Recently diagnosed with MS. Still trying to accept this diagnosis as it hit me out of the blue and was completely unexpected.
I was recently diagnosed with MS by a neurologist. I sought a 2nd opinion from another neurologist who isn't completely convinced yet that it is definately MS so I am still in the process of having more tests done. I have not started treatment yet, but will probably start by the end of 2008.
I work in the insurance field and I am originally from Seattle, Washington. I moved to Las Vegas in 1998 because I was tired of the rain and gloom. I don't have any children, not by choice, but I also have polycystic ovarian disease and was unable to concieve. Due to other complications, I had to have a hysterectomy in 2005 so there will not be any in the future either. I have 3 cats (I know, that's a lot of cats, lol), and several small fish. My favorite vacation spot it Cabo. The picture on my profile is from my last trip there.
I experienced vertigo in 2005 that lasted 4 months. Along with the vertigo came anxiety and panic attacks. No one could explain the veritigo and it eventully went away by itself. I had several tests performed including an MRI and was told that it was just anxiety and was given diazapam. In May 2008 I took a vacation in Hawaii. I had a panic attack on the flight and while I was in Hawaii the vertigo came back. The vertigo lasted 2 1/2 months this time. I tried several medications for the vertigo but nothing seemed to help. One moring I awoke and my left eye was completely blurred vision that lasted for 3 hours. I went to an opthomologist who found the optic neuritis and sent me to the ER for an MRI and lumbar punchure. The MRI showed leasons and a Chari I Malformation. The lumbar punchure was the worst experience of my life. It made the vertigo 10x worse and I had a migrane that lasted for a week. I was in the hospital for a week, just because of the lumbar punchure. I don't mean to scare anyone who has to get one, because if it is necessary then you must, but just be informed that it can be a rough time right after. The doctor's in the hospital released me and told me nothing was wrong. When I followed up with the opthomologist, he sent me to a different neurologist. Upon review of the hospital notes and the results of the MRI and lumbar punchure I was diagnosed with MS. I only state that because if I had not followed up I would still think everything was ok. So the shock of being diagnosed was unbelievable since just a few week prior I was told by the treating doctor at the hospital and the neurologist at the hospital that they could not find anything wrong with me!
I recently had an OCT test completed on my optic nerve and it was determined that I do have some permanent damage from the optic neuritus. I have another appointment scheduled to have a Visual Evoked Potential test done.
I have several small lesions on my MRI and one lesion about the size of a quarter. I have another MRI scheduled in Dec 2008 to see if it changes. When I follow up with my neuro after this MRI I am going to discuss treatments for MS.
I did a 3 day course of the IV corto-steroid treatment but it did not seem to help the optic neuritis or the vertigo at all. I think it may have help with the "brain fog" I was experiencing a little. When they tell you it can effect your emotions they weren't lying. LOL. I am not a crier, but while on this treatment I would start crying at the smallest thing.
I also suffer from TMJ. The worst was about 6 or 7 years ago when I wasn't even able to get out of bed due to the extreme pain and I could not eat or move my jaw at all. I have since tried to relax the jaw muscle especially before I go to sleep. This has helped but I still get pain when chewing certain foods. I think this may be due to the Chari I malformation. I recently saw on a post regarding chiropractic treatment for upper cervical problems and I am currently researching this as an option.
10/22/08 update, I saw the NUCCA chiropractor and I have had 2 treatments and it is unbelievable the relief from the pain! I found out that my neck (cervical discs) had no curve to them and they were completely straight! No wonder I have had sooooo much pain in my neck and shoulders and headaches. After 2 treatments, I am feeling so much better. I will need to continue to treat with the NUCCA chiro for about 6 months to correct the problems but it really has been amazing so far. If you are interested in looking into finding a NUCCA chiro near you, you can go to the following website: http://www.upcspine.com/prac1.asp
2/24/09 I got vertigo again for the 3rd time now. My neuro sent me to physical therapy to a dizzy clinic. After they ran some tests, they found that I have a weakness in my inner ear and I am now starting PT. Hope it works! I have also seen an MS Specialist who confirmed the dx.
11/24/09 - update: I have a Chiari Malformation and a disc fusion in my neck. This could be cause of most of my symtoms. I have seen a neurosurgeon who has recommended surgery. I am considering his recommendation. I also have seen an MS Specialist and neither doctor is convinced at this time that I have MS for sure. It is a possibility, however, the Chiari Malformation has become my focus point to date. I think I need to deal with it and get it fixed to see what happens to my symptoms. This would not explain the results of the lumbar punchure, but could explain everything else. So....I just don't know what to think at this point. The surgery is scary, but I do think it is necessary. Just don't know how I will find the time or money to get it done. I would be off work 6-8 weeks; if everything goes well. And the doctor cannot give me any guarrantee that my symptoms will improve with the surgery :(
Well, that is where I sit today. I am thinking of planning on having the surgery in the Spring of 2010 if everything goes according to plan.
3/9/10 Vertigo back again. It started a few weeks ago and has progressively gotten wore. Having trouble walkinkg, driving, doing much of anything. I am trying to find a local Neurologist since the last one I saw was at UCLA and the other's I saw locally are no longer practicing here. Dr office is suppose to call me back to let me know if they will see me. I wish I knew if the vertigo was due to the Chari or if it is MS. No one can seem to tell me for sure. I have tried everything to stop/control it, but to date nothing seems to work. It just has to run it's course, which has been about 2 1/2 months each time (except the first time was 4 months). This is so frustrating. Once I find a doctor here, I think I will start the Copaxone, now that I have medical insurance that will cover it. I am still not sure about having the surgery for the Chari (scary). I will see what my new Neuro says (if he agrees to see me). What is up with these doctors who pick and choose what patient's they will or will not see? I don't get it. If you want to see a doctor, shouldn't you just be able to make an appointment???