For the last 10 years I've been experience an array of different symptoms, random numbness in my less and pins and needles in my hands, random episodes of dizziness, more recently I'm just randomly weak in the legs and hands, some days it hurts to close my fists, most days I feel tired even after 8-10 hours sleep a night, sometimes I just randomly lose my balance and stumble to the side.
With all that said, I've also had severe headaches for years that come… read more
The thing about having MS is there is no way to determine its next step will be. I continued to ignore what I now know were MS symptoms and kept myself ignorant of what was happening to me (I was not only successful but reasonably happy too). Those facts don't keep me from quietly calling myself an idiot. I get your point but a lumbar puncture, well mine, was over in about 15 minutes. I was numbed from the waist down and the worst part of it was my thinking how horrible it was going to be. Oh yeah, I kept myself from looking at the needle.You aren't even to a LP stage yet though. I would think a doctor would take your history and then start their examination before ordering a LP. I did what you are doing and totally get it. You're jumping to step 10 of the process and I recommend taking a very deep breath and starting with step 1 and just follow the steps without anticipating what the next one is.. You are very successful and have gotten to where you are by anticipating the next hurdle but it's time to take your foot off the gas and let some doctors drive for awhile.
I know this is overwhelming. However knowledge is power. At least if you know what you are dealing with you can work to minimize symptoms. I was diagnosed in 2017 with an MRI. Problems with my vision (I woke up blind in one eye one day), numbness in my hand, weak arms and legs and foggy thinking. I did not have the lumbar until my old neurologist passed away and my new one wanted do the test. The procedure was not bad.....the headache after, sucked. Aside from medicine which seems to have mixed reviews on effectiveness, there are lifestyle changes you can make that may help. Every body is different and every one has MS in their own way. I fast intermittently (look it up as there is promising research on how this helps with MS) and I practice yoga regularly. I feel so much better when I do both regularly. Plus, if you have MS it is important to know what kind you have as treatments will be different for each. Let your family help you.
I would see at least 1 neurologist (an MS specialist if you can get a referral) and at least 1 rheumatologist. You may or may not have MS or you could have a different condition (ie. rheumatoid arthritis) or nothing serious at all. But if your life is being disrupted and you don't feel well, you should figure out what is causing it.
You do not 100% need a lumbar puncture to get MS diagnosed.I had a lumbar puncture myself and it was easy. Have you ever had surgery or dental work or an IV in a hospital? It is much much easier than surgery of any kind. But you may not even need it. What you probably need for an MS diagnosis is MRI's (of the brain and spine) - push to have them done.
There are things you can do if you have MS and probably other conditions as well. The worst thing you can do is to avoid it, in my opinion. There are MS meds that slow down the disease and they are most effective when taken as early as possible in the disease course, so waiting will not do you any good. You can worry but regardless of how you feel if you have a condition that is progressive it can and probably will get worse if you don't take action to stop it. So I would take action. Don't see any primary care doctors; they are useless aside from basic blood tests (which I'm sure you have had).
I was recently diagnosed and even though I still have symptoms, I am taking medication that is supposed to help me maintain. It's better to know and get the proper help and take care of yourself.
I am sorry for these symptoms and worries you are having. Personally, I think it’s better to dive in and get a medical experts opinion rather than continuing to worry about the unknown.
When I was diagnosed in 2005 I luckily didn’t have a spinal tap, just an MRI and .... some other basic tests like various cognitive challenges, balance, steadiness, strength, and.... I’m forgetting what else. But I think the brain MRI was the clincher. There was clearly two large bright spots in the cervical collar; and more smaller bright spots around the top of the brain. The scariest visual indicator was my obvious brain shrinkage. Neither my husband nor I questioned what appeared to be clear brain shrinkage! I wasn’t prepared to ask or know the reason for it. There was already plenty that required time for absorbing. Fatigue interferes a good deal with my everyday life.
I would be angrier about the MS diagnosis if I hadn’t been in a deadly automobile accident about 6 years earlier, when I nearly died and had both legs severely crushed. The right leg required immediate amputation thru the knee and the left leg had a ton of work done but it was left intact. yada yada yada