" for me, but she did say that she believes what I am telling her about the vision loss and that if it's MS related, it is most likely a leision located in the visual cortex. My research online shows me where that is located in the brain, so that is what I want to look for on the MRI, but I know it would be better to just wait.

I am sorry for this long babbling post, but the long and the short of this is these questions --

1. Has anyone had this type of symptom? Like you've been looking into a light or the sun or a flash bulb and you still can't see properly?
2. Has anyone had a episode in which your vision was affected in both eyes at the same time?

Thank you for bearing through this hypnotically long, tiring post, but I am a very impatient person that needs answers sooner rather than later, and the later is Monday.

Fran :)

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