I’ve been whipped around a lot lately. Those of you who have seen me in person over the last year or so, or have paid attention on Twitter, may have noticed that not all seemed to be right with me. I’ve had a glut of strange symptoms ranging from numbness, tingling, or “strange” or downright uncomfortable or painful sensations in my arms and legs to having my left leg buckle under me so much I started using a cane (both to catch myself and so I wouldn’t look like I was drunk at noon because I was stumbling around) to nerves in my neck or lower back freaking out to weird muscle stiffness and trouble at times using my hands.
In short, I have not been in great shape.
I’ve been around and around. First it seemed like it was something with my back, but the first MRIs didn’t seem to show that. Then it seemed like it might be something more serious, but all the tests and MRIs I’ve had indicated nothing. I went to multiple neurologists and no one seemed to be able to find anything that might be causing this. All this takes time, of course, so I spent a lot of time waiting for appointments.
I would look into what it might be myself, of course, while always keeping in mind that I didn’t really know what it could be. There are so many things that can present like this, and they’re all really vague. One rather strange thing was that I seem to have more trouble when it’s cold, or when the weather has recently changed, so that muddied the picture even more. Still, I was concerned that I had something truly serious like ALS, or something CIDP, SMA Type IV, etc. Nothing really seemed to fit, but at the same time it seemed like it could have been anything.
Recently I finally got in to see another neurologist, and that’s been going pretty well so far. She ruled out ALS once more, but put MS back on the table. That was a cause for concern, of course, but still way better than a lot of the alternatives. I spent a week or so mulling over that possibility before the next round of blood work and MRIs came back… negative. Once again, everything seemed to be OK. There were a lot of things I didn’t have, at least, but it was all a mystery. They were going to do a spinal tap and some weird test with electrodes to delve into it further before decided to push those off and investigate the bulging disc in my neck that no one seemed to think could be the cause of all this. It remains to be seen if it is, though; I’ve been through thinking it could be back stuff to ALS to MMN to CIDP to ????? to giving up and just lumbering along to MS and back to it possibly being my back. We don’t even know yet if it really is something in my back, or if this is another red herring, but at least it’s moving along faster. That’s comforting right now, even if it doesn’t pan out.
It’s been quite a ride, but it could be much worse. I don’t like to think about how awful it would be without medical insurance, so I can at least get it looked at. It could be any number of far more serious illnesses, even if it does turn out to be a neurologic disorder of some sort, so at least I have that. Something is finally happening though, and I finally feel like it’s going somewhere.
I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’m feeling a little more hopeful.