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Feeling desperate

Hi all,

Saw yet another neuro last week that told me all my symptoms are caused by anxiety and that my neurological examination was normal.

Here are my symptoms:

Muscle twitches all over body

Sharp stabbing pains

Fluttering left eardrum

White circle in left eye at night when turning over

Choking on saliva and difficulty swallowing dry goods

Numb itchy patches

Hyperreflexia

Extreme fatigue

Tremor when pouring drinks

Electrical type waves of feeling on skin

Strange shaped goose pimples.

In addition, an MRI I had four years ago showed a few small white spots, which I was told were non specific without symptoms (why did they think I was there?)

He has booked me in for another MRI which is great, but it’s just the attitude I’m so fed up of. Sitting here right now I have a pain in my outer left thigh and a fluttering of the muscles on the right side of my ribs.

I’m trying to get going with a new business, but sitting here this morning I feel like the mountain is too hard to climb.

Lisa x

Good morning Lisa, that’s quite a list of stuff! I get why you are concerned given the previous symptoms and the small white spots from a previous MRI. A fresh MRI may make things clearer for you and the fact that the neurologist has referred you is obviously a good thing, the proof of the pudding and all that…You can always tactfully request a 2nd opinion. There could be many reasons why any person explains things in a different way to what a person wants/expects. They are not all negative and we are not always right! After an entire career working in psychiatry the symptoms you list can indeed be allied to anxiety, albeit extreme, but I appreciate why you want more info to work with. It must be hard to avoid feeling fobbed off even though you may not be of course. I am not qualified to pass judgement on anyone’s motivations or their reasons for reaching any conclusion. It sounds, quite reasonably, that you will not settle easily for anything less than a categoric. Typically neither anxiety nor MS contain any of these. An MRI scan however shows only facts and it seems you will have these soon enough. In the mean time formulating your own conclusions in the absence of these can only cause you more angst. On the brighter side for 4 years to pass without further need for an MRI has to be a good sign. Between my first MRI and now over 30 years has passed with pretty much nothing happening between times. NOTHING is set in stone with either MS or anxiety and you need facts not supposition. You also have reasons with work etc to be anxious. I’m only avoiding frank reassurance because this is typically only beneficial for between 4-6 seconds after which it becomes pointless! Let me know how you get on. All the best Jem

Hello Lisa

The neurologist conducts a physical examination which does tend to identify neurological problems. They check your reflexes and reactions with a variety of tests. When the results of these tests don’t appear to show that you have neurological causes for your symptoms, they say that your examination is ‘normal’.

This may not reflect your ongoing symptoms, but the tests are generally fairly reliable. Just to be certain, he is at least getting another MRI scan done.

Your earlier MRI may have had spots showing up, but these were presumably not demonstrative of any demyelinating condition (which MS is).

It sounds as if the doctors you’ve seen don’t have particularly good interpersonal skills. Their attitudes don’t seem to show any real concern about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. This is possibly due to the fact that your neurological exam doesn’t show any obvious neurological problems. And of course, neither did your previous MRI scan.

And it is possible that anxiety could have caused some of the symptoms you have, or in fact that it’s not a neurological condition, but something else is going on in your body. Of course the neurologist is only going to be able to comment on the tests they conduct and backed up by clinical data (ie the MRI scan from 4 years ago and the one you will soon have).

If, as the neurologist seems to think likely, your scan doesn’t show up any neurological abnormalities, then you may need to be referred to a different specialist. It is still possible that your symptoms have a physical cause, even if it’s not neurological.

Best of luck.

Sue

Thank you Sue and and Jem xxx