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Is this Ms? Lost here

Hey Everyone

I wanted to see if anyone had opinions as to if this could be MS. I guess i can say my symptoms started a long time ago. I’m not 38 year old male. I had back problems since 22, i have dizziness issues prob for 10 years that has been getting worse. I was treated for a really bad bout of vertigo in June of 2021. This started my downward spiral into the rabbit hole. Since this i had bad balance issues issues on the right side, felt like i was walking sideways. I also get prob once every month maybe few times more these optical migraines i think it’s called. Where one eye gets really blurry and i can’t focus. It last from few mins to maybe 10 mins then goes away. This has been going on for maybe 2 years. What really got me worried was since Feb i notice speech issues. Like i can’t say words correctly, and mumble a lot now. I saw the neurologist right after this. He did a ton of test bc i googled and it said Als or ms. So obviously i freaked out. He did mri or neck and brain, emg/ncv, ssep, blood work and basic in office neuro exam. My mri show cervical spondolytic myelopathy and cervical stenosis. It has one little lesion bc they said it’s not an ms lesion and it’s from the csm. My brain read this “ * Compared to MRI of the brain dated 6/17/2021, stable exam. Scattered foci of
increased T2/FLAIR signal within the bifrontal subcortical white matter.
Etiology is nonspecific, could relate to sequelae of vascular headache syndrome,
absent other cause. No definite new lesions in space or time”. I had an mri a year earlier when i had the vertigo as well.
My emg was clean, ncv showed carpal tunnel in right hand and siatica in left leg. Ssep was clean as well. He ruled out als and ms. I still couldn’t stop googling, he told me this was anxiety driven, i did see a pysch who said i have general anxiety and health anxiety disorder. The speech is still here year later each day it’s all i think about. People tell me they notice nothing at all but i get tools “ what did you say alot”. I asked my neuro to repeat the emg again in Nov bc i was convinced it’s als. Again was clean. So my question is, does this sound like ms? I can say my constant symptoms are speech issues, mild i guess, pain in neck and dizziness. Anxiety as well

Any input would help. He said i can repeat mri again in spring if i need peace of mind

  1. Hi, ! First off, I am so sorry you are dealing with these symptoms and I think I would feel a little loss, too, if I were in your shoes. I know these symptoms can be frustrating and downright scary, as you mentioned. Second, we cannot provide medical diagnosis or advice for your safety.

    It sounds like you are doing everything you can to get the help you need and I think that's all you can do. If you are doubting your diagnoses (or lack thereof), you can keep pushing for answers (and maybe that second MRI in the Spring). I know that's kind of a lame answer to your very sincere question, but it's pretty much the best answer I have.

    Your health issues may definitely be causing you anxiety and I hope you are able to keep talking about that with your therapist/psychiatrist. Being able to take control of the things you can (ie, how you feel about your health issues) can really help you to deal with the things you *can't* change right now (those health issues).

    I do hope your doctor can give you some clear ideas as to what's going on and offer you some possible treatment options. While some of you symptoms do sound like MS symptoms, there are a number of conditions that share symptoms with MS. You can read a bit about those conditions, and ask your doctor about them, here -- You my want to see about having those conditions ruled out as a you seek a diagnosis.

    I hope this information helps and please know you are welcome to ask more questions or share more of your story here anytime!

    Best, Erin, Team member.

    1. I agree with the neurologist, I don't think it's MS.

      I have PPMS and experience all the symptoms you describe, in fact, most MSers do. The problem with non-specific symptoms like those is that they are, well, non-specific - they can be attributable to dozens of things. Labyrinthitis is horrible, but common. Brain fog shows up as a function of many conditions. Optical migraines are weird but also common. Generally, those symptoms are idiopathic. We know they should have a cause, but good luck finding it!

      Your MRI results have ruled out MS. Scleroses show up readily on MRIs, so you can likely stop worrying about MS, ALS, LS, or any other disease that involves an neurological sclerosis.

      I know you're worried, and I know not having an answer sucks. Being a dad of 3 carries a lot of responsibility and your instinct is to find the problem and fix it because you have people counting on you. Part of that instinct includes 'awfulizing'; we want to know what the worst case scenario is so we can act accordingly. Unfortunately, sometimes we get stuck going down that rabbit hole, and the journey consumes us.

      @Dadof3, your family needs you, and they need you whole. Let the MDs do their MD thing while you focus on being the best dad you can be. Be happy you don't have MS and stay hopeful that one of your docs is going to find some way to help alleviate your symptoms. In the meantime, hug your kids and recognize and enjoy all the little positives that exist everywhere around us.

      You got this, @Dadof3!

      1. Thanks everyone.

        It’s hard to believe it’s not neurological since my speech is just mumbling all the time. But maybe it’s from my csm in my neck. Or maybe it’s ms and it’s just too early. I don’t know. Would it matter not having contrast for my mri?

        It’s hard to think this is anxiety bc i don’t think i have this bad anxiety

        1. Yeah, I agree that what you're experiencing has a neurological component. However, I don't think it's a function of scleroses - those things tend to light up T2 and FLAIR scans quite readily. Contrast is useful for differentiating the comparative age of scleroses, but generally not materially more useful than a standard scan for identifying them.

          No, I don't think your symptoms are caused by anxiety, but I do think anxiety could be causing you to fixate on MS as the reason for your symptoms. Trust me, even though the MS club is full of some of the nicest, strongest people you'll ever meet, it quite honestly sucks to be a member.

          I truly hope you can find the root cause of your symptoms. Equally, I hope you can find peace while those root causes are forthcoming. said it best when she said:

          "Being able to take control of the things you can (ie, how you feel about your health issues) can really help you to deal with the things you *can't* change right now (those health issues)."

          Be well,

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