Forum

symptoms, are they or aren,t they?

i was daidnosed mith MS 2 weeks ago, still waiting for appointment with MS specialist, my GP is basictitchesally unhelpful.

before my diagnosis I used to get cramps in strange places i.e the sides of my hand and under my chin, I have had twitches in my fingers that are uncontollable as well as an irratating vibration behind my right ear, I dont know if this is connected.

I have had a couple of bouts of a seriously bad back that has laid me up for a couple of weeks but this was 2 years apart.

now I have a pain in my foot, just below my big left toe, this also involves twitches. this is followed by one day of massive fatigue, the area is just beggining to get better.

Im new to the MS thing so would like some advice please.

Ed 

I also have strange attacks of impending doom, frightening attacks that my doctor puts down to anxiety, however i have never been an anxious person. these attacks make me feel numb all over, and very frightened!

Ed

Hi Ed,

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

Cramp - pretty much anywhere - is a very common symptom of MS. I’ve had it some pretty strange places, that I don’t think “normal” people ever get.

But basically, anywhere you have a muscle, it’s possible to get cramp. So I’d strongly suspect it’s all related, yes. If it gets bad, it’s treatable with muscle-relaxants, on prescription.

Twitches and buzzing, vibrating or electrical sensations are all common with MS too. Again, usually treatable, to some extent, if they become distressing.

The back pain is harder to say. “Bad back” is such a common condition in the general population, that it might or might not be related. Personally, I think I do get backache with MS. It has occasionally been severe (afraid to cough or sneeze kind of severe). But more often, it just takes the form of tiredness and only moderate pain, as if from standing for too long.

The doomy attacks could be anxiety. You say you’ve never had them before, but then you’ve never been diagnosed with life-changing illness before, have you, presumably? It’s still very early days. It wouldn’t be surprising if your body came up with some new manifestations of anxiety, in response to a situation you’ve never faced before. You could report it to the specialist as a symptom, and see what he thinks, but it will be interesting to see whether it calms down anyway, as you have more time to adjust to the news. I think it’s normal to have occasional feelings of panic, because this illness is so uncertain. But they may get less common and less overwhelming as you have a chance to come to terms with it.

Again, if you are panicking ALL the time, it’s treatable. But if it’s just now and again, you may not need to do anything more than accept it, and wait for it to blow over. It’s normal to feel scared of scary things, and an MS diagnosis IS a scary thing - especially at first. So don’t put pressure on yourself by telling yourself you ought to feel fine.

Tina

Hi Ed, and welcome to the site :slight_smile:

As Tina already said, cramp is common in MS. Very often people get spasms too which are shorter than cramp so that parts of their body move. These can affect big muscles like thighs and calves, but also small muscles like finger and toe muscles. There’s another type of muscle movement called fasciculations. These are when small areas move visibly under the skin. Maybe this was the thing behind your ear?

Your foot might be cramp, but if it doesn’t feel muscular it could well be neuropathic pain - basically pain caused by the nerves sending the wrong signals to the brain.

The good news is that both cramps/spasms and neuropathic pain can be helped with meds. So if they become difficult, give your MS nurse a call and ask her/him for help.

I’m afraid that fatigue is one of the most common and debilitating symptoms of MS. It’s often particularly bad when we are relapsing or when something new is going on.

Anxiety can be a symptom of MS, but as Tina said, the fact you’re going through the diagnosis process is likely to cause this sort of thing too so it’s tricky to work out the cause. If it’s happening quite a bit, I think you should call your nurse and get some advice. If he/she is dismissive, then try getting in touch with your neuro either by calling her/his secretary or via your GP. One very important thing to learn early on as an MSer is that the people who ask (and take charge generally) tend to get more in the way of support and treatment. Most GPs know very little about MS - we have to become the expert.

When you’re ready, you can learn a lot about MS on this site and on the MS Trust website. You can download info booklets from both for free (or order free hard copies). Avoid trawling the web - there are some real fruitcakes out there!

Hth.
Karen x

Thanks guys for your responses,

I have learnt more of the couple of replies than I have done in the past year since my testing began. i get a lot of them small areas moving under my skin in various different parts of the body, and a lot of 'twitching' in hands and now in the foot area where the pain is at the moment, however this pain is starting to ease. Its still all new to me but I am willing to learn and carry on as best i can, I suppose your right with regards to the anxiety, I have always been fit and healthy (taught outdoor pursuits for 10 years) but dont feel as fit and as healthy as I did. Im just looking forward to my first meetibg with the MS doctor/nurse to get some more answers.

thanks again

ED

Hi Ed..sorry to hear of your dx..just wanted to say there is lots of advice here as and others have said..anxiety is normal considering what you ahve and are going through..its important to adress this as much as all the other symptoms you are having..so relaxation techniques are good..your ms nurse can advise on thsi also..and your local MS centre may offer lots of help and treatments for all aspects of MS..

As tiina and Karen have said..its hard to separate out whats liely to be an ms symptom and whats something else..and yes many Gps are not experts so I would stick to the Ms nusre and all the lovely people on here..and you cant go far wrong..there will be many on here who can identify with your symptoms..and that in itself can be a refief I am sure..alas it seems an Ms dx doesnt come with a handbook of what to expect..and none of us have a crytal ball or magic wand..lol..

e