Join Date: Sep 2012
Hello everyone. I'd like to share my story and get some advice.
Hi! I'm so glad to have found NeuroTalk, for various reasons. I would like to introduce myself...I am Sam, a 25 year old female that has been struggling lately with some nerve pain and abnormal sensations. I'd like to share my story for anyone who will take the time to read it...please bare with me here.
Growing up I was very active and was very healthy apart from the occasional stomach bug, cold or strep throat. Exactly 1 year ago in September during my busy and stressful student teaching experience, I woke up one morning feeling great and "normal" - I was up a little earlier than usual so I propped up my pillow and turned my tv. After 30 min I sat up and as I did I felt a painless "zing" feeling go through my head and suddenly my head when numb (or my scalp, I don't know). It scared me so much and wasn't going away so I went to the med clinic since it was over the weekend. As the morning went on I realized one side of my body felt more numb than the other, but I still had feeling, just not quite as much as the other side. That was my only symptom. I was referred to a neurologist - he did his physical tests on me (my eye sight, understanding of direction, strength, walking, balance etc were all fine to him) but he wanted to do an MRI of my brain and spine w & w/o contrast just to make sure it's not MS.
The scan of my brain was perfect and my spine only showed some minor arthritis in my neck. About 2 months before this happened I started losing my hair, a lot! I just didn't think anything of it because I had so much hair and it was long I just thought I was due for a good shed or something. But once this bout of numbness came on I realized my hair was still coming out a lot and thinning was apparent at this point so my dermatologist & neurologist both did blood tests to rule out lupus, thyroid, deficiencies and other diseases that could not only cause hair loss but autoimmune diseases. Everything came back normal. I also had an NCV...which was normal.
By late October I was told, without them actually speaking this, that the numbing and hair loss were just anxiety and stress. I've been through an eating disorder and the death of my mother and never felt physical anxiety symptoms before, so this really made me doubt my doctors. However, there was nothing else left to do I went on...and by November I was all better. My hair loss didn't stop until March 2012, however.
NOW...after a little less than a year of being symptom free and feeling awesome, I've started experiencing different symptoms. I woke up one morning in August with the craziest electric shock pain in my left inner calf! I felt like I was being tazed from the inside. It was extremely painful and would make me jump, cry out, etc. It was local, would last for .25 seconds and go away. Throughout the day the shocks got further apart but I was going crazy in pain. This automatically made me think it was a nerve problem. Despite my fear of driving with this, I went to see my internist that day and without even testing me he said it was a mineral deficiency, told me to drink gatorade all week and sent me on my way...wtf? I did, anyway, and it didn't help.
That day was the only day I have ever felt it THAT severely, but ever since then everyday I get some mini or lighter version of the shocks and they're not only in my inner calf now, but in the back of my calf, right leg, sometimes my thigh. They're not enough to make me jump or stop what I'm doing but they're still painful and disturbing as heck. I also get these pin prick feelings that come and go in random places all over my body. Along with that, some occasional muscle twitching (painless). I do have anxiety, so I often wonder if the twitching comes from that. Considering I've been a mental mess since those shocks first happened I just don't know what additional symptoms are real and what aren't. The right side of my neck started hurting the other day radiating into my shoulder and head. I've even felt a shooting pain behind my eye recently. And now, since the pain started, every time I turn my head to the right there is a high pitched clicking/crackling sound in my head. Sometimes I wake up with the top of my right arm numb, but I shake it off and it's fine within a minute. OH, and my hair loss is back. I haven't even had an adequate amount of time to grow it back and now it's coming out AGAIN...at this rate I'll be bald by next year.
I lost my best friend (my mom) to a sudden dx and short battle of pancreatic cancer in 2010 and have never really grieved. I was in school and all she wanted was to see my graduate and I couldn't give her that so I just mustered through it and kept going going going. That's why everyone thinks this is all been related to stress, but again, that was in 2010. I want to grieve and get it out of the way, but every time I even think about her I cant hold back the tears and I'm just not ready to face it. Also, because she seemed and felt so healthy one day, and the next was dx with this horrible cancer, I've become paranoid and suffer from anxiety when it comes to my health.
I've seen my neuro recently for the shock pains (before the neck/head pain started) and I'm doing a lumbar MRI this week to check for a cause for the leg pain. But just by telling him of my shock pain and pin prick sensations he still said no to MS and didn't think it was necessary to do the scans again. I'm sure once he gets the lumbar results back and if they're clear I can mention my head/neck pain and maybe then he'll want to do the brain and spine scan again then.
I hope I haven't bored anyone with my story, but I just wanted to get it all out there and see if people would actually listen because I can't talk about it with my family or friends. I've tried...my dad refuses to believe anything bad health-wise can happen to a 25 year old and thinks I'm making this all up and blows it off when I try to talk to him about my pain, my sister that lives in town thinks it's my anxiety and I think secretly is annoyed when I talk about it, my friends think it's stress and anxiety and it's all in my head, and my other older sister that lives in Seattle is the only one who believes me and will listen. I just wish she were here. I really feel alone. I'm doing this all on my own...going to drs, paying for my medical bills, etc. Despite being brought up in a supportive, wealthy family, I'm on my own here because everyone thinks I'm crazy. I feel so lonely and I'm working my butt off as a newly graduated college student trying to find a teaching job, and juggling this pain and the bills just to get some help.
Does anyone have any insight on what this could be? Does this look like MS? Because the hair loss keeps coming around I keep thinking lupus, but apparently I was cleared for all that. I'm really scared.