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I'm confused as to which way to go and thought i'd ask here for advice. I have posted in other forums on this board as i do have thoracic and cervical herniations.
twenty years ago i started get buzzing,burning,tingling in various parts of body. at times seemed like I had a fire going down my spine. it took almost a year before mostly stopped . had various mri's including brain. all were normal with the exception that They found a thoracic herniation but was told that couldnt be the cause of all i was feeling. for many years on and off i had things like burning in the arms tingling throughout body and out of nowhere exhaustion lasting weeks or months when i shouldn't have been tired.

had 2 other "episodes" alot like this up until 2004. at that time i was whiplashed and had bad back pain and many cerivcal and thoracic herniations. got depressed but somehow started feeling better(not like my old self) but very little pain after 10 months.

I have been staying that way until late august this year when all of a sudden I had upper back pain and tingling in arms and leg. I went and received different opinions by a neuro and 2 neurosurgeons as to whats going on.

Additional things that are now happening are extending numbness in arms/hands. I also started getting a strange feeling like a stiffness in arms and legs.

I saw a neurologist recently in ny who by chance was an ms expert who suggested IV therapy as a way to see if it will help. was not given any diagnosis yet.

My questions are do any of these sound like ms symptoms and can you have ms if mri's of brain and cervical are free of lesions. also does it make sense to get steriod therapy if not ms?

sorry to go on.
[QUOTE=MSJayhawk;4138746]When you meet with your neurologist for fresh eyes, you might want to have a journal of your symptoms.

Below are some symptoms I have learned about. I have experienced most of these main categories, though no uncontrolled crying or laughter or some other "sub-categories". I have experienced all of the rare symptoms except for hearing loss. I hope this helps :)

The most common symptoms of MS (I think I listed most of them here):
1.Fatigue
2.Numbness
3.Walking (gait, balance, and/or coordination problems -I include leg dragging and foot drop here.)
4.Bladder Dysfunction
5.Bowel Dysfunction
6.Vision Problems (Optic Neuritis, Double Vision, problems controlling eye movements)
7.Dizziness and Vertigo
8.Sexual Dysfunction
9.Pain (such as Trigeminal neuralgia, Lhermitte’s sign, Burning, aching or “girdling” around the body- MS hug)
10.Chronic Pain
11.Cognitive Function
12.Emotional Changes (Depression, Grieving, Stress-low tolerance for stress, Anxiety, Distress, Uncontrollable Crying or Laughing,….)
13.Spasticity
Other Symptoms- though rarer:
14.Speech Disorders
15.Swallowing Problems
16.Headache
17.Hearing Loss.
18.Seizures
19.Tremor
20.Respiration / Breathing Problems (Can be an initial symptom) –This would include swallowing/aspiration issues too.
21.Itching

Oops, I should have added, the symptoms do not necessarily affect every MSer. Some may only have 2-3 symptoms. Also the affects will vary from person to person. My first symptom I can remember was foot drop. You might only experience or notice one symptom which leads to a diagnosis. :angel:[/QUOTE]

MSJayhawk,

thank you once again. Are there any medical tests i should be aware of -specific bloodwork,EMG?,etc? as i mentioned i already have head, cervical and thoracic mri's.
hi larry and Jayhawk.

This has been a really interesting thread to follow. I agree with everything Jayhawk told you, on his list of symtoms, as he said, I only have a few of those symtoms and definately NOT in the same order! For me, it was eye problems and numbness which started me seeing a doctor...a GP led to a CT scan, that led to a consult with Neuro which led to MRI, which led to dx, all in under ten days.

One thing that you are going to have to be careful of Larry, is back problems in general, can cause so many of the symtoms which you are describing...the pain, numbness, buzzing and stiffness, can ALL come from back pain. And, hate to say it, but fatigue can be simply a result of dealing with the pain and not sleeping properly. It doesnt have to have a medical reason behind it.

You asked, "[I]do any of these sound like ms symptoms and can you have ms if mri's of brain and cervical are free of lesions. also does it make sense to get steriod therapy if not ms?[/I]"

And thats a really easy question to answer. Familiarize yourself with the McDonalds Criteria (the updated version) which is the criteria for doctors to diagnose MS. The most basic criteria is lesions. So, no- you have to have more then one lesion , properly placed and sized to be determined to be a MS lesion, as well as symtoms and relapses or any combination of symtoms and lesions, to get the dx.

HOWEVER lesions can show up anytime. What didnt appear back in September, might very well show up next time. MRIs should be done every 6 months at least for the first year of dx....then yearly afterwards. I get mine every 6 months even now simply because my insurance allows it.

You also asked about steroid therapy. Steroids, given IV, are for shrinking inflamation. But, they only work if given when the situation starts...if you wait a month, no- it doesnt make sense, because chances are its not going to work, and the long term effects of steroids are not too good for you; however, that being said, if you are in pain and are willing to try anything- then one round of IVSM will not hurt you. (even one round given every year) Steroids are primarily NOT used for MS, but for pain and for athletes trying to shrink inflamation in their joints/muscles....however, it is a miracle for MSers that it also works on nerve inflammation and helps us regain use of our limbs/eyes etc.

larry, no one can tell you that you DONT have MS; however your symtoms arent screaming MS to me, but rather of complications from the spinal issues you have....as Jayhawk said, youre going to get conflicting answers from a neurologist and a neurosurgeon. No doubt about that. I live outside NYC, if you need any other docs to consult for a MS check, Ill be happy to supply you with some really great MS Specialists, who can both dx and rule out MS...

I truly hope you find relief and dont have to go thru this for much longer...
Nikki





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