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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Numbness/bladder dysfunction...cost?


 tulaksam - Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:56 pm

I'm a 28 year old female, currently taking only Advil for pain management (about four times/week).

About four years ago, I experienced an episode of loss of feeling and numbness in my fingertips. It was annoying enough for us to send me to the neurologist. He did the test where they send electric jolts through your fingers, and found nothing to be concerned of. My symptoms didn't improve, but they didn't worsen, either. After paying the bill, I decided that it wasn't worth following up on, since I could still function.

The numbness came and went without any seeming pattern. It was worse after baths, but not enough to bother me. I took up crochet and knitting, and found that it helped my fingers learn to function without the touch I had been used to.

During the last three weeks, I've had a dramatic increase in my symptoms. The change in senation has extended all the way up my fingers. I've fallen several times as my legs have given out (once right as I was getting out of bed). I've developed some bladder leakage, something I expected during my fourth pregnancy, but to have it start up again out of the blue...

No, I can't possibly be pregnant. I might have chosen to ignore the rest of the issues, but the sudden loss of bladder control is the most disturbing to me. I am uninsured, and I don't know if/where to turn for help in this matter. I don't know if I should go see a neurologist, or just go to a urologist. We don't have the money, so if you reccommend tests to run and can hazard a guess to the cost of the testing in the NE Texas area, it would be most appreciated.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:46 pm

User avatar Hi Tulaksam,

With this history I would be suspicious of a condition such as multiple sclerosis. This can present with various neurological manifestations that can move to different locations over time. With your initial presentation of finger numbness you would not have met criteria for this diagnosis because it would be a single problem at a single time. The diagnosis requires different lesions separated by space and time.

I would recommend you see a neurologist. You may need to see a primary care doctor first to get a referral. You may very likely need to have an MRI done of the brain to look for the characteristic lesions associated with MS. Unfortunately, an MRI is not cheap (often a few thousand dollars). You may want to see if there are any clinics that can see patients on a free or reduced fee scale for those without insurance. Your local health department may be able to help you locate these clinics.

Best wishes.
 tulaksam - Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:05 pm

Thanks you for your reply. I've recently contacted a clinic here which does do reduced cost care. I had my MRI in December with a total cost to me of $10. The downside is that while my MRI has been read and is on file, no one is willing to let me know the results until my neurology appointment in Feburary, which has me nervous. The fact that my symptoms seem to be abating has everyone even -more- concerned about MS. I actually had my first day without numbness in almost two years, and spent the entire day touching everything.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:44 pm

User avatar Thanks for the update. I'm glad you've been able to be evaluated. The resolution of your symptoms can definitely be indicative of MS as the lesions are resolving. Getting the results of your MRI will be helpful.

Keep in mind that the resolution of your symptoms does not necessarily indicate that it is MS. Best wishes.

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