I’m not sure where else to go… My question is… Did anyone have severe migraine like headaches as first signs of MS? My headaches are like zapping lightening storms behind one eye and dull ache from back of skull to forehead… Headache stayed for 2 months. Some back-story… I am 37 years old and I have been having sensations that are confusing me. It all started when I had an episode of virtigo. I didn’t have a GP yet so I went to a clinic I knew was accepting patients and got myself all signed up and met with the GP. I requested my medical records from my previous clinic in another city be faxed over. I described the world spinning that morning. Me crawling on the floor and vomitting. After 3 hours sleep I still felt off balance. He said it was vertigo. Gave me some pills. Referred me to a physiotherapist. During physio my physiotherapist kept asking if I was SURE i hadn’t hit my head??? Like sure sure because my eyes were doing funny things that he usually saw in concussion patients. He told me to go do a follow up with my GP and tell him that they were going to recommend I see an opthamologist because my eyes were acting odd. He said he would also send a letter to my GP. So off to my GP I went with this new info. But before I even said anything it was clear my new GP had read my file and saw that 5 years ago I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression… So 7 years ago I had my first baby. I had postpartum. I avoided seeing a doctor about it until I finally broke down and saw one. I went to therapy and I sorted through it. That was 5 years ago. It sits there on my file now… Forever… I did a bunch of CBT work and created an action plan for managing my depression and anxiety. Anyway. Just looking at him when he walked in I could tell that he had read my file. His entire demeanor toward me had changed. I explained what my physiotherapist said and I told him that ever since my vertigo episode I had had a headache that wouldn’t go away. Without a physical exam he said it was a migraine. I told him I had migraines in the past and this felt different… He had me sit on the little bed and half heartedly flashed a light in my eyes and repeated… Migraine… Then prescribed me migraine pills. My husband was with me and he could tell I was mad because the doctor didnt even look at me. So he asked how the doctor was so sure and he just said “gut feeling”. My husband asked about the ophamologist and he said no because they wouldn’t find anything wrong with me. Getting no where we left. About two weeks later my right arm went numb. I figured I slept on it funny but it didnt go away and so I bypassed my new doctor and went to emergency. The doctor there did some tests and said it sounded like ms. He told me to keep track of my symptoms and he was referring me to a neurologist. I started tracking my symptoms… When my arm was numb. How long. How was my headache? Where was my headache? Severity of pain (it never went away… It was always lingering in the background). After weeks of symptom monitoring I became anxious and I started thinking every twitch, pain etc. was a big deal. I started having panic attacks and eventually went to see my GP again to request some time off work. I had 2 weeks until my neuro appointment and I needed to get a grip on my anxiety. I was honest and said that I was aware that my anxiety was likly causing some if not all of the new symptoms. I just needed time to settle myself down. He laughed and told me that there is nothing wrong with me and that I was “shopping” for a doctor. He said it was all anxiety. First he offerred me anti-depressants. I declined because I don’t need to be on medication I just need sone time to focus and regroup like they taught me in therapy. He agreed to give me a two week sick leave and lectured me about how taking time off was making it harder for me to cope and that I would likely never return to work if I took more time off. Now I was mad, but I know me better than he does and I know that I would return to work. So I took the time. I used the the weeks to really evaluate what was happening. I wrote down the detail about my vertigo, headaches and numb arm which were the main symptoms that were never changing (or were the first in a series of events i.e. vertigo only occurred twice in months). By the time I saw the neurologist it had been over two months since my arm went numb, but now I was feeling better. I had occasional numb arm at night when sleeping only. My headache seemed to have gone away after 2 months with only the occasional brain zap/jolt occurring now. The neurologist asked me a few questions and I described as best I could the symptoms. Then she did a few neuro tests for sensation, reflexes, etc. She said everything was normal, but has requested that I do an MRI. She said she doesn’t think it is MS because it doesn’t present as a headache. She also said since my symptoms have gone away then I should just move on with life unless it comes back. I am now waiting to do an MRI. I have no idea what has caused all these issues and I have my fingers crossed that the MRI is clean. But back to my question… Did anyone have headaches at the beginning? These three things vertigo, headaches and numb arm seem like an odd collection of symptoms especially with nothing showing up on the neuro physical. I am beginning to think I will never know what caused these things. Thanks!
Hi If you can, don’t go to that doctor again, I had depression and had CBT, it worked for me but the doctors in the surgery treat me just the same as before. It sucks if you have no confidence with a doctor. I went to one and I made sure that I never went to that one again, he was wrong in my diagnoses. I went to a different doctor and he listened and did a second blood test which came back as positive for an underactive thyroid. At least you are getting an MRI which will help you and the neurologist a step closer for finding what’s happening to you. Sorry I can’t help you with anything more. Kay
My brother had this severe headache and vertigo was vomiting with it. He had labyrinthitis really bad. It lasted 4 weeks the first two he was hardly out of bed.
I am surprised they didnt even look at that. It could have been a viral infection. the eye thing, well not sure what that was about, but it really ticks me off when they put everything down to depression or anxiety.
i was 25 living in Hong kong i had the worse pain in my upper right quadrant, it was awful, i was diagnosed with anxiety and depression because i was living there with my army husband with 2 children. 2 years i suffered. when i got back to the uk my father dragged me to the doctor as i was so ill, and they found a huge gall stone and i nearly died because it had infected my gall bladder. TWO years of hell being told it was anxiety and depression.
YOU know your own body, you realised some of it was anxiety. If you dont feel right then you know something went on. I would for now get your MRI done, and see how you go. keep a diary around in case anything else happens.
It may be you were hit by a virus. But i dont think for one minute it was just down to anxiety hun. xxx
That doctor is an @rse (sorry moderators, but he is!). I would certainly change doctors if I were you. I know some people do ‘shop’ for doctors, someone who will go along with a self diagnosis. But that absolutely doesn’t sound like what you’ve been doing.
And as for your having had post partum depression and the doctor relating everything to that, what nonsense. Surely a reasonable doctor can tell the difference between depression and genuine physical symptoms/illness?
I’ve had headaches for years. Sometimes right behind my eye, sometimes further back in my head. I had nasty headaches simultaneously with my period for years, but am now past menopause so my bad headaches now are unrelated to menstrual cycles. I just have days on end when I swallow lots of painkillers, the headaches sometimes go, then come back. And then I’ll have days without headaches. But they always come back.
I have no idea if they are related to my MS. It’s possible, but equally likely not.
It’s a good thing now that you’ve been able to see a neurologist, and are having an MRI. A good neurologist can tell whether your physical signs indicate that MS is likely, so it’s quite probable that she’s right, and it’s not MS. But the MRI will help to be certain of that.
Some people do suffer with random symptoms for years, then they either stop by themselves, or a cause is found. I hope yours stop and don’t recur. Failing that, hopefully there’s some nice easy answers for you.
Best of luck.
Hi Yvonne, That doctor sounds good; I don’t think. You can always ask for a referral to another, but this does take time. In the real World, there should be no need for this; but I suggest you go private; just for your initial appointment. No referral necessary; cost about £300; all further treatment, drugs and hospitalisation if needed have on the NHS. Don’t jump out the frying pan; you don’t want to get another [removed by moderator]; ask on here if anyone can recommend a Neurologist in your area. It could be; as others have said; not MS. Look at this http://aps-support.org.uk/ it’s a complaint that has the same symptoms as MS but can cause bad; constant headaches. Good luck George