Multiple Sclerosis Community
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Avatar universal

What is wrong with me?

Symptom onset- June, 2014: Normal day, at night attack began resulting in vomiting (not out of stomach pain, but out of the sensations) Felt as if needed to go to hospital, but shook it off. Continued happening and has not ceased. No symptoms present before onset (or at least no awareness of symptoms). In general, very difficult to describe.

-Double Vision
-Tingling in hands, feet, and thighs
-deep pain that feels pseudo flu-like without the accompanying fever/congestion; essentially weakness “deep in the bones.” (particularly rib cage and back).
-Stiff core/ neck
-Deep pain in left shoulder-blade.
-Patch of skin on lower left back that is asleep/numb periodically.
-Feels as if my body is pulsating/knocking, with particular emphasis on my spine (middle of back).
-Feels as if unable to function i.e. typing but feeling as if fingers wont work (but they do).
-Constant, all most daily, flare-ups that last from a few minutes to a few days (can have multiple in a day).
-Flare-ups extreme exacerbation of symptoms: tingling in hands and feet, disorientation, feels as if body is snapping/ collapsing inward, feels inflamed in brain and spine.
-hot/cold sensations.
-When not “flared, brain fogginess, weakness, fatigue present, but occasionally dissipate and body is approximately 90% normal.
-Staring at a space for an elongated period of time.
-Twitching in limbs/restless legs in the morning and night
-Episodes in which the body feels as if it is spinning (akin to “the spins when intoxicated,” but motor skills and balance are fine). Particular noticeable lying in bed.
-Stabbing pain in forehead, feels pressure, like a rod is pressing into my forehead.
-Trouble formulating words during flares/ numbness in tongue.
-Exercise and heat induce flares; inability to sauna or exercise because attacks ensue. Usually dissipate once rested and hydrated. Particularly brutal when already flared, exercise is impossible.
-Intolerance to alcohol.
-Cannot stay up late or a flare-up ensue.
-Extreme nausea, possible related to the spinning sensation.
-Symptoms not always predictable i.e. leg can feel heavy or off, but respond and function normally.
-Feels as if head is knocking back and forth.
-Feels like skin is crawling (perhaps due to tingling).
-Waking up and never feeling rested.
-Attacks usually in morning and late afternoon/night.
-Wake up consistently feeling normal (outside of the not feeling resting claim) for the first 15 minutes of consciousness before flare ensues. Ends fairly promptly, but can set the tone for the day i.e. “going to be a bad day.”
-Flare-ups can be so bad unable to do anything and feeling the need to go to hospital begins when especially brutal. Body feels as if it is not working. Able to breath, but feels off. Anxiety worsens symptoms.
-Anxiety/ depression a result as flare-ups induce panic as I feel like my body is collapsing in on itself/ body is going to snap in half.

Tests/ Procedures done(All Normal)
-Extensive blood work
-Mri Head (w and w out contrast), Neck, lower back/ spine (w out contrast).
-CT scan of head and neck, w contrast
-Echocardiogram, EKG
-EMG/ Nerve conduction studies

Although this has been going on for almost 2 years, I am still alive and essentially fine. My motor skills are normal i.e. still can throw a baseball 85 mph, bench press 200 lbs, run. Nothing has ever resulted in a difficult flare-up, but my quality of life has dwindled as I spend money and time navigating the health industry and  attempting to receive a diagnosis. Although I was able to graduate college with the condition (gpa of 2.4, when I had averaged a 3.5 before), I have put off graduate school plans because I am unable to function.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
We are not doctors here, so cannot say with any certainty what is happening with your health. We can, though, provide some thoughts from the MS perspective, since you've posted on an MS forum.

Nothing you write strikes me as pointers towards MS. The flares you speak of, coming and going sometimes throughout the same day, are not MS-type flares, which last at least a day or two, but much more often it's weeks or even months of the same specific symptom, localized to the same area. That's because attacks of MS are caused by specific lesions in the central nervous system (brain, neck, spinal cord). If and when the lesions begin to heal (imperfectly), the specific symptoms they cause will begin to ease up. Nothing 'all over' is caused by MS.

The only case in which MS can cause severe nausea and vomiting is where there's been a disruption in the inner ear/balance system and some type of vertigo results. (There are a number of kinds.) An ENT doctor can test for abnormalities in this function with good accuracy, so if you've had this testing and the results were good, look elsewhere for the cause of your symptom. Nausea/vomiting without a balance problem will almost never be from MS.

In all candor, I must say you also have way too many symptoms, most of them rather non-specific, for MS. It seems you get all-over feelings of being unwell that come and go, but you wake up each morning feeling well. Then you think about the issues you mention and they come on again. Your muscle strength and physical performance are quite normal, and all your testing is normal as well.

Perhaps you see where I'm leading with this--the possibility that there's an emotional cause for what's going on. In your shoes I'd find a good psychologist and ask for a thorough evaluation. You are a young male in the prime of your life, and should be active and engaged with life and living. You've undergone a great deal of medical testing over many months without getting answers, so now look into the psychological aspects of your issues. I'm sure your goal is to be well and happy, and this is an avenue worth exploring.

Good luck to you.


Been with a therapist since onset. Depressed, anxious, but no belief that symptoms are psychosomatic.
987762 tn?1331027953
Hi and welcome,

I don't have much to add to what ess has already mentioned.......to be totally honest, you use common RRMS relapse terms exacerbation, Attacks, Flare-ups, actually your overall style of writing in my experience is very suggestive of someone who's dealing with high levels of health related anxiety.

'IF' you'd been extensively researching your original symptoms, and then after you started reading about MS, the more symptoms you'd been reading about you started experiencing and the more focused on MS your anxiety became, then i would recommend you seriously consider mental health conditions like health anxiety etc as alternative explanations.

You genuinely have far too many unrelated or all over symptoms, developing in too short a time frame, coming and going during the day, perception of weakness without weakness, perception of heavy, being off, odd sensations etc but still have all your motor skills, your balance is fine and you can still function. Additionally your neurological clinical signs and MS related test results are all perfectly normal etc that the totality of what you have mentioned in general would 'not' be consistent with a neurological condition like MS.  

My thoughts...to recommend getting an assessment for the mental health side of things, and you might also want to look into your weight issues, as pre-diabetes, sleep apnea, peripheral neurophathy, hypo and hyper glycemia etc may be involved in what your experiencing too.

Good luck.......JJ  

Yeah, I definitely assumed that this was not MS, but I found it valuable to hear from others with experience. As far as the long list of malaise, I am just writing what I have experienced over 24 months. Obviously many of things can be benign or unrelated, but due to the sickness I have been experiencing, my sensitivities are truly heightened. As for the mental side, obviously things can fester deeply with oneself, but I have trouble grasping the notion that one day I just decided to be sick. To expound, I was living a normal, mediocre college life of alcohol, cigarettes, and women. I don't understand why all of a sudden I would cripple myself. All in all,  I just wrote a long list to attempt to cover all basis. Regarding the self-fulfilling hypochondria proclaimed by "supermum_ms," in all actuality I have completely avoided creating a webmd bias, and have not researched my condition at all. However, recently I felt quite ill and typed up my symptoms and it seemed similar to certain aspects of ms. Without mention, my neurologist agreed, but the test are normal. She suggested fibormayalgia,but I wanted to run by my experience to people that could speak to day-to-day symptoms, onset etc. Thanks again.
Avatar universal
Yes, every issue mentioned here, without exception, can be caused by anxiety. If there's even one other condition that can be said of, I haven't heard of it.

Jake, please stop googling your symptoms. That hasn't helped, and I think it's made things worse.
Thanks for the response! In my 2 years of these experiences, I have not once googled anything, just fyi.
Explicitly not googled anything to from bias.
Avatar universal
It hasn't been suggested that you would consciously or otherwise cause the symptoms you describe. No one would do that. If that's what has happened, it most likely would be just a bad course of brain chemicals, which could happen to anyone for a lot of reasons. No need to be defensive since there has been no attack, and meanwhile you suffer. If you have a therapist, have you discussed this possibility with him or her?

Also, unless you do a huge amount of general reading on neurological diseases, how would you be so familiar with the terminology of MS? This does not compute, but that's okay. We are not trying to trip you up--we are just responding to your post on an MS forum. I think that you will be much happier if you leave this possibility on the table and proceed with an open mind. Obviously that's up to you. You're the one living in this awful reality.

What terminology do you reference? I mean chronic illness' seem to use the same words, so forgive me if i use exacerbate or flare in a sentence without googling "ms symptoms." I just want to debunk that notion because I have been incredibly adamant about not looking up anything on the internet.
Avatar universal
Most people don't casually use exacerbation, flare, motor skills, etc., in normal conversation. You said you typed up your symptoms and the result seemed similar to those of MS. You didn't mention knowing much if anything about MS previously. Ergo--

However, that's really immaterial. You totally dodged the issue of allowing the possibility of a psychological cause. If you only knew how many young men have posted here with essentially the same story. There have been loads and loads, so it's unsurprising that we recognize this. Not saying that young men never get MS, am saying that what you describe is very familiar. And not one in this category has come back to say that MS (or any other major neuro issue) has turned out to be the answer.

In any case, I'm finished here. It's up to you what you do with the info offered. As I said, you're the one suffering.

Ok, but I do appreciate the response. You say I have never approached this as a possible psychological issue, but I have and that is why I have been in therapy since the onset. So, how have I dodged the issue. And yeah, I acknowledge in my post I looked up my symptoms once before a doctors appointment, and the doctors assertions mirrored what I found based off a google search . Never before and never again as it is pointless.As far as my vocabulary, forgive me for identifying what I feel and being able to verbalize those sensations. I guess college was good for one thing! Regardless, you have been both helpful, patronizing, and annoying. I appreciate it and have spent much of today analyzing your claims and will be finding a new therapist. I will continue to post if needed, but I will take this to another forum outside of the MS sphere. Cheers!
Avatar universal
C'est la vie.
987762 tn?1331027953

Please don't be upset, i know i personally find it hard to understand why a lot of people are very sensitive about their mental health and react as if they are being disrespected when mentioned as an alternative explanation.

Mental health truly is a legitimate alternative medical condition for you and many other people to consider, i promise I didn't bring it up to annoy, patronize or be unhelpful, it's not in my nature to do that to anybody, so i am sorry you feel that way...

Please note i specifically highlighted 'IF' and mentioned some of the googling behavioural patterns associated with health anxiety. I consciously chose 'not' to make any assumptions about you, basically leaving it up to you to think about and seriously consider 'IF' mental health conditions like health anxiety was a possibility and mentioned other alternative thoughts as well.  

Even people diagnosed with MS can experience anxiety and depression, and i'm always talking to people in diagnostic limbo or diagnose with MS about being proactive with their mental health, simply because everything is so much harder to deal with when you don't!

Peace and i wish you good health...........JJ

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