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Pyramidal Tract/Upper Motor Neuron problem

I am a 28 year old male who has recently returned from a deployment overseas. I initially went to my primary care physician with a complaint of arm pain; however, I had been referred to a Neurologist who was surprised to have so many findings of significance during the classic neurological exam. Unfortunately, my medical administrative team has slowed down this process and it has been months without any studies being performed, despite my neurologist's recommendations.

I am told that I have hyperreflexia at the level of pyramidal tract disease, tremors in my left hand, muscle spasms, plantar reflex is moot, weakness in right hand, and a definite bruit over my right axillo-subclavian artery. Recently, spasms in my right hand have caused my index finger to move on its own and I have been getting facial numbness. Also, a few weeks ago after light exercise (maybe 30 pushups and situps) I went blind for ten minutes.

Some of my subjective symptoms are: arm/wrist pain, headache, extreme fatigue, light dizziness, trouble with speech, jaw pain, chest pain, back pain, neck pain.

My primary care physician tells me this could all be related to an Upper Motor Neuron problem. I'm getting a head/neck MRI in the near future, but it could be some time before I am seen again to get the results as I have already been dealing with this for five months (to say my medical team is understaffed would be an understatement).

What sort of things should I be expecting? Are there exercises I could be doing to help alleviate some of these symptoms? Does this sound like an injury or something along the lines of MS? Is hyperreflexia a serious symptom?

Thank you in advance for your help.
Best Answer
10389859 tn?1409921868
I'm sorry to hear about your problems.  Here is some info. on hyperreflexia:  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001431.htm .  As you can see, it depends on the cause.  I would push to get the MRI sooner rather than later.  

Do you recall getting injured?  Do any neurological diseases run in your family?  After reading the link, I would print it up and make an appt. with your PCP to discuss it and ask what the plan is since this is considered more urgent than sitting and waiting and should put a little pressure on him/her.  Let us know how you do.
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10389859 tn?1409921868
I thought of one more thing.  If you get no where stuck in the VA system, try contacting your Senator in Wash. for assistance.  They love getting involved, esp. in cases like yours.  They are sincere, but they will assign a person from his/her staff to work with you to try and work through the red tape and expedite things.
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10389859 tn?1409921868
Any of the injuries as you described could have contributed to what is going on now or may have nothing to do with it at all. You have a lot going on and this takes both a physical and emotional toll on you.  Try to find out what type of pituitary tumor your aunt has; that may assist in your work up.  Your symptoms don't sound like Parkinson's either; I agree with the doctor.

I believe that education is empowerment. So keep researching your diagnosis and this will help you understand it more so that you can ask the doctors more questions.  I encourage you to expedite your work up given your diagnosis.  If that means keeping a log of your symptoms and your medications by all means do it and bring a copy to your doctors visits.  If you need to get a second opinion for a PCP then do that as well.  Continue to be proactive in your care.

When you have symptoms of a disease that has not been formally diagnosed yet, and you find that you're deteriorating, often this leads to you feeling frustrated. This is a normal feeling.

It is also normal for people who do not have any illnesses, like your coworkers, who don't have to deal with anything to think that nothing is wrong with you.  Try not to let it get to you mentally.  If you need to explain to your supervisor that you need frequent appointments to the doctor without disclosing personal information that you feel uncomfortable with, then do so.

If you find yourself deteriorating more and dropping things, you may want to look into purchasing items at a medical/surgical supply store for assistive devices.  If you're having difficulty with speech you may want to use some assistive device is on electronic devices, for example Google talk voice dictation on other electronic devices.  Otherwise your PCP may refer you to a speech therapist to help you.  As for your fatigue, try to pace yourself in doing your activities to avoid being more fatigued.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Avatar universal
Thank you for your response.

I don't recall getting injured; however, I have never been great about going to the doctor and have just taught myself to deal with or flat out ignore problems.

I could have injured myself during combat training or aviation water survival prior to deployment, or could have sustained injuries during the several hundred hours of often turbulent flight during the deployment. Also, I was knocked over by a large wave when I returned from deployment, but that happened after I noticed the start of my symptoms.

Parkinson's disease runs in my family but symptoms usually don't set in until a later age. I mentioned this to my doctor, but he doesn't believe this is Parkinson's. Also, my aunt was just diagnosed with a pituitary tumor.

Most of my symptoms are things that I could cope with if they were on their own or not so consistent, but after it all adds up and after so much time, it has become a nuisance. I'm dropping things, at times have trouble with speech, and am constantly tired. People I work either think I'm paranoid and are starting to get annoyed with the appointments I've been making. I'm really hoping to get answers soon. I'll let you guys know as I find more out.
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