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Awaiting diagnosis whilst pregnant

Hi all,

I’m new to this site and would like to share my story and would be interested in any advice you may have.

I first woke up with shooting pains in my right arm back in December 2011. The shooting pain lasted for a 24hour period, with general altered feeling and numbness lasting for a further two or three days. I struggled to use my arm during this time. At the time I put it put it down to a trapped nerve and was glad when it went and could return to normal.

I didn’t think anything of it until June 2012 when exactly the same thing happened and I awoke with shooting pains in my right arm. Pain killers wouldn’t touch the pain and again it lasted for a 24 hour period and then passed. At this point, I thought I should go to my GP – who asked me a few questions and then referred me to the neurologist. I was surprised at the time that this was the first step but pleased that the GP was looking into it.

Unfortunately, due to hospital waiting times I had to wait until December 2012 to be seen by the neurologist. During the time waiting I experienced the same shooting pain several times and my arm had seemingly stopped going back to ‘normal’ after the event and I started getting pain in my shoulder as well, cold hands and sensitive to extremes of temperatures, numbness (like I have been holding something that had been vibrating for a long while) and a general tightness or ‘altered’ feeling in my right arm.

I eventually attended the neurologist appointment in December. The doctor tested by strength and all was fine apart from a slightly weaker right thumb. I was referred for an EMG and also an MRI scan. The EMG I was told on the day was fine and that there was nothing causing problems in my lower arm nerves. I had to wait three months for my follow-up appointment to get the tests of the MRI scan.

When I attended the follow-up appointment in April to get the results I was told that the MRI had evidence of lesions and they wished to do a repeat MRI scan of the brain and spine. At the time she said there could be lots of causes for this of which one of them could be MS. I informed the doctor at this point that I was trying for baby and was advised that if I have already conceived that may not be able to do the scan but may be able to do the lumbar puncture.

A couple of weeks later I discovered that I was actually pregnant and informed the hospital. On a further appointment the senior neurologist told me that his advice would be not to complete the MRI or the lumbar puncture at this time as even if they did diagnose something they would in all likelihood monitor me for a year before deciding on treatment as I can’t take any medication whilst pregnant, there wasn’t any need to push through for a diagnosis. I thought this was sensible, sound advice and although the pain is not always nice and when the shooting pain comes back it is extremely painful. By and large I have learnt to live with the pain and altered feeling in my arm. It is just a part of my life and how I feel.

Overall, I am feeling very lucky. I have a wonderful partner and family and am looking forward to all the good things that I have to look forward. Yes, there is a small question mark over what is causing the problems I have but I feel confident that I what I have I can deal with the support network I have and my problems are managable. I certainly haven’t experienced any visual disturbances (apart from one occasion which I have been told sounded like a floater and not connected).

My question is mainly whether anyone has any advice on what can I be doing to ease the pain in the interim (bearing in mind I of course cannot be definitive on what is causing it.)

Thanks for your help!

The only thing I can recommend from my own experience of both being pregnant and being a holistic practitioner is Reiki. This is completely harmless and lovely for the developing baby as well. I’ve had shiatsu (having another session in a couple of weeks, yay!), acupuncture, Bowen Technique and reflexology, all of which have helped me through various things both during and after pregnancy. Look into other complementary therapies and see what feels right for you. Wishing you all the best ~♡~

Thanks Reikiblossom,

That is really helpful. I will see what practioners are around me. I did have someone come round the other week to give me a pregnancy massage as the pain was constantly there and it helped loads.

Interestingly, although there was a lot of pain on my right hand side and was the area giving me the most problems. She said I was more knotty on my left hand side. In your experience, would this be normal of MS-type symptoms?

Thanks again for your help and kind words.