Here is My Question:
I had an attack 4 years ago where my legs went completely numb and I had a tremor, but all resolved in a month. My MRI was all clear and my exams were normal. I have had right side weakness and my arms have become weak over the years. I have seen many neurologists over 4 years who say all my MRIs and exams are clean. Now over the past year I haven’t seen anyone and now I can’t lift my left foot up. It is like a 5 pound weight. My arms (mostly my shoulders) are very weak as I can only wash my hair once a week. Just the idea of moving my arms above my head is too hard or putting my bra on too difficult. My hands are strong. My right side is still a little weak and I do limp if I walk to much with right side.
I just saw an Internist to figure this all out and he said my exam is positive with weakness but my spine was clear. Brain hasn’t been done in 2 years. They just ordered that and he wants me back to a neurologist!! So this has to be MS? Help! I am a 51 year old female. Is this PPMS? They all laughed and reassured me for years I was fine. The only other thing I remember is pain behind my right eye a few years ago and I felt some burning sensation on thoracic area a few years ago ? What advise can you give me?
I’m very sorry to hear of your physical struggles which is worsened by the fact that prior evaluation couldn’t pin point a cause. MS shouldn’t be the only consideration. A skilled, inquisitive, and detailed neurologist can assist with careful exam to try and localize where the problem is focusing on (ie, muscle, peripheral nerve, central nervous system, etc). Based on that, a focused or expanded evaluation may be indicated. Unfortunately some neurological issues require longer periods of time to manifest what they are. For lengthy periods of time, they can even stay beneath the detection of an MRI.
In order to answer your ultimate question of what can be done, the neurologist can assist at this point in time to hopefully narrow down possibilities.
A. Scott Nielsen MD MMSc
Neurologist and MS Specialist at Kaiser Permanente
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