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Limbo-land? Advice

Hello. I was wondering if anyone could offer me some advice or help in anyway. I am a 27 year old male and I have been experiencing some MS-like symptoms on and off for two years now. It all started in June 2012, after a weekend long binge in Liverpool, when I began experiencing fatigue, foggy-mindedness and abnormal sensations all over my body. The doctors fobbed it off as a hangover and then afterwards my eyesight began to deteriorate and a lymphnode on the back of neck became swollen. My GP was concerned and sent me for a myriad of tests for cancer, etc but everything came back negative. For about six months, off and on I experienced these symptoms which the GP thought could be stress related due to the cancer scare. After much reluctance my GP sent me for an MRI in April 2013 and I had a neurologist explain that everything looked normal, apart from a probelm with balance, which, if I’m honest, has always been a bit of a problem. After this I entered a period of depression and anxiety, which I am still being treated for, and the MS-like symptoms wore off. This brings me to this year. At the end of May I contracted a virus which gave me a nasty cough and the cough has lingered up until now. I have smoked for two years and have recently given up as it was aggravating the cough. My GP has sent me for a chest x-ray and blood tests in relation to the cough and as a result, the MS-like symptoms are back and have been present since Monday. I feel as though I should also list my symtpoms: Foggy vision, foggy mind, confusion, muscle tightness, burning and tingling sensations, fatigue (not severe, just more tired than usual), having to concentrate on walking, the feeling as if my coordination and balance are wavering although when I test them they seem fine, and problems with my bladder. Over the past few years I have felt like such a hypochondriac going back and forth to the GP, especially since before that I was hardly ever there. I want to push my GP for another referral and hopefully get an MRI but I know that sometimes it is hard to get a straight diagnosis. I can’t help read every piece of literature on MS and it’s really driving me mad. I’m the sort of person who would rather know and deal with something, than let it linger and wait and see. ANy advice would be excellent, thank you.

hi os

see your optician about your foggy vision, if the optician notice something untoward he/she will refer you to opthalmology.

well done on stopping smoking. i smoke and get hangovers even with my dx of ms and my advanced years!

i bought a wii with the wii fit and balance board when awaiting my diagnosis.

it really helps with balance and shows if your centre of gravity isn’t right.

you can self refer to the bladder clinic or your gp can refer you. worth a visit because they can really help.

there are certain medications that your gp can prescribe which are also used by people with ms.

these are gabapentin, which should ease the burning feeling.

amitriptyline which is an anti depressant but is also used for neuropathic pain - this makes me drowsy so don’t take it if you are driving anywhere. i take mine at bed time.

i really hope that you haven’t got ms but i hope that you get some answers soon.

carole x

Hi, the best advice I can give is for you to go back to your GP & ask to be refered to a neuro. Please don’t feel like you’re making a fuss about your symptoms, if it happens to be MS, & it might not be, the symptoms are notoriously difficult to pin down. I think you need to start the ball rolling now as it may take a while for the neuro to collect all the results of the tests he will need you to have before a possible diagnosis could be given. Sorry to say that even then a straight foward dx may not happen, it can take a long time. In the meantime keep a diary of all your symptoms & when they have happened, you’ll find this very benefical to show your neuro.

Hope this has helped & try not to worry, it may make you symptoms worse.

Good luck!

Rosina x

Hi, thanks for all the advice and well-wishing! I’m going to the doctors on Monday to report for a smoking cessation clinic so I’ll be sure to make an appointment to get my referral. I’m hoping that these two events are isolated and are the results of stress/anxiety and not MS. My father suffers from anxiety and repeatedly gets headaches and abnormal sensations so I’m thinking it could be hereditary (I’m aware that MS is only 5% more likely to passed down and he hasn’t been diagnosed with that). Just like the smoking I’ll have to take it a day at a time and look forward to plans with my other half and friends instead of worrying so much. Thank you again!

Re heredity: for what’s it’s worth, I think that that a tendency towards anxiety breeds truer than MS by a very long way!

Good luck with finding out what is the matter, and good luck with the stopping smoking too - it’s tough, but it’s so worth it.

Alison