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No diagnosis, odd health issues: feeling anxious

Hi folks, I’m new here and I don’t know that I necessarily have MS, but I’ve been feeling fairly worried and confused :frowning: I’m 27 years old, trying (struggling!) to finish my Master’s degree and for the last few months I’ve been having various health issues which I didn’t suspect could be connected until lately. It’s entirely likely that I’ve turned hypochondriacal over it by now, I have to say the anxiety over my MSc and a recent breakup combined with the health stuff has had me looking for answers everywhere. Still, I suppose it can’t hurt to talk about things, right?

Firstly, a few months ago, I experienced some shooting pains down the underside of my arm and into my fingers, combined with seemingly random weakness of grip in my right hand. At the time, I chalked it off to carpal tunnel syndrome, although I did have some milder symptoms in my non-dominant hand too. This seemed to abate by itself after a time so I didn’t think about it again until recently when I started to experience similar pains in my 4th and 5th fingers of both hands (not median nerve related?), which is still ongoing albeit highly intermittent.

I’ve also been having increasingly frequent bouts of cramp for the last 6 months or so, particularly in my calf muscles upon waking or standing (and, erm, whilst being intimate - which is pretty blooming unwelcome!) but also in my feet and hands. I’ve recently lost almost 4 stone yet I’m feeling achier now from mild physical activity than when I was very overweight. I’d suspected that a potassium deficiency might be a culprit (thanks to my low-carb diet), but blood tests have indicated that my electrolyte levels are normal. In addition I’ve been really exhausted most days, despite not being hugely physically active. I don’t necessarily think this is related and it’s pretty likely to correspond to my general state of anxiety which has been causing sleep issues. I also suffer from depression and it could be down to that.

About 5 weeks ago I developed a flashing light in the left-centre of my visual field which didn’t go away when I closed my left eye. My first thought was that it was an incoming migraine so I ran off home to lie down in a darkened room. No headache ever came and the flashing was still there in the morning. I found it weird but seemingly persistent aura is something that can affect some people so I left it a few days before going to the doctor. She instructed me to go immediately to the emergency eye hospital, suspecting a detached retina, but their investigations found no physical issue with either of my eyes. The flashing light still hasn’t abated, weeks later and I’ve developed further symptoms. There’s an extremely bright moving light (like paint dripping down a wall?) down the very lefthand side of my vision that’s highly intermittent, and I’m seeing a dark hallucination in the same area as the flashing light for the first 10 seconds to around a minute upon waking. It started off looking a bit like a hairball surrounded by small moving insects but more recently I’ve started to discern letters among the bugs. I’ve also been bruising a LOT more easily than normal, with big yellow bruises appearing seemingly out of nowhere and yet, the other week when the ceiling fell in on me (yup.), it didn’t bruise.

I’ve been back and forth to the GP since the hospital ruled out a physical problem with my eye and my blood tests have ruled out most things including hypoglycemia, thyroid problems, abnormalities with my clotting factors and pregnancy. The only result that came back abnormal in any of the blood screens was a high ESR. I have an appointment to see a neurologist on the 11th of September. I’m feeling hopeful that they’ll be able to give me some answers, one way or another, but I’m pretty scared too.

Thank you to anyone that slogged through my wall of text, I’m really grateful that this forum exists!

Hello and welcome to the site

There are a couple of things going on that make me suspect that MS is not to blame for your symptoms; these are your weight loss and the bruising. The rest are definitely found in MS, but tbh, there are literally hundreds of other conditions that could cause them too. Saying that, there is one thing I know of that can cause all of your symptoms and that’s vitamin B12 deficiency. Have had your B12 levels tested?

I also think it would be worthwhile seeing an ophthalmologist again since your eye problems have developed further. Your neuro may be grateful for their opinion too so maybe try and see an ophthalmologist before your neuro appointment?

Hopefully all of this will have a simple explanation (and treatment!), but be prepared for a bit of a long haul - neurology is complicated and diagnoses can take a long time.

I hope your appointment goes really well. Let us know?

Karen x

Hi. Don’t really have anything to say about the medical side of things (I’m a newbie to all this too!) but just wanted you to know that you’re not alone. It certainly seems like you’ve got a lot going on - any ONE of finishing a masters degree, breakup and random, undiagnosed symptoms is worrying enough, let alone all 3 at once. I know I struggled with each one individually, and am now thanking my lucky stars that they didn’t all coincide. I suppose the only thing we can do now is to sit and wait it out for the neuro appointment (while trying not to get too worried about what it might/might not be).

I wonder about visual migraine (they can be painless) being the cause of the visual effects. They sound similar to effects I had (10 years ago) (the moving insects) and a friend a had a waterfall eftect that a neuro put down to visual migraine - stress. In my case my optician suggested visual migraine and I needed new specs for working at the computer - eye strain and stress. I think migraine can cause other neurological symptoms. Anyway your neuro appointments isn’t very distant - I hope you get some answers. Be kind to your self.

Good luck, Jon.