MS or anxiety? Help me...

So heres my story…apologies if this is long. Im a 29 y/o male. Usually well. Suffer from eczema/mild asthma and times IBS though this is rare since i cut out meat. Around a month or two ago i started to notice numbness in my fingers - at first this was always in my little and ring fingers. This was mainly on the left but occasionally on the right and i would mainly notice it whilst lying down in bed or driving. On Monday morning (15th Feb) my son was born. I hadn’t slept much that weekend and as a result felt pretty fatigued. I started to notice a bit of blurred vision. I wasnt overly concerned at first as i have always had some problems with vision (astigmatism) which required surgery many years ago.

On Tuesday evening i started to notice an ache in my right eye - by Wednesday day this had become quite a painful feeling…especially when i moved my eye around. After googling my symptoms i then began to panic. I had no direct visual problems with the left eye…when i closed my left eye the vision wasnt blurred, i had no spots and the colours did not change. I decided to see my GP but had to wait until the next day. That evening was awful - i felt that i was developing new symptoms…frequency in urination, tingling across the rest of my hands and arms and muscle twitching when trying to sleep. Was very short of breath and breathing very shallow with a constant knot in my stomach. I laid awake panicking all night (although i was awake anyway with a screaming baby!).

Saw the Dr Thursday morning who listened to all my symptoms and told me she found it ‘highly unlikely i have MS’. She performed a few tests with a tendon hammer and a fundoscopy (which she said was fine) and told me she thought i had trapped/irritated ulnar nerves (i do sleep weirdly and have on occasion had a shooting pain in my elbow when i lean on them??), eye strain from fatigue and sleep deprivation and health anxiety disorder. She me to go away and come back if the symptoms worsened. We discussed medications but i decided not to accept at this point.

The next few days were hellish. I had a hot bath and panicked as it seemed to increase tingling in my fingers and made the soles of my feet itch. I stupidly googled everything about the tests te Dr performed and found that fundoscopy isnt that reliable a test for optic neuritis unless inflammation is near the optic disc…i was back to square one. Constant anxiety and dread about a potential diagnosis - especially when my partner has just given birth! I felt new symptoms all the time - tingling in my feet, weakness in my arms, jerking/tightening of muscles (mainly in my legs when trying to sleep) cold sensations in my thighs/groin (mainly when i stood up from a seating position), numb lips, a continued urge to urinate, a hoarse, dry and ‘strained’ throat and a times a ringing in the ears.

Sunday night i was terrible…numbness in hands and arms and constant jerking when trying to sleep. I felt almost hot. One morning i had a terrible bout of abdominal cramping and yellowish, mucus stool. I was trying to rationalise everything all the time…having ups and downs…i even started planning how i was going to provide care for myself in the future! I spent hours if not days trawling page after page of symptoms and management and drug trials. I even got my critical illness policy out! So - two appoinments on Monday 22nd - Opticians to investigate eye strain and Drs for new symptoms.

The Opticians performed another fundoscopy (all fine) and a visual field test (also fine). I had a new prescription for glasses but this was to correct double visiom associated with my astigmatism. Then the Dr in the evening. Again. A new one this time. Halfway through explaining all of the above she said ‘MS doesnt usually pressent this way - especially at your age’. She rationalised alot of what i was feeling as hyperventilation caused by constant anxiety. I asked if a neurological opiniom would be wise but she wouldn’t even entertain the idea saying given the many different symptoms, the randomness of them all within such a short-time frame and my obvious, rather debilitatimag worry that this was nearly certainly anxiety induced and the referral would be bounced back.

Sent home with no referral but a prescription for Sertraline & Propanolol for flare-ups. Ive got to go back in 3 weeks for a check up. I took one of each as soon as i got home! I had a shower and laid on the bed. I felt no tingling anywhere - not even my fingers. My breathing was calm. The only symptom still persisting was my need for the loo. I felt reassured…temporarily. As i write this i still have some doubts. I experienced a constant dull ache in my right calf overnight then suddenly came on as i attempted to doze. It became a slight numbness then sort of went. If i tense my leg i still feel it but its not constant anymore.

At the moment - after taking propanolol - i feel my breathing is calm. I have some mild tingling in my little fingers and my feet feel ‘cold’…not much else. I had one big ‘jerk’ of my body when literally about to drift off at one point. The symptoms in my eye appear to habe improved too - the pain is much less frequent and from what i can tell i still have no new visual issues…the blurring is eradicated with my glasses Ive also noticed this morning my numbness in my little/ring finger on the left side but if i lift my arm into the air (and relieve pressure of my arm) i feel the sensation return. Is that typical of MS?

Over the course of the week i have felt some fatigue (but ive barely eaten and had very little sleep) and from what i can ascertain in my jumble of a brain ive had no issues with Coordination or ‘weakness’ in my legs…only ‘cramps’. Went for a walk around the city yesterday and felt Ok. What are peoples thoughts? This has literally taken over the week that my son entered the world :frowning:

Apologies this is in a block…i did put x2 lines inbetween paragraphs?! Mut.

I am sure that you are doing your best to put your own worries to the back of your mind and concentrate your time and love and energy on your partner and your new child. Looking after them can’t wait. Most other things can.

Good luck.


Stress, anxiety, and sleep deprivation are funny things. I can remember after our first babe was born, waking up in the night to find my husband standing over me, trying to change my nappy in his sleep (I wasn’t wearing one, honestly!). He would spend nights looking after his ‘phantom baby’, and then struggle to cope with work and his real baby during the day.

We now have 3 beautiful children, and he very quickly became a fantastic dad (although, obviously, I’ll never let him forget his phantom child).

Having a baby doesn’t last very long; they’ve grown legs & learnt how to stamp their feet before you know it. I would enjoy every second you spend with your son for now. From here on in, it’s all about him.

I would trust the doctors for a couple of months, and see how things are once your son is more settled in life.



hi mutleylarf

first of all - stop googling your symptoms! this creates more worry and fear.

give yourself a break - you are sleep deprived and your life is having a major upheaval.

you are obviously concerned about all the glitches you are finding in your body but please put ms out of your mind.

each glitch/symptom should be looked at in isolation and maybe then you will see that nothing sinister is going on.

each one can be treated if causing too many problems.

you have already had your sight problem resolved.

i have a 29 year old son and he is having mental health problems at the moment and is on the psychiatric ward of our local hospital.

(i’m just saying this because there are ages in life when you feel that nothing will go wrong now which isn’t the case).

enjoy your baby

carole x

I think the best thing you can do during the three weeks before you go back and see your doctor is try to relax and reduce the anxiety and stress that you are experiencing. Symptoms of any illness are made worse by lack of sleep and stress and unfortunately the more anxious you feel the higher the possibility that you will experience symptoms directly caused by stress. It’s a vicious circle.

Keep a diary of the symptoms you experience so that you have a timeline you can show the doctor when you go to the next appointment (I am also doing this at the moment). Stay off google - we all do it but it’s the road to more worry. Focus on your new baby - those early months are magical so don’t miss them because you are worrying. Both yourself and your partner also need to make sure you eat well and rest well. It sounds like your doctor is taking you seriously and trying their best to help so you should try to feel reassured by that. In the meantime look after your wellbeing and enjoy your son.

Julie x

Hi. I have been through worrying I have ms and I did not have it. I do have 'symptoms’but they are anxiety related. Please try not to worry, I doubt you have ms.