Not diagnosed and wondering what to do next. Please help. Long Post

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/18/2009 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,

New here, 36 year old female (if that matters at all) just hoping to get some thoughts from those of you who have already been through this.

I have been dealing with my GP on many symptoms for the past 2 or 3 years. Horrible fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, numbness, pins & needles (large painful needles) especially in my feet, terrible cramps in my legs, feet, toes and hands, feeling hot or wet spots on my skin where there is no heat or moisture. Most recently I've also developed some very minor bladder problems (frequent urination and minor leaking), occasional blurred vision, and a recent electric shock pain emanating from my shoulder down my arm.

A couple of months ago I developed a large area of numbness on the front of my calf that lasted for a few weeks. At the same time, someone at work had asked me if I was okay because I was limping, and I said, "I'm not limping." Well, I guess without realizing it, I had been walking funny to try not to trip over my foot which wouldn't seem to cooperate.

Anyway, my GP has run the gamut of blood tests, testing me for lupus, RA, hormone imbalance, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid, etc. Everything is normal, except I am slightly anemic. After that, she just seemed to move on with her life, and I'm still left wondering.

I finally self referred to a neurologist. Over the past 2 months I have had a brain MRI and a cervical spine MRI w/o contrast to check for pinched nerves, etc. Last visit he told me I had an inadequate Achilles reflex in my right leg (the one I've been tripping over).

Yesterday, I had two tests (EMG & NVC) which he said were normal (as were my MRI's, but for a slight disk bulge). He asked me if it could be stress. It's not stress.

He said the next step would be a total spine MRI and a Lumbar Puncture to test for MS. This is the first time there's been any mention of MS, so I'm a little concerned. He recommended that we wait and see if it happens again, and then go from there. Here are my questions:

-Does this sound like MS?
-Could normal readings on my EMG & NVC tests rule out MS, or make it less likely of a diagnosis?
-Could there be MS without any signs of lesions on the Brain & C-Spine MRI's?
-Should I ask to have the lumbar puncture now to get a head start on treatment, or to rule out MS?
-Is the wait and see approach a normal way of dealing with these things?

Sorry for the long post, but frankly I'm a little worried, and I want to know what's wrong with me already. I just don't know if I should push for the lumbar puncture, or wait like he suggested. Any opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks for listening!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3571
   Posted 6/18/2009 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey SwellDame,
We can't diagnose you obviously.  Multiple Sclerosis is just that, multiple scars.  Typically those scars show up on an MRI.  However, we have many members here that will tell you that they went for years with symptoms and clean MRIs, only to have lesions show up after being told "nope not MS."  The diagnostic process for most is long and drawn out.  There is usually a wait and watch component to it. 
The fact that everything is normal for you besides your symptoms does not bode well for a quick diagnosis of anything! It does make it more likely that it is not MS.  I would not push for a lumbar puncture.   Those are a bit miserable.  I would go with the wait and watch for at least a little while.  But you must do what you believe is right for you!!  We have many here that are in limbo.  Please stay as long as you need and ask as many questions as you need.  We would love to get to know you better!  Welcome to the board. 
Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3571
   Posted 6/18/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh one more thing, EMG and NVC are not typical tests for MS.  Those test the peripheral nerve and muscle function and MS is a central nerve disorder.  Most people have a test called "evoked potentials".  They can test your hearing, vision and extremeties.  You might ask for that test.  It is not at all invasive.  Perhaps a better way to go than the lumbar puncture. 
Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

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