I’d like to apologize beforehand and hope I am not wasting anyone’s time. I am sure there are a lot of people out there who are worse off than I am. I am just very worried and looking for someone to talk to. I feel like some people don’t understand and definitely not my GP. I know what I am experiencing could have hundreds of causes but for some reason I am worried about MS (Thank you Dr. Google)
I am a 46 year old male and the last 2 months have been very, very dark for me but I need to take you back a bit further.
In October 2016 I became unwell during a meeting. Not sure what happened but I thought I was getting a heart attack. I had spaced out feeling in the head and strange sensation in the head. Off to A & E and they did some tests but no heart damage indicated. In the end they put it down to stress. I have to admit that I definitely been affected by work stress since 2011 and to add to that I have a 2 year old (at that time) running around at home. Did not have had decent sleep for as long as I can remember.
Fast forward to November 2017… I went biking as I do every week but took it reasonably easy. Got unwell and the feeling was very similar to what happened the year before. I was scared but recognised the feeling and let it pass. Did two intensive rides over the next few weeks without a single problem.
Mid December I was at work. No stress counting and counting down for x-mas party. During morning tea I started feeling spaced out and that familiar feeling that gave me tight neck, shoulder, left hand side of chest , sore arm and tingling hand hit me. Tried to walk it off so the speak but it only got worse and was taken to A&E. I recall being very tired and difficult to speak although I was clear and showed no obvious signs of stroke.
Once I made it to A & E things got better. They did the usual tests. ECG, X-Ray of chest and head etc. No sign of damage.
However, doctor wanted to refer me to neurology because of tingling in my left hand and no signs of discomfort in right hand side. She wanted to rule out TIA. Other than than that she told me to carry on. I asked specifically about biking as I was worried that it could be heart related.
3 days later I went on a bike ride. Nothing out of the ordinary but I did feel apprehensive before the start due to the events that happened earlier in the week. Half-way through ride I started to have issues. Same old feeling in neck, shoulder, chest, arm and hand tingling. Took it easy for reminder of ride but was quite anxious after. When I was driving home I had a sudden and sever onset of tingling in both arms followed by tingling in chest (from left to right) as well as in my head. Although not painful it felt like my head was about to explode. Since I was closer to A & E than home I decided to go there instead of home. I was very tired and breathless when I got there. The tingling symptoms wore off soon after. They did the usual test and although no sign of heart damage this doctor wanted to check into it further and was going to refer me to cardiology. She did not seem worried about my head.
A day later I felt slight tingling in fingers and toes in both hands and feet. Did not think much about it at first but over the next few days this tingling, which is really a crawling or buzzing feeling, moved to the bottom of my feet. It has been there since then, 7 weeks now. Although I have tingling in both my hands that may have started somewhat later. Could it really be that the above was anxiety and has caused persistent tingling?
Things went downhill from there. I started looking into family history regards heart problems and while googling “tingling” I noticed that MS always popped up. At this stage I was still more concerned about heart issues. It sent me into a bad space and over the next few weeks I had a fair share of panic attacks and spent many days locked up in my room. I have no previous history of anxiety or did not feel it anyway. However I think not knowing what was happening made things worse.
On New Years Eve I had a bad day and late afternoon the tightness in my chest did not go away so my wife took me back to A & E. I explained all the above and since again there was no issue with the heart the doctor said that because of the tingling she wanted to refer me to neurology and get me checked for MS. She said it is more likely to be anxiety than MS. As I was aware of MS already, and even though I did not mention it to her, it did freak me out more. She recommended to go to my GP and discuss going on anti-anxiety meds to see if it helped the tingling at all.
Went to my GP and explained it all and even though he could not be sure he was swaying towards anxiety. I was given paxil 20 mg. The next few days where absolute hell. Aside from the terrible headaches I started to experience things that are similar to MS symptoms such as loss of balance, vision problems, etc. Freaked me out even more. However all of these were short lived.
One symptom I found extremely strange was chills. I have always slept on my belly and when I turned over I got a chill radiating from my spine. This stopped soon after quitting paxil. As I did not notice any difference in tingling I gave up on Paxil after 3 weeks.
During this time I went for another easy bike ride and got into serious trouble. I got chest pain and a rapidly dropping heartbeat.
Again the same tests but nothing found and doctor reckoned muscular or anxiety.
During my last GP visit a blood test was done and on of the items tested was B12 deficiency. I know that a lack of B12 could cause tingling. My number was 284 and nurse said this was pretty good (Scale in NZ being 190 - 800). However some Australian and Japanese research has indicated that the scales are way too low and that people with higher numbers can have neurological symptoms. I decided to start taking some B complex (pills) and B12 (drops 50 mcg) supplements anyway.
It has been less than a week but it seems like the tingling has shifted somewhat. It feels that it sits more between toes and on top of feet and somewhat up th shin. Also noticed yesterday a rash like feeling on stomach and back. On top of that I feel I have more cracking joints and visible twitching
I am not sure what to make of this. I have had no pain or weakness so far. Done a few rides lately and other than feeling somewhat apprehensive and lack of fitness it seems to be fine. Definitely not fatigued. We just had the hottest January on record where I live with temperatures going into 30’s and I feel this did not cause me any problems. Actually I recall a few occasions where being out in the sun made feel better. I am just stuck with this perfectly symmetrical tingling in hands and feet.
Off to neurologist this week…
Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Needed to get my feelings and thoughts out and any advice welcome