I've been numb from the waist down for almost 2 years. Over the last 3 or 4 days, I've noticed that walking feels like I'm wading through water. Nothing noticeable with my gait (no foot drop or limp), but after about 10 steps, my quadriceps are exhausted. I can push through and force myself to continue, but it wipes me out. Grocery shopping, which normally has been very enjoyable, is very taxing. I'm not sleepy, but my body (mainly my legs) are done. Aside from (many) brain lesions, as of 2016 I have C2, C6, T3, and T4 lesions, but they were on the side of the spinal cord that effects sensation, not motor function, if I recall correctly. Is this progression? A new symptom? Or just MS being MS?
The fatigue with exertion you describe is very common in MS and can come and go. If it is unseasonably warm where you live, this could be the cause. You should definitely get re-evaluated by your MS specialist and have him or her look for other causes such as a thyroid disorder (common in MS), an asymptomatic urinary tract infection (also common in MS) or another cause. If there is no noticeable change on exam and no obvious cause, you may benefit from 4 aminopyridine (brand name Ampyra). This does not, in and of itself, mean you are progressing.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Clinical Neurosciences Director
University of California San Diego
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