Hello, my husband has had some debilitating symptoms throughout the years, but only recently have I thought to look back at those and relay them to his neuro for his upcoming appointment.
Relieved it wasn't ALS
He had a neuro appointment back in 2011 and it was inconclusive at that point but the Dr. did say he’d like a spinal tap to help with a diagnosis and tentatively suggested MS, when at the time we were actually concerned it could possibly be ALS
. My husband was not keen on the thought of a spinal tap, and we were relieved he didn’t get diagnosed with ALS especially because he was having swallowing and tongue issues
. So we ran out immediately and signed up for life insurance and never went back to the neuro despite the fact that he still had issues that would wax and wane.
Episodes of vertigo and dizziness
His earliest symptoms of health issues began while working on the flightline in the Air Force. He was sent to the emergency room one day complaining of “feeling weak” and his heart skipping... EKG was normal. A few times in the military, he had short episodes of vertigo or dizziness
. He excited the military and some years later ended up with constant vertigo issues that lasted on and off for about 4 years or more... with differences in severity. They at one point said perhaps viral? Fluid in the ears? Eventually being told he had labyrinthitis. He missed a lot of work and it just eventually went away one day.
He needed a cane for months
Started suffering from anxiety and depression around this time. He also got shingles on his face and around his eye at the age of only 35. Some years later he began having swallowing issues, and a problem with excessive saliva. Slurring his speech a bit and he’d complain of his tongue getting tired when eating or even singing in our congregation. At this same time he developed horrible cramps waking him in the night in his calves. Eventually his calf muscles balled up into tight balls and making his walking difficult. His foot actually lifted itself up one day while sitting crossed legged. He mistakenly thought I had pushed it up, but it had moved on its own.... One day while helping our son push a car with a dead battery, they both heard was sounded like a rock hitting the car but my husband felt immediate excruciating pain in his calf...believing he’d perhaps been shot by a BB gun? No, it was his tight calf muscle and it had RIPPED! He needed a cane for months
. His legs felt weak and tight even after he healed up but he just dealt with it... some days were better than others... wearing compression socks seemed to help
PLD and horrible fatigue
His legs would fasciculate and twitch after he’d get home from work. I’d watch in horror, worried it was ALS... he’d get them in his arms as well but not as often. He also began to snore horribly and had a sleep study and they said he had PLMD (Periodic Leg Movement Disorder) sometimes kicking me very hard at night. Snoring and kicking got so bad I wanted to sleep in another room. Snoring is not constant every night... he has periods where it’s much better. He can have days he is very fatigued
and gets breathless just making a cup of coffee?! I would have sent him to a heart doctor, but the heavy breathing comes and goes!? If it were a true heart issue (blocked artery etc), he surely wouldn’t have good days and bad days with his breathing or getting quickly winded? He has horrible fatigue. He’s gone from being able to walk 5-6 miles each day for work, to only a 1/2 mile before his legs are hurting too much and muscles are too tired. He’s had MRI and EMG in the past... ruled out ALS but the neuro suggested MS... Although I’m not certain why they would still suggest MS if the MRI didn’t show anything and he wanted a spinal tap for extra info?
Reaching out to the REAL experts for MRI advice
I understand that Dr.’s are highly educated for years, but those WITH the disease are the REAL experts in my opinion because you all live with this disease every day. Did anyone here ever have clean MRI’s but still suspected of having MS? I believe the MRI was only of his head... should it have been of spine as well? The MRI was done in 2010 and not sure it had contrast? Thank you to anyone who takes the time to answer any questions or who may have thoughts on these symptoms...