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numbness and possible MS

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hi. i am now 37 and right now we are looking into the possibility that i might have MS due to moving patches of numbness i have on both legs and a burning electric feeling i have on all four limbs. i have been tired my entire adult life so that is not new.

had an mri of the brain and no tumors, strokes (all symptoms started on right side at first) or ms lesions were found.

so that is good news, although i still haven't seen a neurologist (i guess the radiologist or gen doctor) looked at the mri results.
going to get my test back for lead exposure and other tests they are doing to see if this is some sort of autoimmune disease.
anyway, there is no point discussing ms until i know what i have.

regardless, i was just wondering if anyone here has had the odd sensation of a patch of skin that feels like it is wet. i have had that odd sensation around my knees on and off again (maybe 3 times) during the last 15 yrs or so. it is like some sort of mental mirage. it literally feels like there is a puddle of cold water on my leg.

haven't felt it in awhile, but i did notice that the area that went completely numb several weeks ago was right near this area.

anyone ever feel that?

also is it possible to have MS lesions on your spine and not in your brain?

thanks
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replied September 4th, 2008
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Yes, it is possible to have MS lesions only in the spinal cord without having any lesion in the brain.

Have you ever made MRI on the spinal cord?
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replied September 4th, 2008
no. the mri was just for my brain. i went to see my primary care physician and she wasn't in so the nurse or PA sent me to get a MRI. my primary care physician then met with me and said it could still be MS even though the brain MRI looked good.

she is testing me for lead and my thyroid, but she seems to think it's an autoimmune disease of some sort. not sure how long it takes to get the results back, so i'm waiting.

today i had a strange sensation on my right leg when i walked, ...like a rope or cloth like material of some sort was grazing the skin. there was nothing there so this is like another sort of mental mirage.

i did ask her that seeing i was under incredible amounts of stress could this simply be what people refer to as a nervous breakdown. and she said yes, but i get the feeling she was just saying that to keep my stress at bay until the tests get back.

can lupus give you numb patches and that warm electric current feeling?

how about sarcosodosis (sp?)

the only reason i mention that one is that i have noticed that in the past 9 months or so, when i get up from lying down in bed my ankles seem to fuse to my legs. i kind of walk like i have wooden peg legs, but it's only for a few minutes and then they limber up and are ok. this happens even if i just lie down for 10 minutes they get stiff again. i just assumed it might be early arthritis or something.

i am not overweight and i climb 3 flights of stairs everyday. so i don't know what's going on.

other symptoms:

diagnosed with av nodal reentrent supraventricular tachycardia (sp) when i was 30.

been tired my whole life. i can easily sleep 11 - 12 hrs a day. not anemic though. don't think i'm depressed, but am stressed out. certainly was not depressed in college and the fatigue was still present.

recently on aug 20th i came down with a fever that lasted about a day. then i noticed my right hand hurt when i held a pen. i assumed it was carpal tunnel as i had been doing a lot of painting. it went away after a few days but still feels a little weird to this day. then on aug 25 my right leg around my knee went totally numb. felt like someone injected novacaine. numb patch spread a bit above and below the knee. stayed that way for awhile. noticed my left forearm was sore, but i figured i pulled a muscle although i am right handed. pain climbed up to my upper arm and to this day is still very sore and weak. left toe went numb a few days ago as my right knee got better. yesterday my right toe went numb and today i had that weird rope sensation. didn't last too long though.

all in all, when the numbness goes down, it feels like the warm electrical tingly current feeling goes up in all limbs except the left arm. that just hurts and is weak.

my bladder is fine. i was diagnones with IBS a few years ago, but i just chalked that up to stress and too much coffee.

the only other thing i can think of is pretty much all my life i have also had a weird sensation where it feels like there are air bubbles in my veins and they are sort of gurgling through. it goes away after a few minutes, but i've felt that often throughout my whole life. always figured it was my blood, but now i am not so sure. maybe my nerves have been doing odd stuff and i just never realized it before.

oh and the only reason i haven't seen a neurologist yet is because they are all booked until the end of october.

and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. God bless you. tiphat
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replied September 4th, 2008
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Yes I have and on sometimes still experience what you have described. Just for clarification. MS is considered to be an auto-immune disease and it is possible to have MS and have no plaques (lesions) on the brain and / or spinal column. When this happens, your neurologist will need to watch and note your symptoms and any 'flares' that may happen. Once there is enough to dx MS or rule it out, then it would be a clinical dx.

However there are other diseases that many mimmic MS and visa-versa so it is a process of eliminating could it be this or this or this....

There are other tests that they can run or do to narrow it down to what is happening to you.

Women are twice as likely to have MS than men and being given the dx'd is generally done between the ages of 20 and 40. Some people get a dx right away and others take years.

I was officially dx with MS in 2000 however I've probably had it since my early 20's...have you had your B12 checked?

How are you feeling today? Have you researched MS or your symptoms?

~Zig
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replied September 5th, 2008
Doctor
Besides MRI to diagnose multiple sclerosis you also need neurological examination (by a neurologist), spinal tap and evoked potentials test.

Lupus can cause neurological symptoms if the brain is afected, which is possible.

Stress can cause your symptoms very likely.

Sarcoidisis can affect any organ including the brain (neurosarcoidosis) so it is a possible opption. But if you had sarcoidosis it would show up on brain MRI which didn't happen in your case.

I hope that the neurologist will find out what is wrong with you.
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replied September 5th, 2008
thank you both for your replies.

i am still waiting for the blood tests and don't know when i can finally get to see a neurologist. perhaps in a month.

i have been doing some reading and except for the slurred speech and bladder problems i would say i do have the symptoms of ms, but there are SO many things out there that statistically i still don't see it happening. don't have double vision, but my eyesight has drastically gotten worse from my 20's on. and yes, i am a female. i do have the worst memory of anyone i know and i do find it hard to concentrate.

also those weird sensations of feeling like i had cold water sitting on my knee and leg were awhile ago. if this was MS and those were episodes, wouldn't i be much worse by now?

i really feel like all the paint fumes (oil based primers are SO toxic) that i have been exposed to either damaged my brain or maybe set off some underlying problem that i held at bay by eating really healthy.

zigemyster, have you had the wooden peg leg ankle thing i mentioned? that is just so odd to me cause i can sit on the sofa for hours and then get up and they are fine, but when i lie down and then get up, it is like they are fused together.

also, do people with MS get weird sensations on their skin in addition to numbness? like it feels like cloth is rubbing it when there is nothing there... or the cool water feeling? last night my legs were feeling warm and i felt like i needed to kick down the side of a barn except i was too tired. does that sound familiar?

i don't know. i have been under a lot of stress, so maybe my mind is doing all this as a way to get me to slow down, but in the past when i have pushed myself too hard, my body usually sends me a cold/fever or an acidic stomach to deal with.

who knows. oh and they are testing me for b12. i don't eat any meat except for white fish occasionally, but i do eat eggs and cheese. they are also checking my thyroid.

thanks again for your replies.
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replied September 5th, 2008
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Can't say I have had a peg leg unless having painful leg cramps and the only way for me to walk was stiff legged...that happened about 5 years ago...lasted a week and has not been back.

MS is a tricky creature. It comes in different forms...best way for me to tell someone when they ask what it is? (some think it is the same as Muscular Dystrophy...so I educate them)...it is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system...key word being 'unpredictable'.

nmss.org or mssociety.org are both great websites to learn about MS. It is so managable...I fall between benign and RRMS (descriptions listed below)...I listen to my body over the last 8 years than I ever did...if I get a little too hot, I know to find a cool spot as sometimes heat steals the use of my legs...however if that happens, I cool down and I'm good to go...like going for a long walk...years ago, I ended using a cane because my legs did not want to function correctly, lasted a few weeks, hasn't been back. If people ask what happened...'it's an old injury and just needs to heal once more'

To be honest, I hope you do not have MS and that it is stress and / or B12 related or something simple...but if you must join our club, you'll have great support & resources at your fingertips.


There are four types of MS, each with its own characteristics, but each as unpredictable as the other. It might not be clear which type of MS you have when you are first diagnosed. However, by noting changes over time, your neurologist should be able to clarify the type you have.

Relapsing Remitting MS
Most people are diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. This is when you have relapses (a flare-up of symptoms), followed by remissions (periods of recovery). Relapses are unpredictable. They can last for days, weeks or months and vary from mild to severe. During a relapse you will either experience new symptoms, or a reccurrence or worsening of previous symptoms. During remission, symptoms can disappear completely, though sometimes people make only a partial recovery.

Symptoms might not always be due to a new relapse. For example, exercise or hot weather can sometimes raise body temperature and make symptoms temporarily worse. Any changed or new symptoms must last for at least 24 hours to be described as a relapse.

Secondary Progressive MS
Most people who have relapsing remitting MS later develop a form known as secondary progressive MS. This type of MS is identified when your condition becomes steadily worse, and your disability progresses, for a period of six months or more, whether you continue to have relapses or not.

Benign MS
If you have a small number of relapses followed by a complete recovery, you may be described as having benign MS. It is only possible to make a diagnosis of benign MS once you have experienced little or no disability for a period of 10 to 15 years. However, a diagnosis of benign MS does not guarantee that you will be free of problems; a relapse may occasionally occur after many years in which your MS has been inactive.

Primary Progressive MS
With primary progressive MS, symptoms steadily worsen, resulting in a continued progression in disability. You will not have distinct relapses and remissions.

~Zig
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replied September 5th, 2008
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Spinal Tap??
P.S. Nowadays spinal taps are not required to verify MS. I've had two and I would not wish that procedure on anyone.

Both of mine were OK however since I had plaques on my brain and clinical findings, evoked potentials, EMG, etc...and other possibilities ruled out.

They say that sometimes if a person is having an MS attack that it could show in spinal fluid but not a guarantee.

Back in the day it was common for taps but no more. However that would be your choice and your neurologist.

Were you ever in the armed forces, active or otherwise? I have a reason for this question....

~Zig
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replied September 5th, 2008
well i got my blood results back. they all came back ok.

they tested my thyroid, lead, b12, cpk, adolase, sed rate, rhematoid factor and ANA.

i think ANA is the one for autoimmune so if that is ok, then does that mean i do not have ms or any type of autoimmune?

still am going to see a neurologist though.

so let's say my symptoms go away by the time i finally get to see a neurologist. will he then not be able to tell anything?

and no, i have never been in the military.

i also read somewhere that diabetes can do this. i really don't think i have diabetes though.

again, thanks for helping me out.
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replied September 5th, 2008
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This is wonderful that your blood tests came back fine. Even if your symptoms do disappear by the time you see your neuro...that's OK. At least your neuro and you will have documentation of the symptoms that you have described and the tests that they have done with results, etc. First steps to being to rule out certain things.

If nothing definate can be found he / she will monitor you for new symtpoms or send you to another specialist.

It can be fustrating to have these issues and not know what it is...however it is good that you are being pro-active with your health.

Reason for the military question...my MS is service related...imagine that! Something to do with the injections that they give you can trigger MS in some who may have an inactive gene and the injection turns that gene on.

Best wishes,

~Zig
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replied September 5th, 2008
well i found out that those tests just rule out other things and not MS, but at least it's information to the puzzle.

today i am actually having pain when i walk that feels like my left middle toes are broken. when i move them around myself they are ok, but certain walking steps seem to set something off. this is just weird and before it was mostly numbness and warm currents, but now the pain is growing and i'm getting frustrated.

i just got off the phone with a friend that knows several people that were in the navy that came down with MS all after the age of 40. have they proved that link? and if so, i certainly hope they are taking care of you and have compensated financially for this. man, that is rough. i am really, really sorry to hear that.

do you know which injection it was?
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replied September 5th, 2008
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Unfortunately I do not know what injections it would have been.

When I separated from the Air Force I did not know I had MS however I had documented 'episodes' while active duty but the cause was never determined as symptoms would disappear as quickly as they appeared. Years later I was dx'd and I stumbled upon info that if a person is dx'd within 7 years from date of active duty discharge then it is considered a service related disability. There is no one else in my family that has MS, have symptoms of such...so the government knows something...why would they accept responsibility unless they are the culprit.

Of course my official dx was past the 7 year time frame...so I appealed for four years with VA and supporting documentation from all my records. My argument was that why 7 years? Some it takes 20 years to figure out what the ailment would be. Once approved...compensation began from the date that I originally filed a claim.

Yes they compensate but trust me...it is not nearly enough and I also can get health care thru VA however I chose to get my meds from VA but not my healthcare...I spent 11 1/2 hours in their urgent care clinic in May and I was still mis-dx'd. Absolute nightmare.

I would pass this information onto your Navy friends who were dx'd with MS after they separated. And if any other info is needed about the appeal process, etc...I would be more than happy to share that information.

~Zig
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replied September 5th, 2008
thank you, i will let them know.

again, i'm really sorry to hear all that. God bless you for the sacrifice you made for all of us... albeit unknowingly this one! i hope you can reach out to others that have been in the military and have gone through what you have.

peace and "hugs"
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replied October 5th, 2009
MS numbness
Hello. I find this post very useful. However, I have a question concerning numbness or a hot feeling on the right side of my body and extremities. I have been diagnosised with MS since 2006 and told that I have had it for greater than 17 years. I now 51 years old and experiencing a new symptom. This numbness or the awareness of not being able to distinquish when something is cold on one side is new. Is this also part of MS? I can get a dish out the refrig and it is cold to touch on the left hand yet warm to touch on the right, same with the feet. Thanks, Patricia
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replied August 1st, 2010
MS....
Hi Zig,
I would like to ask you a question about MS and it being a service related disability. I was in the Navy and I have a probable case of MS. I wanted to know more about it.
Thanks,
Jeanette
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