MS Girl?

On Saturday my mom brought me a Marie Callender frozen chocolate satin pie, so I’ve just been eating that for the past couple days. I know I should eat some cereal to get the vitamins but I just can’t bright myself to do it. I’m not in a good mood. I want chocolate. The reason why I’m not in a good mood (besides the usual stuff) is because of two things. Early Saturday morning I had trouble walking. I’ve had some problems before like my leg suddenly going out from under me, or getting a pain and then having it stop working, but this was different. There was an awful pain in my lower back practically in the bottom that affected my whole right leg (that’s usually the leg it is). I hobbled back to bed and while it bothered me a little bit later in the day it wasn’t as bad as it was then. Yesterday I finally decided to look up two of my unplaced symptoms. Trouble swallowing and pain in my side (ribs). They’re things I’ve been getting but haven’t been able to place with a certain illness. Well I have found what they belong to, and it’s on of the possibilities for what I have. MS (dysphagia and MS hug). Before there was a good chance I had MS. Now there’s a very good chance. I knew I had symptoms, but I never realized how many. And they’ve all happened within the past few months, most of them within a month that the numbness started. If I do have it I’ve had it for a very long time, because a few of these things like numbness, balance problems, side pain started happening a few years ago. The first time I had numbness in my hand that wouldn’t go away was the 8th grade. My hand was numb for several hours at school. It bothered me then and I tried to see the school nurse but there were like 20 kids in there (all skipping class) so I didn’t get to see her. I thought at the time that it might be carpal tunnel since I did have pain in my hands/wrists/arms before. Then after a few hours it went away and it didn’t come back (until March of this year). Incidentally it was in my left hand then too. I had occasional numbness in my toes (the same ones it bothers now) between 7-9th grade. Then it went away and didn’t come back. I first had that pain in my side when I was almost 16. All of a sudden there was a pain in my ribs in my left side and I had trouble breathing. After 5 minutes or so it went away, and while I had some discomfort there over the years it didn’t bother me again… until this spring. And all that in itself is one of the signs of MS, and one of the reasons it is so hard to catch. It happens so randomly, and symptoms appear then disappear. Like the past couple months my toes had started bothering me a lot and I was having less numbness in my arms, then the toes stopped and the numbness in my hands started again while I was trying to sleep, toes started bothering me again, and now besides the usual slight numbness in the tips of some of my fingers (particularly the index of the left hand – the one that started it all) neither is bothering me. It’s been like that since late March. Sudden pain here, numbness there, there’s no method to it.

So here are all the symptoms I’ve been experiencing. I experienced most of them sometime within a month of the major numbness first starting at the end of March when I had constant numbness in my hand(s) for several weeks. Eye pain: to my knowledge this only happened once for a couple days at most, and it probably happened a 1-2 months after the numbness started. It hurt pretty much consistently with at least a dull pain though more when it moved. Flashing lights/vision: because I have other eye trouble and I’m so used to eye trouble it’s hard to tell how often this happens, but I have noticed it occasionally. Another eye problem I get that I can’t place is static. I see “through” dots a lot of the time, which are like static on a television (when there are black and white dots and it goes cshhhh… I don’t know if that’s a problem or if it’s normal. There’s also another vision thing that bothers me but I don’t know how to describe it so I’ll just leave it out. Fatigue: This is one of the big ones. I’ve always been a tired person, but I’ve never been so completely exhausted before. It doesn’t matter if I get a good amount of sleep I’m always completely wiped out. I’ve been trying to have better posture since all this started happening, but sometimes I don’t even have the energy to sit up straight. The other day when I was playing with the cat I was on my stomach and I had to try several times to push myself back up because I just couldn’t do it. I’ve also been trying to exercise since this started, just to get the blood flowing in case it’s a problem with circulation (as well as MS, or something else), but I’ve become less and less able. Standing and moving… uh. Pain: A big one, but thankfully it’s usually short periods of extreme pain, or short-long periods of mild-dull pain. Mostly it’s just random sharp pains all over my body. I also experience a lot of headaches. I have for a few years, but the degree of pain that comes with them has risen sharply. I’ve also started getting migraines, which I never did before until a few months ago. Like I said before I get pain in my left side that started again in April and from then on came and went in different extremes. It also once appeared in the same area but in my back, and once, briefly in my right side. This could be what’s called the MS hug. One time, and it never happened again, I had a horrible, shooting pain that started somewhere in the bottom of my head/top of my neck, then shot all the way down my spine/back and through my leg. That could be what’s called L’hermitte’s sign. Other things classified as “pain” are numbness – big time, but where it is and how bad it is is random, though it hasn’t been as bad as it was when it first started. Pins and needles – I haven’t had this too bad for a couple months, but at it’s height it was in the pads my feet for hours-days at a time. Other pain I have is aching in my entire back/neck/shoulders and I don’t know if that’s a symptom of MS or not. I have that pretty much all of the time, but of course it’s worse when I’m sitting. Spasms/jerks: I don’t usually get this, but it has happened a few times where my leg just jerks suddenly. I don’t know if it would be classified under this, but the only thing I do get a lot is nerves jumping. Sometimes it seems like there is always a nerve jumping somewhere whether it’s my leg, stomach, side, or eye. Cognitive: This is a big problem for me. I have trouble remembering everything. I’ll be in the middle of saying something when I forget a word, and sometimes forget what I was even saying/talking about. This makes my mom angry a lot. Once I was talking to her about something and I stopped in the middle of it and was just staring at what was in my hand. It was like that for a while and my mom was like “well?!” and I yelled at her that I was trying to figure out what I was holding. It was the telephone. I always forget what I’m doing, and most of the time I can’t remember again. I know some forgetfulness is normal, but this happens every day all day long. I also have trouble concentrating. I can’t concentrate on anything, even things I care about like anime. Other things contribute to this, like being exhausted. Another thing is processing time. It takes me so long to figure things out. I notice this most when I’m trying to cross the street. It’s been hard for me for a while (and it’s only getting worse) to figure out how far cars are away (I also might have trouble judging distance due to my eye problems) and once I figure out how far away it is it’s moved. It takes me longer to notice things. When I walked up to meet my mom some place a few months ago I almost got hit by a car and mauled by two dogs (there’s always dogs trying to leap over fences around here) because I just didn’t realize they were there until they were just feet (car) and inches (dog) away. Luckily the person driving the car was faster than I am at processing information (though it doesn’t help that they were probably speeding) because that’s the closest I’ve ever come to being hit. There could be other things, but can’t remember. Speech: This, like the last one and the next one, is a big problem and like those is one of the reasons I don’t go out by myself (except occasionally up the hill and around the corner to my aunts). I have a lot of trouble talking. It’s bad enough that I’m a shy person, but I have trouble putting words together. You can even tell it by my writing that it’s pretty messy and not put together right. I used to be a really good writer and enjoyed it but now it’s so difficult. I’m still a better writer than I am at talking, my speech is even worse. I can’t think of the right words or put them in the way I want them to. With forgetting things and everything, it’s just too much. I also talk too quietly sometimes, another thing my mom complains about. Balance/coordination: My balance and coordination are very bad. I walk into walls. I suddenly start falling down for no reason. Every time I take a shower I almost fall down (I end up hitting the wall) because I just can’t balance even just standing. I’m all over the place when I walk. Last time I went up to Cynthia’s I left the house and started to go up the hill and almost went off the sidewalk and into the street. I can’t walk straight so I swerve all around, that time I found myself in the gutter. Luckily there weren’t any cars around and I noticed what I was doing. Swallowing: I’ve had trouble swallowing since April. It started with a biscuit that got stuck in my throat. It got so bad that for a time I was barely eating at all, only a couple bites of food a day since nothing I would eat would go down right. It did get better, though it varies. Sometimes I don’t have any trouble, sometimes I cough/choke. I’m still not eating a lot now because every time I take a bite of something I have to drink something to make sure it goes down. So I’m getting more liquids than solids. Pop works best but I rarely drink that now, then milk which is my preference. Water is the worst. Dizziness/vertigo: The former is something that happens a lot and has been for a few years. It can get pretty bad. I rarely ever get the latter, but when I do I’m usually laying down and it’s very bad. Other: Trouble walking. As I said earlier in the post sometimes when I’m walking my right leg will suddenly go out. It’s like it doesn’t have any strength in it anymore. Once before I got a sharp pain my lower back and then the same leg went out. And of course on Saturday I was really having trouble walking.

That’s not all of it, I left out a couple things because I don’t want to gross anyone out, and I don’t believe it’s proper to talk about such things. All this is even more hard to place because some of it could be caused by (or at least contributing to it) a head injury I had in the fourth grade. I’m pretty sure that’s what caused me to lose some of my sight, since I was actually blind for maybe 20 seconds or so. I really don’t want MS. When I finally get my mom to take me to a doctor I’ll have to get him to listen to me as well, get tested for diabetes, get my head checked, and get tested for MS. I guess it would kill two birds with one stone with the last ones since the test for MS is an MRI. If they put me in the completely covered one they’ll have to sedate me because I don’t think I could handle that. I really don’t want MS, I hope it’s something else, like a lot of things coming together to cause these problems. Even though MS is “treatable” it looks like most people do end up at least walking with a cane if not paralyzed. If I do have MS I might have to go to the hospital once a week to get an IV. Getting bloodwork done is bad enough, I can’t imagine what an IV is like. I can’t take pills… And it would mean I’ve had it for around 7 years. That would mean everything since then was leading up to this. I don’t know if it’s something you’re born with or if it’s just something that just develops on its own. If it’s something you’re born with and it develops later on that would mean my whole life was leading up to this. Having MS would mean my body is attacking itself. I don’t want this.