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New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/5/2009 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all, for a while now I've been reading this board and dealing with some off symptoms that have me troubled. Before you say anything, I know this isn't a place to come for a diagnosis but I haven't yet put all my thoughts down in written format and I am looking for some opinions from people with neurological disorders.

On May 2 I got a very odd sensation on the left part of my face. Just above the corner of my lip. At first I described it as numb, but I had complete feeling over the area (about the size of a dime). Later that week I was brushing my teeth and I noticed that after brushing the inside lining of my cheeks (the mucous lining) would shed. This was really disturbing to me and the small "strange feeling" patch was persistent on the left side of my face. Well, I didn't have health insurance at the time and I'm a fairly resilient person so I shrugged it off. I switched toothpastes to Biotene and the shedding in my mouth stopped immediately. Oh, well, that is very strange but I have heard of people being allergic to toothpaste before so I let it go.

The facial issue continued and on May 15th I felt completely drained. I was starting to get anxious and depressed about this thing that would not go away. I slept almost that entire weekend and for 3 weeks following I was having fatigue. Whatever was wrong with my mouth would resurface when I used my old toothpaste, I did a little self experimentation of a number of occasions.

These symptoms stayed the same and around the beginning of June I had an all day work meeting and man did I feel out of it. I wasn't concentrating. I was focused of feeling like crap, and now the anxiety that "Taylor, there might be something really wrong here!" was setting in. I muddled through the two days and at the end of the second I was verging on a panic attack - I recognize that, I have had them in the past. Well, I was going to do something about it and I headed down to the Urgent Care facility. The doctor on call didn't know what to do with me, I explained about the facial feeling and prescribed me an antibiotic. Looking bad it was my mistake for going to an Urgent Care, there isn't a whole lot they can do and I am sure the guy wanted to do something rather than just send me on my way. I took the 3 days worth of antibiotics (Azthrosomething) and I didn't notice any change.

The fatigue continued and I started having another odd sensation, this time in my left upper arm. In that small crease where the shoulder muscles meet your upper arm muscles I was getting that same feeling I was having on my face but accompanied by a very, very small amount of pain - like a mini cramp. I was becoming a wreck, very emotional, etc. So, the next step of course was to see a GP. Throughout all of this I don't have any health insurance so seeing the doctor at 100 dollars a pop isn't exactly lovely, but c'est la vie. My first doctor's visit was around June 20th and I explained all my symptoms as best as I could. We did a few exercises to determine if there where any neurological deficits (squeeze my fingers, look this way, look that way, etc). I was acing these tests no problem. My doctors took out a cotton swab (like one you would use to swab someone's mouth) and brushed it along my face asking me if I could feel it. Yes, I definitely could feel everywhere she touched with the swab.

"You don't have insurance" she said, "so let's start small." We did blood work that day. A CBC, Metabolic Panel, and something else (the name escapes me at the moment). Also she proscribed my Methylprednisolone that day and we talked a little more about what this may be. Possibly some inflammation somewhere, lets start on the cheap and work up. The steroids cost me 4 dollars, and I was happy as a clam to try and get this thing kicked. 6 days on the steroids and no change in my symptoms except a few slight nauseous moments when I took the steroids on an empty stomach. The blood work came back and looked fine: no infectious processes at work, nothing out of the ordinary. I felt good about that but all my symptoms persisted.

Back to the GP and this time, I knew what was coming. "We need an MRI, that's the next step." I am sure for all of you uninsured you can understand that this is nearby cost prohibitive, but I found a radiology lab that was willing to perform one for 420 dollars with and without contrast. Cool beans, I'll take the hit for the peace of mind. Around this time I started getting the same type of feelings in my lower left leg. Oh dear, I was caving and nothing was going to stop me. My MRI was only of my brain, I did not have a spinal (that would have been another 420 dollars and that just isn't feasible). My doctor said, "If you are having the feeling on your face then if something is there, it should show up on a brain MRI." I understood and accepted the logic. This "strange" feeling was and has always been most prominent on my face. I had the MRI two weeks ago and the results where sent to my doctor. I got the call and they said, "Good news, the MRI looks perfectly healthy." I was pleased, but still, no idea what this thing is and it made the news bittersweet.

I sat myself down and I did a little self evaluation. I probably should have called them back and asked what is next, but I was really worried now that these symptoms where psychosomatic. Well, I thought, if it's in your head it'll go away in time and that's where I am today.

Things I am sure about:
- Anxiety and worry heighten the negative feelings I have. I feel worse when I am worried and better when I am not focused on this.
- I have a good GP doctor and I am confident with her conclusion that the tests haven't yielded any results; I'm not worried that they missed something.
- I self diagnose, which is counter productive. This feeds anxiety and generates depression.
- I have not seen a neurologist and have not had any test that are not listed above.

Things I am not sure about:
- Should I continue to pursue a diagnosis or take a "wait and see" approach.
- Because so much of this seems to be centered around anxiety and depression I wander if I should look down that road.

Throughout this I've been counciled by friends and family that these are in fact the effects of stress and lack of social interaction. I work from home, 12 hours a day, at a computer and that have whittled my social life to almost nill.

Some other medical issues that might proven relevant:
- I have a very slight case of what the doc's would like to call IBS. It's completely stress/food triggered, I have gotten a handle on this just fine and need absolutely no medication.
- August of last year the top of my left thumb went completely (and I am taking like your slept on it) numb. This was after I started riding motorcycles again and thought that it was a pinched nerve. Eventually this worked itself out without any kind of treatment.
- October of last year while on a 250 mile, bone chilling ride to Flagstaff Arizona I had the same thing happen again on my left hand but this time it was the top of my hand from the wrist to my knuckles. When I got in to Flagstaff I couldn't feel anything at all and once I started to thaw out I noticed the numbness. I cracked it up to my hands being so cold I couldn't feel whatever damage I was doing to them. That has mostly gone away but since then my left hand has remained much more stiff than my right.

- 25 year old male, smoker, 200 pounds, no serious medical issues. One head trauma about 8 years ago, minor concussion. History of anxiety, not currently taking (or seeking) medication.

When all this initially started I described the "strange" sensation as numbness. Since then I think that description is misleading. It is not, in fact numb (like when you wake up in the middle of the night and you've slept on your arm). It's like you've slept on it and the skin feels "tight", almost like something is touching your face every so slightly, or how your skin feels after you wake up and roll out of bed when you've been sleeping on one side all night. I suppose it's hard to describe, but my first description of "numb" tends to indicated that "you can't feel anything" and this simply isn't the case.

I like in Phoenix, it's very hot (should be 110 tomorrow) and I don't have any issue with going out in to it - other than it being hot and miserable. Hot showers don't cause me any problems, in fact I enjoy them immensely.

My vision is pretty good. Some times at night I get some flashes, but only when I close my eyes after a long day at the computer. That passes in a few minutes.

I wear a full face helmet almost everyday. This is nonnegotiable.

I can't think of anything more to add, but this is the first time I've had the opportunity to get all of this down in a written format and I would like to hear opinions from people. I really wish I had health insurance because I would simply take 3 days off this week, go to the ER and say "run all the tests guys, everything", but that isn't going to happen.

I'm attaching a picture here to illustrate the areas where I am having this feeling:


Thanks for listening.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 7/6/2009 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Would that head trama be on the side that you are experiencing the numbness?
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 7/6/2009 1:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Reactive

Welcome to the board. Forgive my late arrival to u'r thread. I've begun working lately and it's a VERY full time job. I saw u'r thread on my phone while checking the board and wanted to come address it.

U seem to be in a tough place without insurance. I have been thru all these MRI's and other testing and can tell u that with or without ins it's very expensive! The symptoms u'r describing overall don't seem very ms'ish. There are aspects of u'r symptoms....the numbness in u'r face....that do fit ms, but also many other neurological problems. I would continue to persue this if for no other reason than to satisfy u'r need to know, but would advise not to spend time researching and self dx'ing. Anxiety can play a big role in u'r health and not knowing what the cause of this can make this or other things feel worse, but worse than that is the guessing game.

I too am wondering if the issues u'r having with numbness are on the same side of u'r head as the trauma was? That could easily be the root cause of things. The toothpaste is probably just what u found it to allergic reaction.

Try to be calm and give u'rself and ur doc time to figure this out. Remember, neurological issues can take a long time to diagnose. Try to continue life and let things be examined and rest in the comfort that u do have a good doc who is aware of u'r financial needs as well as u'r medical needs. Again, welcome to the board.
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
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New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/6/2009 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
MMMNAVY said...
Would that head trama be on the side that you are experiencing the numbness?

The trauma was from a door frame right in the center of my head, just above my hairline. This was... hrm... 8 or so years ago so I don't think it is related.

When people here describe numbness I imagine that is like a complete lack of feeling. Like you've slept on your arm and are woken up in the middle of the night and you have to let the feeling come back. In my case that isn't it at all, it's not numb just a patch of "disconnected" feeling. So, I am unsure if that is what an MS sufferer would experience.

Post Edited (Reactive) : 7/6/2009 7:04:52 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 7/7/2009 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
if it were from the head trauma, it would be the opposite side of the injury
God will Give me nothing i cannot handle--i just wish he didn't trust me so much

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 271
   Posted 7/11/2009 2:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I do not think is sounds like MS. I have a patch of numbness under one foot that has been there, unchanged, for several years. I also had really intensely painful skin sensitivity where the touch of my clothes or the air could trigger an excruciating spasm. But it does not sound like either of those. I would investigate a migraine site perhaps they could have some suggestions.

Good luck
Have had relapsing/remitting MS since 10 yrs old. Secondary/progressive since 1995. Baclofen pump since 2008.

"The past is history, the future is a mystery, the present is a gift."

New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/15/2009 3:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Well after having a clear MRI I think the possibility for having multiple sclerosis is rather slim myself. By definition, if there are no lesions then there are no sclerosis(es?). The patch on my face is the most prominent and will fade slightly some days, but I think those days I am subconsciously ignoring it. I've gotten rather fed up with this to be honest and I find myself saying "Whatever, don't even let it bother you. It's nothing."

I saw a chiropractor at the behest of my sister. As soon as the chiro said that something in my spine might be causing this in my face I nearly lost it. From what I understand about physiology that is complete hogwash. Nerves travel downward, not up. Oh well, I think I did it most to please my sister, not money well spent tho.

Some days I really do feel better, some days I feel the same (like today). Heat sensitivity I've completely ruled out tho. I just did a couple of hours riding in 110 degree heat and the symptoms never increased, in fact I noticed them less because I was active and burning up hot. No weakness that I can speak to. Tons of anxiety though about "never feeling better again", which is also a silly attitude to have if you want to feel better.

I'm not sure if I want to "wait it out" and see if this dissipates or call up a Neuro and spend more money and time on this. It seems that most family and friends I talk to think this is an anxiety issue, which would be fine by me but there is no way to really diagnose that either - just treat it. I've had three trips to my GP, tests performed, but they don't seem interested in pursuing this. My last interaction with them was to tell me that the MRI looked "perfectly healthy".

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 271
   Posted 7/15/2009 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Reactive,

I think ignoring it as much as possible is a good idea particularly since you have had a clear MRI & positive advice from your GP. I would steer clear of neuros unless you know of a good one. The ones I have seen seem to get a buzz out of making a diagnosis, any diagnosis that will kindof fit your symptoms. I do not think this is helpful.
Hang in there :-)
Have had relapsing/remitting MS since 10 yrs old. Secondary/progressive since 1995. Baclofen pump since 2008.

"The past is history, the future is a mystery, the present is a gift."

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