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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

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Approximately 20 years ago, I had an intermittent numb spot on my left shoulder blade. It would come, it would go, I thought it odd, but not terribly disturbing. Then my whole pelvic area would go numb, might last an hour or as much as a day or two. Then the left side of my face would go numb, again as little as an hour or as much as a couple of days. Then one day the whole left side of my face went numb and it has been numb ever since (18 years or so now). It is like a line is drawn right down the middle of my face and everything to the left is numb (over the years it has creeped down into my neck and shoulder). Almost like a permanent dose of novacaine. Then my hands and feet developed a permanent case of pins and needles. Then pain and a strange "swirling sensation" started in my legs (I find this sensation very hard to explain, it isn't muscle spasms or restless leg syndrome, it's more like electricity running over the surface of my skin). Then I would get pain in my right great toe (it wasn't gout or an infection, I had it checked). Then I started getting double vision and sometimes had difficulty with speech. Then weird electrical shocks(?) would shoot from the tip of my ear, the end of my finger, the end of my nose etc... Then I would start tripping on perfectly flat surfaces (my ex-husband, a skier, called this carpet snakes) and my balance was off (not fall down tipsy, but just not right). Then my migraines started getting more frequent and severe, my hands would act of their own volition all of my joints became more painful and the muscles more painful and more rigid. During all of this time I had been going to doctor's, several of which tossed out MS as a possibility and then Nothing else was done. When the intermittent became more frequent, I went to Doctors again. I had seen a neurologist who ordered an MRI, it was negative for lesions, he told me that all that was wrong with me was that I was a women and I was just "stressed". Time passed things were getting worse, my joint pain was intense, I went to a chiropractor, who was convinced that I had MS. He sent me to another neurologist, who tossed out remittant, relapsing MS, but another MRI was negative for lesions, so again no answers. Years go by, the symptoms increase in duration, variety and intensity. They worsen in the coldest part of winter, the hottest part of summer and during the change of seasons (most particularly fall to winter and winter to spring). Finally, my headaches have gotten so bad that I start missing work, I can't sleep at night because the muscle/joint pain is worse when laying in bed (especially in my legs) and I have "phantom" noises in my head (only when I am trying to get to sleep). NOT voices, but doors slamming, backfires, loud bangs etc... that apparently only I hear. My PCP orders another MRI, negative again and sends me to yet another neurologist. This time I am told that if he just my described symptoms and his physical exam to consider, he would thingk MS, but since my MRI was negative, he thinks it is a chemical imbalance. After many trials of antidepressants, mood elevators and depakote (that was a nightmare) etc... my original symptoms are unabated and I have had the joy of experiencing all the negative aspects of pharmacology. I even asked for a spinal tap, which he declined to order because of the negative MRI (which I now think stands for Missing Relative Information). He is convinced that it is a chemical imbalance and that is that. I was told at my last appointment that if the latest round of antidepressants didn't work (it hasn't) that my only recourse is to try alternative medicine. My entire list of symptoms(?)/occurences it too lengthy to list here so I have just given you the highlights. I am at my wits end. I know I am not crazy (at least not abnormally so), hysterical or chemically imbalanced. I don't know what is wrong, but I do suspect if not MS it is neurological in nature (and yes, fibromyalgia has been ruled out, I don't have the right "trigger points"). Any feedback or suggestions that you can offer will be GREATLY appreciated.


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