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- Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:16 pm
I am a 28 yr. old female who for the most part was in good health until a 2 months after having my first and only child in oct. 2007. I for the past several months have been experiencing several symptoms, including stabbing pain on the right side of my head (ice pick stabs) that hit several time a day lasting 5 sec to a couple minutes. twitching big toe on my left foot, drives me crazy! my left hand, pinky, ring finger and partial middle finger and top of hand above those fingers have the sensation of being asleep and pins and needles that has happened a few times for no reason. the newest symptom for the past 2 weeks is blurred vision (constant) for the past few weeks just in my right eye (the side where the head pains started) fatigue is also a BIG one, always am tired no matter how much sleep, granted my 1+ year old still isnt sleeping thru the night, but all the other symptoms along with this scare me. i have had a constant headache, different parts of the head now that hit me then go away or leave a lingering ache after the initial stab feeling..(top of head sometimes, forehead, back of head..and sometimes pain around the right eye that has been blurry) I also have a terrible stinging/stabbing pain that hits me on left side of my rib cage that wakes me up in the middle of the night. One day i experienced a tingling pins and needles sensation on the top of my left hand mostly on top of the middle finger knuckle and thumb. I have been to the ER several times for some of these symptoms and seen my PCP pretty much every 3 weeks for the past 5 months and started seeing a neuologist in July 08' because of one small lesion found in my brain from an MRI with and w/o contrast. I have also had CT scans of my head and abdomen in the past 6 months. Neurologist also had me have a lumbar puncture with MS blood work panel which i was told came back fine. i was tested for Lupus, and had several blood test done. Initially my neurologist after getting MRI results and finding of the lesion said I at some point suffered a stroke, but after numerous tests (echocardiogram, carotid artery ultrasound, and leg ultrasound) found all normal then said it was congenital and he thinks i mainly suffer anxiety/panic and bruxism. My biggest fear lately has been the blurred vision in one eye, the extreme fatigue, head pains and tingling/falling asleep of hands is Multiple Sclerosis..because ive read it is hard to diagnose..even though i was specifically tested for it, lumbar puncture and blood panel and the results of my MRI (one lesion) in July of 08' roughly 5 months ago..and finding negative. Could it still possibly be MS? My neurologist said that was not suspected by him at all, he ordered the Lumbar Puncture because i had mentioned that as a fear to him in August . What else could my symptoms be from?? Both my PCP and neurologist keep saying its just anxiety..i agree whole heartadly BUT i feel as though i get anxiety BECAUSE of my symptoms. I take 0.5 mg of xanax every night for my panic..but still everyday have symptoms. should i seek out a second opinion from a different neurologist? and PCP because part of me feels as though they just brush off my symptoms as anxiety..or am i just crazy and am truly just suffering from post partum lack of sleep, stress..etc? I am a total hypochondriac now, have had several tests and scans, blood work etc. the only thing ever really found was the one lesion, my thyroid was out of whack went from hyper to hypo after having my baby, and now is normal and PCP says not even low enough to be on medication. What are your thoughts or suggestions, please help...feel as though im crazy and truly has affected my everyday life, with pain, fear and anxiety. :-(
| John Kenyon, CNA
- Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:15 pm
Hi there --
While you may well be suffering from anxiety by now, due to the symptoms and the inability or unwillingness of anyone to hang a tag on what's causing it, I don't believe for a moment your underlying problem is anxiety. Anxiety is often misplaced or due to faulty chemistry, but even if that were the case it would not explain your basic symptoms.
The headaches you describe sound a lot like histamine (cluster) headaches in their character, but you don't mention any predictable timimg of them (although you might consider looking for this now that it's been mentioned -- cluster headaches tend to occur at the same time every day). Even so, the cluster headache possibility doesn't explain the neurological symptoms on the side of your body opposite the headaches, and there was a finding of some nonspecific lesion on the brain as well as fleeting mention of a stroke (taken back once no obvious mechanism for stroke was found). The diagnostic process seems slightly haphazard.
I suspect the lesion found on MRI, the neurological symptoms on the opposite side, etc., suggest either an active lesion (clot, aneurysm, plaque, etc.) affecting the opposite side of your body (anxiety would have a hard time causing unilateral symptoms) and possibly early MS, which has not been ruled out but simply has not been ruled in as yet. And yes, MS can be quite difficult to diagnose, or at least to meet diagnostic criteria. This can be especially frustrating as there are a number of other problems which can overlap those caused by MS.
Some postpartum problems could also play into this, but the basic neuromechanics of what you describe strongly suggest there is something physical going on in your head that is causing the extrapyramidal symptoms on the left side of your body.
If you can't get further with the neurologist you're currently seeing, then I'd suggest a second opinion for sure. I really don't believe anxiety is at the bottom of this. I think it likely there's a physical cause and the anxiety is secondary at best.
I hope this is helpful to you . Good luck and please follow up with us as needed.