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Avatar universal

Balance and walking problems, Shaking and Jerking

I'm 63 years old and I have always been very healthy.  Everything changed about 3  years ago.  I had a large cyst removed from my right foot in 2013, and about that time I was told I had arthritis in both knees.  In 2014 I experienced dizziness, heavy breathing, numbness in my left arm and a slight pain off and on in my chest.  My mother died of a heart attack at 58 and she suffered with a twitching mouth.  My father went on SS disability because of leg problems and he has had 3 heart attacks.  Because of this history, I was sent to the hospital and, while there, I fainted.  All the tests were okay for my heart and I was sick for about 2 months.  About 6 mos. later, it happened again, and the heart specialist said I did not look good and put me in the hospital again.  After extensive tests, they found my heart to be very strong; however, I was extremely ill leaving the hospital and could barely make it to the car.  My blood pressure was fine lying down, but went down when I got up.  I was still determined to make it home and I did.  They diagnosed me with vertigo, and, again, I was sick for about 2 months with extreme fatigue.  I then found that I could not walk the two blocks from my car to work and I felt I was going to fall if I did not take my shoes off (which I did and it was cold on the pavements).  I then asked for a closer parking spot to the building.  In August 2014 I had terrible pains in my legs, and I fell twice at a party I had at my house (no alcohol - I don't drink nor do drugs).  I went to my family doctor in 9/14 and, by that time, I could barely cross the street where I parked my car to the building I worked at.  I was limping a lot.  I had two MRI's - one for the brain (with contrast 1.5) and one for the back, and was sent to see a Neurologist in 10/14.  By that time another symptom started - shaking and jerking unexpectedly.  The Neurologist thought that this was stress related and suggested I retire.  I retired 11/14, and it was a good thing I did because things got worse.  I had an EMG done in 11/14 and did PT from 11/14 until 3/15.  In 12/14 the Neurologist informed me I had nerve damage in my right leg, arthritis in my back (I also have arthritis in both knees), 4 mild bulging disc, a pinch nerved and a cyst behind my right knee.  Basically I was told there was nothing else he could do for me.  My doctor prescribed medication for the shaking and jerking, but it only makes me want to sleep, so I take it only at night.  I still shake & jerk, but only when stressed, around a lot of people (I used to be a public speaker??), and when I am cold.  My family doctor passed away unexpectedly 1/15 and I finally got a new doctor 7/15.  During those 6 months, I changed my diet and tried and loved doing Yoga, but had to stop because I fall so easy, and I could not climb the stairs to the Yoga studio anymore.  I've lost 15 pounds and I'm at my ideal weight.  My new doctor knows all of the above and wanted to know my diagnosis.  I said I can only tell you what happened, and I did not know I did not have a diagnosis.  Now it has become an emergency status according to her, and a Nerve and Spine Specialist I saw.  I cannot walk very far without assistance, I shake and jerk every time I go out, I'm good with pain, but sometimes I feel like my knee or another body part is bruised by touch, but then when I check later, and there is no bruise.  My tongue goes numb.  I can't stand on my feet very long to cook, and I need help from my daughter to go shopping where I must use a motorized cart.  At home I use a wheel device that I can stop and sit on.  My balance is completely off and I have broken dishes and knocked over items when I reach for them.  I have numbness in both hands and, especially, in my left arm (which was the problem in 2013 when they thought it was my heart).  I have another appointment with a new Neurologist (my other moved out of state), and he specializes in migraines.  I rarely have headaches.  I'm depressed and, where I never did this easily, I now cry unexpectedly.  I was a very active person before.  My daughter called me super mom.  I feel I'm getting worse each week and I'm not optimistic about this new Neurologist.  His reviews state his is arrogant, and condescending.  My new doctor did state that if they don't help me, she will send me out of state.  I just want help and guidance.  I will do whatever I need to do to get better.  Let me just add - at the age of 50 tests showed that I had the bones of a 50 year old, I got mono at 55, and people tell me a lot that I look like I'm in my 40's.  I certainly feel like I'm in my 90's right now.  Any suggestions?  Has anyone else gone through this nonsense?  To those with any knowledge of these matters - what kind of diagnosis does this sound like to you?  This has been going on for far too long.  Every day is a blessing to me, but I would prefer to be back to my old self again or be told what I have wrong with me and what I can do to get better or accept what I have.
Best Answer
710547 tn?1295446030
Hi - one thing I'd say, is there can be multiple illnesses going on in one person! I'm a perfect example. Many of my diseases failed to be diagnosed due to doctors blaming every symptom on an already diagnosed condition.

I never expected MS, so when flares came, I'd see a neurologist and they'd say - ok, you have TN, or this nerve is damaged, or gee, don't know what is causing that - get pills, go home, and wait for the next issue.

This was fine, as like you, I wasn't nor am I,  one to run to doctors or chase dx. But MS kind of found me with enough tests for other diseases. Something is obviously wrong, but you might not get answers. Some conditions just are too complex and are never understood. Sad but true.

I would at least make sure you are listened to. Make a time line with dates, symptoms, duration of symptoms etc., to take to the doctor. Try to keep things simple and concise. They hear so many multi-symptom complaints that are all over the place and quite frankly they're more likely to dismiss such patients.

You sound like you need an MRI and Spinal tap to help figure this out. Balance can be ear problems, or other brain issues, and there's no way to put it all together in a post. But you have legitimate concerns, and I hope you get some answers.

When at the neurologist, I'd keep your symptoms of Rheumatology to a minimal comment. He or she will want to address those symptoms of balance, sensation abnormalities, as well as major changes in cognitive issues not just related to situations.

All illness is made worse by stress, and some are even caused by stress, but EVENTUALLY, only symptoms which occur even when not under stress are relevant. Help the doctor help you. That's my best advice, and I've been through it, believe me. It can be a long frustrating road.

I wish you the best, and totally understand just wanting to return to your former strong healthy self. I hope you can, but at least I hope you get answers and can be the best possible you for now. God bless.
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Avatar universal
You know, I may not have MS, but at least you kind people have made me feel so much better.  Being listened to is one of the best remedies.

Once I find out what I do have, at least I will know where to go to for advice and to help others who have the same condition.

Thanks everyone who responded!  

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you!

I do not rush to see doctors, and, so all of this may be my fault.

I probably should have pushed with further treatment.  It's just that the doctor I went to for years, passed away at the age of 50 (totally unexpected), and I felt lost.  She knew that when I complained, there must be something wrong.  She would get mad at me for not coming to her sooner.

I think I have a long journey ahead of me, but I will keep you posted.
Helpful - 0
338416 tn?1420045702
Welcome to the forum!

Shaking and jerking could be from many things, as could the numbness and the lack of balance. First things first, it sounds like your symptoms aren't being addressed. You need a neurologist who will listen to you and treat  your symptoms.

I'm not sure a migraine specialist will be able to help you. Don't be disappointed if he/she isn't able to figure out what's going on. Even if you have painless migraines with aura, it doesn't explain the shaking and lack of balance.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you for your kind response.

I am new at posting, and thought if I clicked return, it would post my comment.  I, also, thought this was for every type of element/disease for posting, but I had typed in MS because my symptoms are so similar, and I wanted to find out if others had similar experiences as I am having.

The Nerve and Spine Specialist feels there is more than one thing going on, but she did not clarify.

My doctors felt this could not wait until the October date I originally had to see a Neurologist because I am getting worse.  I fall a lot and almost fell into our pond last month when I tried to throw food out to the fish (I did have my walker with me).  That could have killed me with all the rocks.  I then fell about 12 ft. away onto  the grass.  I'm becoming a recluse, and, since I'm a very social person, it's difficult.

Yesterday I knocked over my coffee, and broke a glass just in normal activity.  Then it takes all my energy to clean this up.  I, also, nearly fell twice just trying to sit down because I failed to concentrate on moving my right leg correctly

I guess I will need to wait for further tests.  I have thought about just going to the hospital a couple of times .  I will probably end up in the there, though, due to a bad fall.  

Right now the plan is to see the Neurologist on Monday, and if he just sends my on my way, I'm going straight to my family doctor to see what she wants me to do.

Also, I am going to a seminar on Saturday regarding balance, numbness issues.  These are doctors who will focus totally on you, but for a price - they don't take insurance.  I'm not sure I can afford that, but I will get rid of material things just to get better.
Helpful - 0
987762 tn?1671273328
Hi and welcome,

I'm not sure if you intended for your question to land in the MS community or not but could you please make sure you brake up your future posts, people with MS often have visual and or cognitive issues that makes reading large blocks of text extremely difficult....ta

In regards to MS, i wouldn't think MS would be your 'most likely' explanation as what you've mentioned....nerve damage in my right leg, arthritis in my back (I also have arthritis in both knees), 4 mild bulging disc, a pinch nerved, pain, bruised feeling, balance, peripheral limb numbness, deteriorating mobility etc would commonly be associated with both structural spinal issues and or arthritis.  

You mention that your depressed but it's possible that your also dealing with high levels of anxiety too, if you've noted that your tremor become worse when you go out, stressed, around a lot of people etc which would be more suggestive of a psychological tremor and i would recommend you seriously consider discussing your emotional health with your doctor.

I'm not sure what to make of both your GP and neuro nerve-spine specialist indicating that this had to become an emergency status, to me an emergency would put you in the hospital immediately and not waiting around for the next available neuro appointment......I'm more inclined to think this is something that definitely needs an updated neurological assessment, related testing but I also think you would benefit from seeing a rheumatologist about your arthritis too.

If you can, try to keep an open mind about what it all means, obviously you've not been well for a few years, what you do know about has gotten a lot worse over the last year at least, so you've got some tests to get through but your tests results should reflect what's been going on and initiate more appropriate treatment options for you.......deep breaths, it should all start coming together very soon!


Helpful - 0
987762 tn?1671273328
I meant when I was 50 years old the test showed I had the bones of a 26 year old.
Helpful - 0

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