Forum

Psychosomatic?

Hi All

I don’t want to waste anyone’s time or indeed be insensitive to those with MS but I’ve recently had “symptoms” which could be those of MS but could also be a hundred other things (or indeed originate in my head).

Up until a month ago I was regularly cycling 5 hours a week on an indoor cycle trainer (basically a racing bike fixed to a flywheel and the front wheel is raised off the floor). I then developed a numb/tingling left foot and very tight left calf muscle. I initially put this down to the cycling and/or the fact I had a bad injury as a child and the doctors initially told my parents “he may lose the leg”.

After cycling I would sometimes have a tingling right hand when showering - again, I put this down to gripping the handlebars tightly for an hour or more.

The tingling leg didn’t go away with rest (as I suspected it would) and it’s now been around 5 weeks. It’s not constant but it’s often there. Not enough to affect me in any way - I can walk, run, go up stairs etc but it is just there. My next step was to go on Google and that was probably my worst mistake. Google “tingling or numb” foot and it’s not long before MS pops up (as it were).

I’ve been in a state of extreme anxiety ever since (Male, 43, married with two young kids) and franky am working myself and my wife into a panic. In the last 10 days I’ve “experienced” weakness in my arms/legs (when I say “weakness” the limbs are absolutely capable of normal function - they just feel like they’ve finished exercise or lifting a weight. Again, they do not affect my day to day ability to do anything. I’ve also woken up with numb/painful arms/hands - i’m basically sleeping on them but seems coincidental. I spent another few hours on the internet over the weekend and lo and behond, after reading of “visual” symptoms I now have vague eye problems - nothing as bad or definite as blurred or double vision but an uneasy feeling all is not well.

I suppose my question is (and I’m trying to make this as general as possible as I don’t expect anyone to make a diagnosis) would MS manifest itself in such a fashion in such a small space of time (i.e. 4 or 5 weeks with one “issue” (tingling foot) and then a host of issues within 10 days of each other)? My wife reminds me that I have a history of finding a “spot” and convincing myself I have cancer so I’m fully aware there could be a psychosomatic element to all this.

Of the 13 or so symptoms of MS (and apologies if that’s a wrong number - seems to be the one most often quoted) I possibly have 2/3 and each of them could be caused by something entirely different. All advice is ambiguous because “no two people’s MS symptoms are the same” - however, should I expect more severe visual issues or physical issues?

Rgds

Just a very short one, I’m afraid… Look, you and your wife are going to be losing sleep until you get to the bottom of this, or until it melts away for ever (and I hope it will) so, quite honestly, you need to talk to the doc. You are absolutely right, it could be anything or nothing and it probably is, but your fears are real and now, and that is what you need to grasp the nettle and address. Alison

I agree with alison. Get to the dr. Get to the optician too. You may or may not have problems. They may or may not be linked. Cannot afford to take chances with health and eyesight.

Thanks for the replies and advice. I suppose like anyone I’m reluctant to enter the “system” - especially if you read half the stories on this forum where people take months or more and still don’t have a diagnosis. As it is I can’t see myself marching into my GP and declaring “I think I have MS”. Today and yesterday I’ve been feeling like I have a very mild flu - sweating, sore joints etc.

5 weeks ago I was fine and now I can make a pretty good case (in my head) for presenting several symptoms of MS! When you read other people’s stories it would appear they are symptomatic over a longer period and have “severe” symptoms.

I’ll see how it goes for the next couple of weeks and take a view in the new year. At the moment I’m not fatigued in any way which is apparently happens in a high incidence of people with MS so maybe I’m just getting too far ahead of myself.

Thanks for the replies.

Hi Pistolpete, I would strongly discourage ANYONE from marching into the surgery and declaring: “I think I’ve got X”, as self-diagnosers who’ve spent a bit of time on Google tend to be the bane of doctors’ lives, and you’re more likely to land yourself a diagnosis of “Health anxiety”, than anything else. Instead, try to keep it neutral and factual - what has been happening, rather than what you suspect it might be. Let the doctor decide what the significance is - if any. MS has numerous lookalikes, all of which must be ruled out before an MS diagnosis is even considered. According to my neuro, I was tested for over 100 things, before finally getting my diagnosis - and that is the norm, not the exception. The reason is that there’s no conclusive test for MS, making it one of the more challenging things to diagnose. Every lookalike that does have a more definite test has to be tried first, to minimise the chance of mistake. Since you are obviously worried, I do think you need to go to the doctor, instead of rationalising to yourself why not, as it could be any of the other 100+ conditions, some of which are as simple and straightforward as a vitamin deficiency. Tina

Quite. That makes perfect sense if you are the kind of person who can just put it all to the back of his mind and get on with life cheerfully and without giving it a second thought…(you can fill in the rest of this sentence perfectly well yourself, so I am not going to bother typing it).

Good luck either way.

Alison

In agreement with others I think a trip to the GP is in order. Try not to google if you can as there are a lot of random things that aren’t always right on the net. As Tina suggested be very factual and concise with what you have been experiencing and let the doctor be the one to suggest what it could be.

There are many things that can be very similar to MS so try not to panic at this stage there could be something very treatable/solvable. Good luck I hope you get some answers

Reemz

X

Don’t put it off and don’t expect a fight - like the others have said, don’t say what you think it is, explain to the doctor you’re worried because you can’t work out what’s going on!

My MS was discovered by accident… I thought I had a trapped nerve and if I hadn’t have visited an amazing osteopath, I’m not quite sure what would have happened.

I was still instructing fitness classes about 5 weeks before i was diagnosed and hadn’t actually consulted my GP. I had mentioned I sometimes had a bit of difficulty walking a few months prior to that was it was so erratic that I didn’t push it but they checked my B12 levels.

Good luck

Sonia x

Hi Pistolpete,

Your symptoms sound very similar to how mine began around 5 years ago - especially when I was cycling or running. I want storming into the doctors and plainly said “I think I may have MS”. With hindsight, that was a mistake. I did get a referral to a neuro but he was only interesting in ruling out MS, rather than finding the specific cause of my issues. When the MRI came back clear, nobody was interested in following it up.

These days, with the flare ups I’ve been having recently, I’ve been going back and forth to the doctors, telling them simply what my symptoms are and letting them work it out. I don’t know if I’ll get a better result that way, but my doctor is being very patient and understanding and doing her best to work with me, which is good. There are, as others have said, many other conditions that can present like MS, so it’s best to only assume that something is wrong and see what’s what before guessing what it might be - says me!.

Go see and optician too, get them to have a good look at your eyes, it can’t hurt.

Good luck and best wishes.

Thanks all. For some reason the “send private message” button seems to take me to the Home page and does not in fact allow me to contact the poster. I appreciate all the replies and advice. The bottom line is when I said, " I suppose like anyone I’m reluctant to enter the “system” I actually meant, “I’m terrified of what the future might hold so am sticking my head in the sand for as long as possible”

Anyway, looks like I just need to get to the GP and begin the process; whatever that process may in fact be.

Thanks again.

I’ve been feeling 100 times better for the last 3 or 4 days. No fatigue whatsoever in my limbs. Still mild numbness/tingling in the left foot (that’s what started all this worry a few weeks ago).

I went to the opticians yesterday and eyes were in perfect health (detailed photo of inner eye including visible part of optic nerve was fine on both eyes).

Anyway, I feel much better than this time last week; will monitor things over christmas when I’m off for two weeks and follow it up in the new year. I know I’m not out of the woods but do not feel the all-emcompassing panic I had a week ago.

Glad to hear you’re feeling a bit calmer, stress is a nightmare so I hope you feel better able to deal with symptoms etc. now. We’re all still here if you need to talk. Hope you have a lovely Christmas

Sonia x

You could have underlying issues from your child hood which has manifested itself, and caused this anxiety, OR you could have simply overtrained yourself, which can cause all kinds of problems.

There is nothing wrong in worrying about your health but sometimes Google is our own worse enemy. You said yourself, when you read about eye problems in MS you suddenly had this or noticed this.

There is such a thing as Functional Nuerological Disorder, where people experience ACTUAL neurolgoical symptoms, but with no proof of them, i.e. ALL tests are clear, BUT it is actually a proper disorder and can be caused through unfinished business.

I wonder personally if you hadnt overtrained and then got yourself a virus, which would give you the symptoms too.

I think your very wise to leave it now and see how things go. Just enjoy your christmas with the family, and leave GOOGLE alone lol.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you, and I am sure you will be fine.