Last reply 6 years ago
Hi there, new here and not even 100% sure if I have MS

Hi guys, glad I found an online community for this kind of thing =)

I’m posting here just to tell my (not so)short story and possibly get some input on the matter because I’m not really sure who I can talk to about this kind of stuff without being subjected to the terrible “oh, I get those symptoms every once in a while, you’re probably fine”.

So, it’s Christmas night, just after my family gathering with the extended family, everything is going great, the holidays went awesome and I was home to enjoy them (just moved back home from another province a few months earlier). I’m in my basement, playing Super Mario 3 with my sister and her husband, feeling fine when all of a sudden, like a dumptruck of bricks falling on to me, I am hit with this insane wave of symptoms. The first thing, and scariest, was an intense pressure on my forehead like someone was poking it really hard, then my arms/hands and legs started feeling very weak and partially numb (reduced sensation, but not all gone), my vision blurred almost to the point of double vision, my body temperature dropped (or at least felt like it did), my heart was clunking and thumping in strange patterns, and i started to tremble. Parts of my body had started going very very pale (almost yellow) as well, specifically my hands and abdomen area (sometimes my leg/legs). At this point I’m thinking a hot bath would do well to even out my body’s temperature and restore some colour to my pale spots, but the bath did very little in that aspect, in fact only made my heart rate increase even more as well as my weakness in the hands and legs.I tried watching Russel Peters with my sister afterward but couldn’t focus on him, only the bright lights in the background and I was noticing that my vision would tunnel if I stayed focused on something.

Now, I have the easiest job in the world as a cashier in a liquor store, so I don’t call in sick…. ever, so I still went to work despite my condition. I found that I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than an instant, my hands were fumbling with cash, my legs were stiff from sitting or standing for more than a minute at a time and I was sweating like a hog, ALL THE TIME but only from my armpits. The slightest change in temperature could make me feel like I was in a boiler, or like i was in the arctic tundra, which really sucks because a cold breeze (or even just changing my shirt) can send me into these paralyzing shivers that do not go away for about 10-15 minutes, making me very sore and fatigued afterward.

Now I should mention that, over the course of my life, I have dealt with a wide plethora of strange bodily things that I have just learned to ignore (random stabbing/aching pains, extreme stiffness in the leg muscles, possibly Lhermittes Sign (8-10 occurrences over the past 5 years) and a wide variety of other oddities) so i just tried to ride out this insane wave of stuff going on in my body for about 4 days until I finally break down and talk to my doctor about this. After telling him pretty much what I just typed about, he pulls out a few papers and asks some questions about depression/anxiety, which he has already asked 2 times before when trying to deal with my ADHD and my sleep disorders. He then proceeds to tell me that I’m just having panic attacks and it’ll all be okay… AFTER ASKING ME THREE QUESTIONS he was ready for a diagnosis. He prescribed me an anti-depressant and a Sublingual (under the tongue) pill that was supposed to make the panic attacks go away within minutes of taking it. The sublingual pill did nothing at all to easy my symptoms, sometimes compounding them from the side effects of the meds. These symptoms did not quit, day or night, rest or no rest, I always felt like I had run a marathon in sub-zero temperatures. And this went on for two solid, unrelenting, months with all symptoms raging at 100% all the time.

Fast forward two months. Symptoms have almost completely disappeared, leaving only a few residual effects behind.
1) My right knee joint has lost much of it’s strength, both legs are quite shaky while bent, but the right one seems like it’s physically weaker
2) I still am getting tremors in my hands legs (worse with cold), sometimes rending my legs inoperable for 10-15 minutes at a time
3) I still get “flash sweats” every once in a while, where I’m in no way feeling hot, but my armpits sweat like it’s a hot summer day (in the middle of winter)
4) My appetite has changed, sometimes even when I AM hungry, I just can’t swallow food. I can chew it and it tastes fine, but swallowing it feels like it’ll just come right back up (sometimes i can trick myself by drinking something to wash it down). Other times, when I CAN swallow, sometimes it just hurts, really bad, like i swallowed a lego brick or something, and this occurs with both food and drink.
5) I have been experiencing a variety of muscle spasms in many places, like a vibrating sensation (sometimes you can see the muscle twitching on my skin) and I even got that feeling in my ear once. It felt like my eardrum was on the Vibrate setting.
6) And I normally sleep a little bit too much but ever since this began I have been sleeping (on my days off) upward of 16 hours a day, sometimes more. (I basically sleep until I HAVE to get up)

So now it’s June, and since February I have seen a different doctor (because my current one is on sick-leave) who has been MUCH MUCH more helpful in this issue. The new doctor actually did blood-work to see if something in there could be causing this, and they came back looking mostly normal, nothing that could be the root of the issue. So he referred me to a Neurologist and put me on a waiting list for an MRI. I have to wait a few weeks for the Neuro to set up an appointment, so I’m back to the waiting game again.

So, I guess I’m posting in here to ask, does this sound like any of your first experiences with MS? Does this sound like MS at all?

Sorry for the long post, looking forward to replies =)


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6 years ago

I can’t say that all those symptoms fit within the MS range, but neuro symptoms are notoriously difficult to pin down to one condition. There are lots of overlaps.

But, at least you now have a Neuro, who will start investigating for you.

Now, these guys aren’t magicians, so they can only go on what they can see from their various tests and what you tell them. So, make a short, concise list of all the symptoms, so that you can pass this to the Neuro.

Best of luck.

6 years ago

First of all, you DO need a diagnosis, from a consultant, before you say “I’ve got MS”. Lots of those symptoms could be indicative of other things. Having said that, a consultant (not the GP) would or should give a MRI or CAT scan to check you out. The vision problems……..first of all, get an eye test. The optician, if they are doing a proper job, can rule out various stuff and see if there is degrading of the optic nerve.

6 years ago

Even if the mri comes up negative (they can miss it sometimes) get a lumbar puncture to be on the safe side, the hospital will likely suggest it anyway and that should definitely get a result one way or the other.

If the vision probs are due to optical neuritis then they will put forward the tests anyway I would think. A few of those symptoms did sound familiar, the tiredness, the muscle spasms, aches and tremors etc, your doing the right thing getting it checked out, it may take sometime though before you have a confirmed diagnosis, in my case it was supposed to be 3 weeks after the lumbar but i ended up waiting another 2 months before I found out. Prior to the lumbar I’d had CT and MRI scans, it was the LP though that confirmed the condition in the end.

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