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dvmtobe
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/29/2006 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello...I am new to this...new to online forums/chat rooms...new to dealing with my health problems...new to talking about possibly having MS.  So, anyhow I am not sure how this works, but I will give it a try.  I was diagnosed with optic neuritis in college but didn't think much of it as it resolved pretty uneventfully.  about 2 years ago (8 years after the optic neuritis) I had a bad episode around the holidays with left sided numbness, tingling in my hands and feet and extreme exhaustion but figured it was just stress as I am a veterinary student with a husband and a three year old son.  This past March I had a recurrence of the optic neuritis that was pretty severe.  I have been on and off corticosteroids since that time.  I have had multiple MRIs of my brain, cervical and thoracic spinal cord.  They found three syrinxs in my spinal cord (basically CSF cysts) and a small hyperechoic lesion in my cervical spinal cord.  My brain MRI was clean as was my LP.  Last time I was in to see my neurologist they completely dismissed me and said it was stress (conversion disorder) or that I could possibly be in the prelimary stages of MS.  I have been doing okay neurologically but because of the steroids have been very ill with pneumonia and shingles.  Aside from these three episodes, I have problems when I go running with numbness and tingling in my left foot and my vision has still not returned from this second visit of optic neuritis.  I don't think that I am crazy and I am concerned about the future of my career as I am only 30.  I am wondering if anyone can give me some advice as I seem to be stuck in limbo.  Is this MS?  I am thinking of starting an anti-inflammatory diet to try some alternative therapies.  Does anyone have any experience with other modalities of treatment and have any advice.  I know that I don't have a diagnosis but I already have one autoimmune disease (hashimoto's thyroiditis) and trying some healthy life changes won't hurt.  I am an avid cyclist and runner but am having problems keeping up with my normal excercise routine because I have symptoms so any kind of exercise suggestions would also be helpful.  Sorry for the long message.  Thanks :)

rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 11/29/2006 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Dvmtobe

Welcome to the board. Let me start out by telling u that i found this board for the same reasons u have...i needed answers and i got them. This is a great place and i hope u'll feel comfortable asking any questions u have.

U have a lot going on over a long period of time. ON can be a tell tell sign of ms, but isn't limited to ms. U can have ON without having ms, but u do have many of the other symptoms that go with ms. I'm sorry, i'm not too versed in the terminology u use here, so hopefully someone else will be along to speak of the lesions. It's good u'r seeing a neuro, but if u'r being dismissed and feel it's incorrect, maybe a second opinion is in order. U may want to get a copy of all u'r test results...mri's and otherwise...including copies of the mri films...and have them for u'r own use. If u see another doc u'll want to bring those to that appt for his review. If it's been awhile he'll prob want to repeat the tests, but all the better for u with so much going on.

No, u'r not crazy at all. We've all been down this road and experienced many or all of u'r symptoms. It does take quite a long time to dx ms or any of the other neurological illnesses it could be. I can't give any info/advice on alternative treatments. I'm not dx'd nor have i tried any of the homeopathic remedies. Others here have made some good suggestions on exercise options in the past and i'm sure they'll be along soon to add input here as well, but what i remember is that swimming is the best for u, but there are other, not too harsh, routines as well. If u'r used to exercise it's a good idea to keep it up. Best wishes to u and please ask any questions u have or just vent anytime u'd like. Again, welcome to the board!

rhonda

dvmtobe
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/30/2006 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the reply. I have thought about a second opinion but I am discouraged and am thinking I will just let it sit for a while. What are some of the other causes of ON? I have only been told that it usually goes hand in hand with MS. I would use my animal knowledge base -- when dogs or alpacas get ON it is usually some infectious cause and they have secondary chorioretinitis (inflammation of the chorion and retina). If there are other things this possibly could be that would be helpful to know. I could read up on this stuff but for some reason I just freeze up when it comes to my own health and would rather turn a blind eye to it. As a matter of fact one of the only reasons I have pursued a medical workup is because of my son and what I feel that I owe to him as a mother. I feel bad asking these questions as I know that other people are much more affected than I. I think that I have just begun to realize that this is bothering me more than I think and that on a daily basis I still have symptoms that are not explained or helped. I have found reading some of the other posts to be helpful and writing about it seems to help. Thank you.

rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 11/30/2006 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Dvmtobe

I understand u'r wanting to look away from this and try to ignore, but u really already have for several years now and for u'r own sake, and, yes, for the sake of u'r son and family, u shouldn't any longer. I'm much like u in that i always attended to my children's needs and put mine aside until/unless they got bad enuf to require attention. Mine did and u'rs have too.

ON can be a stand alone condition. It can be caused by ms or by viral infections, fungal infections, glaucoma, encephalomyelitis and other autoimmune diseases. If u have other symptoms of ms and positive tests pointing towards ms, then usually ON is seen as part of the ms symptom set and aids in diagnosing ms. Yes, u should do all the research u can pertaining to u'r symptoms and be as aware as possible as u go thru the testing and possible dx process. Don't feel bad at all asking questions! We are all in various stages of dx or treatment of ms. Not everyone here will find they have ms and even if they do it may take quite some time to find that dx. We're all in different conditions as well. Some of us have very prevalent symptoms and even then they wax and wane. Others here (like myself) have mostly good days and some bad. Whether we're worse or better, we're all here for two reasons...to seek help and to give help. Ask all u want and need...we'll be happy to help and along the way we all learn more.

Some advice given me when i first came to this board is to keep a journal. Write down u'r symptoms and the way they feel to u. Don't get too lengthy, but enuf info that it makes sense. If u can, go back as u did in u'r original post and give some history on how and when this all began. That way u'll have the info in place and even if u forget along they way u can go back to u'r notes and recall. Believe me, it's very easy to forget...even if the symptom just started...once u get in the docs office and feel that sense of urgency that most people get...that need to hurry up because he's a busy man!...u'll forget it all! The journal, test result copies and even copies of doc notes whom u've seen along the way can be invaluable to u should u need to see another doc or just to know what's going on with u'rself.

I'm glad u'r here and are seeking help. This isn't an easy thing to do. Knowing what to expect or what questions to ask isn't something that comes naturally and u may need help with that. We'll be here. Draw on u'r knowledge of animals and support u'rself with that as well, but nothing replaces contact with others who are in the same place and understand what u'r going thru. Take care and i hope very much to hear u'r taking care of u'r health.

rhonda

Post Edited (rhondab) : 11/30/2006 10:30:58 AM (GMT-7)

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