Doctors suspect MS

Hi, This is my first post on here :slight_smile: Please accept my apologies in advance for any errors or blunders I may make while typing this in :slight_smile:

I am writing on here because I am concerned about symptoms I have been experiencing for few months.

I am 30 years old, a dad and husband to my beautiful family, an athsmatic and an ex-smoker (bad idea with athsma right :confused: quit back in dec last year, only smoked for a year and a half). Back in feb time I went to the doctors with some persistent aching near my shoulder bladesand feeling exhausted all the time, of which I went to get checked out as I was concerned about the possibilties of lung problems from smoking, despite it being only for a relatively short time.

The doctor did a full range of bloodwork and it came back I had an abnormal c-reactive protein level, the rest of the bloods were fine. They asked me to go back for a repeat bloodwork on that c-reactive protein test to verify, and came back ‘in-range’. Doc seemed happy, so I chalked I left it and carried on as normal.

I then in March started to have severe bowel pain generally worse in the morning and better on movement, that was very sharp and intense, along with slow digestion (feeling as though food was sitting in my stomach for ages and not moving on). Went back to doctors and he did an internal examination of my rectum and said there was no lumps or bumps, or protruding piles and that it was reasurring to him to not find that, he said it could be an anal fissure, so he prescribed fybogel to try to soften the stools and said it should heal with time, and to go back in a few weeks if pain persisted.

I used the fybogel religiously and found it didn’t improve the bowel pain symptoms, however the digestive transit was improved with the fybogel. I went back to see the doctor, and he said he felt it was IBS, and to continue on with the fybogel, he said the pain could be chronic anal fissure or related to the IBS.

I have lived and worked on since, and please forgive me for listing the full history of the medical stuff this year, but I though it was best to have everything down, sorry for the long read.

Now this is the bit I am truly concerned with, I noticed over the past few months when walking to work my two smallest toes on my right foot, were going numb on occasion, usually when walking to work, I chalked it up to my shoes being tight (altho they were fide fitting) or the cold, but thought it strange it was usually constrained to those two toes. I ignored this and carried on as normal, and then I noticed within a short time a vague numb feeling in/on the front of my forehead, this wasn’t too bad to start but gradually increased to encompass the front top of my head as well. During this time I had gradually been feeling more fatigued and with some difficulty lifting things.

It came to a head one morning when I woke up and my wife noticed my speech was slurred and I had weakness in my right side, she called an ambulance and in A and E the doctor did his examinations, I had weakness in my right side compared to my left and my reflexes were non responsive on my right side arm and leg. The doctor said he thought I have had a small stroke and arranged a CT scan, I was moved to the stroke ward and admitted.

I had the CT scan and it showed no bleed on the brain so they arranged a MRI because they said a bleed on the brain sometimes shows up clearer on this. I went and had this done and they came back to me and asked if I ever had any problem with my vision, to which I said I hadn’t, they said on the mri they found some white spots or lesions on the brain although they looked like old spots to the doctor, and wanted to do a lumbar puncture to test for ms among other pathologies. I also told them about a burning pain in my spine that I had been having, aching and weakness in my hands and arms, and pain and stiffness in my hands and fingers and joints along with muscle twitches around my body.

I consented to the lumbar puncture, and after a somewhat awkward and painful lumbar puncture I rested as instructed. I found I was sleeping loads in hospital and not feeling refreshed, the day after the lumbar puncture I found my voice was very hoarse and weak and I had a bad headache (which they said was common with a lumbar puncture) my walking was also unsteady, I had nubmness in my groin and hips which they said should pass, but I felt terrible. Over the course of the day the numbness spread to my upper body, the doctor looked confused at this and said it could be nerve irritation from the lumbar puncture.

I was told they were scheduling a potenital evoked visual reponse test in a different hospital and was discharged from hospital, pending results, and told to go back in a couple of months.

On getting home I found it difficult to do anything, felt so weak, voice kept going hoarse and weak and struggled to do the most basic tasks, my arms and hands felt weak and painful and it took me 2 weeks of rest and some natural supplements to get me back on my feet again.

I was finding that tiredness could hit at any time and my energy levels would drop. I was also suffering from brain fog, headaches, leg cramps, muscle twitches along with the other problems with weakness.

I returned to work on light duties on reduced hours, and am only just managing, some days to get through the work day.

I went back to the consultant at the hospital and he said that my evoked visual test came back okay, he asked me if I had any stress in my life and I said generally no apart from these irritating symptoms and he said that he wanted me to see a clinical psychologist, and get some joint tests, he said there was no pathology to my condition, and I have to go back in three months.

I am now at waiting for the test dates and appointment with the psychologist. I am progressivley feeling weaker and fumble with small change and objects in my hands, and keep dropping things. I have lost weight in my hands I feel like there is a lump or something stuck in my throat that feels strange after eating or drinking and my voice keeps going hoarse and weak, my fingers look gaunt and seem to have lost muscle around the palm of my hand and fingers. I am concerned this is something like ms. Can anyone please give me some advice ?

Hello and welcome to the site

I don’t have much time right now, but did want to say that I’m not sure what the neurologist is on about there being “no pathology to your condition” - what are those lesions then?!

As far as being able to tell if they are old or not, well, let’s just say that I would be extremely unconvinced by anything that a neuro said about the age of lesions. It is normally very difficult to tell this without previous scans to compare them to - and a lot of neuros don’t really know much about MRI!

The “nerve irritation” theory does not strike me as terribly convincing either. Why would a lumbar puncture irritate any nerves if it had been done in the proper location? - it definitely would not cause numbness in the upper body!

Basically, I wouldn’t have a lot of faith in the doctors treating me if I were you. The comment about stress and the clinical psychologist referral makes it sound like they are thinking along the lines of a “functional neurological disorder” or psychologically-induced disorder. Doing this without explaining those lesions seems like a major cop out to me and I would be pushing for a second neurological opinion instead if I were you.

Is it MS? Possibly, but it could be a whole load of other things too, some of which are treatable. Hopefully the LP result will help narrow things down, but in the meantime please rest lots and be kind to yourself.

Karen x