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Sharing my case
Feb 10, 2010
Here is my story:

Symptoms: Began with a tingling right forearm, with mild motor dysfunction(I felt it a little clumsy and weak). It continued to weird numbness, tingling, burning sensations, pins and needles, water in my toes, you name it.

Later on it moved to my left arm and leg, mostly from elbow to hand and from knee to foot in both sides of my body. This is when I got my first neurologist visit.

Then I felt pain, like pins and needles, and burning, and mild to heavy electric shock pain, along with skin and muscle hypersensitivity.

Motor function remained fluctuating between almost asymptotic, to some clumsiness and weakness, but never too serious, a little fasciculation here and there, mostly in my eyelids. This(the eye stuff) wasn't new for me, specially when I'm nervous.

The neurologist gave me Lyrica, right at the first visit, because he could not saw any evident motor dysfunction on his examination, that could indicate anything else(ALS, MS, Guillaume Barre Syndrome, just to mention three common worries).

First DX:Toxin Induced Neuropathy, produced(probably) by Ethylene Oxide exposure, cause there was no other organic sign(diabetes or similar) that could gave me this..

Since I'm a specialist in thinking about the worst case scenario, I came with an Internist friend of mine which added a serious case of Stress/Anxiety that made things worse.

Even after my first dose of Lyrica(which all docs warned me that gets you really dizzy), I was in an ER room with a "Hearth attack", obviously false, al tests, including blood test for hear attack were normal, they sent me home.

My Internist friend told me that, if it was indeed some neuropathy in remission, it was better for me to treat my panic attacks first, since the Lyrica would only treat the pain symptoms, and could made me feel worse, because it can take weeks to kick in.

I agreed with him since I have had very litle pain, it was ore the numbness and weird feeling the stuff that worried me(I also thought of a TIA).

I took some clonazepam, and I started to relax and sleep better, I was almost sleepless for weeks, more since the beginning of my symptoms(mid January).

But then some more pain was clear and I came back to the neuro asking for the test he decided to avoid, because I didn't look so bad on his examination.

The EMG....

2. Why the test? A I've said it above, even before I felt the symptoms I was under heavy stress, with little or none good sleeping hours. This worsened when the neuropatic symptoms onset, so I was completely overwhelmed by it all.

On top of this somedays I felt my hands clumsier, my legs weaker(like jelly legs), and started to feel some more fasciculations in many parts of my body.

Next thing you knew I was filled with needles and electrodes on the EMG test table.(AND I HATE NEEDLES).

3. The results: The Dx was supported both by my original neurologist and a neurophysiologyst, which was the one that performed the EMG test.

Actual DX: Sequels from a Polyneuropathy of unknown cause.

Briefly they found chronic nerve denervation both in hands and legs, but apparently from some "previous" incident, since there was not any current active denervation in all the places tested, and there was even a mild sign of reinervation and motor function somewhere, so call my symptoms "sequels".

I do remember that the neurophysiologist asked me during the test: "How long are you dealing with this?" Like if this all symptoms were residual. I told him: Two weeks top, I felt great before this.

They found a reduced interference/recruitment pattern in my study, and some motor weakness, almost symmetrical, but all three doctors told me that there was nothing to worry about, and it was a "all way up road" from here.

Thing is that, call it anxiety, call it reading too much ALS info, I still have pain, some weakness and clumsiness.

I resumed my workout which I stopped since mid January cause of the symptoms(25 min elliptical bike, 5 min walking, and some push ups) I endured it well, but the day after that, I felt like I just ran a marathon carrying a elephant on my arms and legs...

I still have this fasiculations all over my body, mainly in my eyes, but also in my legs(mainly in the big muscles), and arms, not all the time and they seem to be active by cold, or some extrta effort, or if I sit over a muscle, or even if I'm a little bit more nervous than usual.

I also noticed some new joint cracking pain in my wrists, ankles and fingers, something I didn't notice before. I do have to confess thai I'm also over aware of any new sensation, guilty as charged, but as I still got waves of weakness, clumsiness and pain, I wanted to ask.

And yes I do feel like a baboon trying to find something that the docs might have missed...

So here are my questions after all this:

1. Does it all sounds normal with my DX?
2. Should I be worried by the fasiculations? I believe that they increased after the test, maybe it's just my nerves.
3. Could they missed(by days and by muscles) something like ALS? I do feel a little bit clumsy while walking, but nothing serious.
4. How long do you need to recover from a polyneuropathy(auto-limited, as it was called in my study? DOc said maybe weeks?

I promised myself to let go to my Internet quest for answers, but, as you may understand I fell a little nervous, and sometimes is good to hear from other peoples experiences, any kind of opinion.

Thanks.





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