Doctors Lounge - Neurology Answers
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Forum Name: Neurology Topics
Question: left side strange sensations/symptoms
|pbgirl06 - Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:08 am||
I am a 37 year old female. I started having strange symptoms in Late July/early August of 06. I am very reluctant to see a neurologist as we have high deductible health insurance and I know an MRI alone runs about $3000; also, I hear and read so often that many times, neurological testing is inconclusive and am so afraid of what a battery of testing might cost. Instead I have been seeking chiropractic care (have even done a little acupuncture) and therapeutic massage/stretching (I just started the massage treatment last week). All on my left side I have had at some point, twitching of my eye (once for a few days), also lower next to my nose (once for an hour or so), in the arch of my foot causing my big toe to jerk (very often/one of my main symptoms), in my forearm down to my hand (quite often on and off), muscle spasm in my left upper/outer arm (one time all throughout the night), muscle fluttering under my ribcage (while trying to sleep one night) and in my left inner thigh (once while sitting upright). At times, I feel what I would describe as slight weakening pulses in my left arm and foot. During these times, I also sometimes have what I would describe as slight tremors which also affect mostly my left wrist area and hand, mostly my thumb. I also have experienced these slight tremors in my neck/head once in a while and this will last for a few to several days. A few times, I have even felt that I have stuttered, but don't know if this is coincidental. When the weakness and tremors occur, it is nothing anyone else would notice, but I know my fine motor movements are not 'smooth' as they should be. When I have this weakness in my foot, for instance, it will feel like it almost wants to 'bounce' when I push in my emergency brake on my car. At times, I just feel jittery in general (my blood pressure is fine and I am not anemic; my iron is actually a bit on the high side but not out of normal range and I stay away from caffeine). It seems to go in cycles of the spasms and then the weakness and jitteryness; when I am in a 'weakness' phase, I will still have the spasms in my foot, however and sometimes very intermittently in other places. All of my bloodwork at my regular doctor's office has come out normal (thyroid/potassium/magnesium levels, etc). Quite strangely, my symptoms completely disappeared for about 5 weeks over the Christmas season and then returned for no apparent reason. I did suggest to my doctor that if this was something neurologicaly based, the symptoms wouldn't disappear, but she said with MS, sometimes this can be the case. I don't have pain or numbness; sometimes very slight tingling in my left hand down to my middle finger. I should mention, it seems whenever I have any other type of issue, it is my left side affected. I used to suffer migraines (hormonally based I believe as I only experienced these on the pill or during pregnancy) years back, for example; these stemmed from the left side of my neck/base of my head and around to my eye. I had a problem with my right jaw (TMJ) a couple of years ago, due to great tightening on the left side of my neck that was pulling the right. Also, most of my muslce tightness in general can be found on the left side of my neck/upper shoulder area and I sometimes have pain from this tightness from the left middle of my back between my shoulder blades on up to my neck (I work on the computer for my job). However, a couple of weeks ago, I must have slept strange and the tightness moved to the right in my neck, almost like I had a 'hitch' in it (couldn't turn my head very well). I was like that for 2 days and my strange symptoms on the left disappeared. I do not know if this was coincidental, as I know there are different sets of nerves that 'feed' the upper extremities, as opposed to the lower. If it is a pinched nerve, however, way up high in my neck (toward my brain stem?), I am wondering if I could be affected in my lower and upper extremities? I have had x-rays at the chiropractor's office and though my neck curviture is 'off' (forward by about an inch and a quarter from what it should be), there is no apparent disc hinderance. I do have some arthritis in my low back (ugh...I am too young!). I also had bunion surgery on my left foot in 01 and think I have been 'favoring' it ever since as some testing I went through recently revealed that I am standing with 14 more pounds of pressure on my right side then the left. The only thing that I could possibly relate to anything that my have triggered this (other than that I seem to carry more stress on my left in general) was when I donated blood last summer and it was botched - had a horrible horrible huge bruise, pain, tingling; though, I would think, however, that should just affect my left arm and hand - not my upper arm, face or lower extremities. I am not on any prescription meds; I only take ibuprofen occassionally. I do take a half benadryl to help me with my sleep, as i have suffered insomnia for about 12 years now - fall asleep fine and wake in the middle of the night. I greatly appreciate any suggestions you may offer!
|Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu May 17, 2007 12:43 pm||
Your symptoms are perplexing. I do not think the blood draw would be responsible for this. Here's my reasoning:
If you are having involvement of your entire left side of the body including your face down to your feet, the only place that one single issue would be able to reach all these areas is in the brain. Even at the level of the spinal cord, the face should not be affected as you are describing.
A blood draw, no matter how bad, would not damage the brain. So... what could be going on? I can think of a few possibilities. One would be focal seizure activity. Another possibility is an atypical migraine, especially with your history of migraines in the past. MS is a possibility but it would be a bit unusual to get only left sided symptoms with this.
Seeing a neurologist really is going to be important to figuring out what is going on .
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