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Symptoms and My Past - Reason to be concerned?
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An_251861 posted:
I have not been diagnosed with MS, but recently a number of things have occurred that make me want to go talk to my Neurologist. I'll make an appointment next week, but I guess I am just curious if I am reading too much into a few disconnected issues.

First, in my middle 20s I had a case of what was described as Acute Transverse Myelitis. I had severe pain in my shoulders, could not stand to be touched and ended up in the hospital. The doctors at the time did scans and spinal tap, etc. After a few days, I was unable to move my legs and my arms were fairly useless. They feeling came back after a few days and my arms had the pins and needles effect for many months after. They never actually gave me a reason for the Transverse Myelitis saying it could be a number of issues.


The main lasting results of the condition are both ring and pinkie fingers on both hands are mostly numb, with a constant pins and needles feeling. Also, I have some erectile dysfunction where erections don't last very long and orgasm is very difficult to achieve.

I'm now in my late 40s and a few things have happened recently that make me somewhat concerned. First, I have been experiencing what my Neurologist said was Raynaud's in both of my hands when they are exposed to cold. I do get migraines, and I believe that Raynaud's is not uncommon in Migraine suffers.

Additionally, I've been experiencing some pain in my left arm (for close to a year) and my right arm for a few months. I'm seeing a rehab team that believes it might be related to some neck issues. I also have some shooting pain in my right leg and a burning sensation in my shin. The shooting pain comes and goes, but the burning is a lot more frequent.


Also, I recently have been experiencing some attention and focus problems. I actually believe that I've always had them, but my job requires more attention to detail, so I notice it more. But maybe that isn't true and the attention issues have gotten worse. I was diagnosed with ADD with a "relative weakness in processing speed"


My Neurologist and Psychiatrist have me taking some meds that help with some anxiety issues I have been facing. Some of them make no sense to me, like fear of making a phone call at times, or answer the door. No idea why and that was never an issue for me until the last 5 or so years. Ironically, I can go give presentations and conferences and not have an fear, but ordering a pizza can be daunting.


Finally, I am having some serious issues with fatigue. I get plenty of sleep and sometimes it seems like too much. But I get tired in the afternoon. I'm usually more of a night person getting my second wind around 6 or so and going till midnight. The Adderall has masked that problem, but if I am not taking Adderall, it comes back with a vengeance.


I'm not expecting a diagnosis here obviously, but MS was mentioned as a possibility with the Transverse Myelitis in my 20s, but I assumed I would know by now if it was MS. Do these sound like symptoms or just a bunch of disconnected things?





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swampster1952 responded:
Hello no name,

Geez, I really dislike it when some one posts without a name...

Yes, your symptoms could be related to MS or there may be no connection at all.

If you already have a neuro then why hasn't a set of MRI's been done (or have they but you forgot to mention...?). A spinal tap might be a good thing to have done also.

All of your symptoms can be a result of various other diseases. Maybe you have more than one disease that is causing all these symptoms.

Dave
 
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hackwriter responded:
Dear Anon,

You didn't mention having had brain and spine MRIs and a lumbar puncture, but if your neuro has suspected Transverse Myelitis, those tests would be part of the diagnostic criteria.

That said, according to the report cited in the link below, spine MRIs and LPs can be negative for as much as 50% of TM patients. Like MS, TM can be difficult to diagnose:

http://www.medmerits.com/index.php/article/transverse_myelitis/P9

If your neuro hasn't ordered a spine MRI or LP for a while, you might ask him/her about having these tests again. Spine MRIs are important because they can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms including degenerative spine disease (those neck issues you mentioned). Other kinds of tests can show whether inflammation is occurring in systems other than the spinal cord. If you suffer with a peripheral inflammatory condition, that can certainly muddy the waters.

You might gain some clarity by doing online research and questioning your doctors more closely about why they have (or have not) diagnosed and treated you the way they have done thus far.

Kim
 
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JSTho replied to hackwriter's response:
Kim and Dave,

Thank you for the feedback. I have an appointment in a few weeks with my Neuro, I will get better educated and ask more about the testing.

To answer your questions, I have had several brain MRIs relatively recently while looking into my Migraine issue. No spine MRI recently.

In my 20s when I was told I had TM, I had MRIs, a Myelogram and an LP. I have not had an LP recently.

My symptoms are pretty much the same since I posted this. However, the burning in my shin has changed to burning followed by intermittent sharp pain (sometimes bad enough to make me jump) that last a few seconds then goes away. Also, I've noticed that my hands are shaking somewhat, more my left than right. I guess I have a few weeks to research stuff before my appointment. Thanks again for the feedback.

James
(Is that better, Dave?)


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