Am I Crazy or Is It Real?
I apologize for the long rant beforehand, but I needed a place to vent.
To avoid being called crazy, I just ignored my symptoms
For years, I've had health issues, but the specialists always came to a conclusion based on one or two separate symptoms and no one ever thought of looking at the whole picture. In 2011, I was diagnosed with neurogenic tetany (I only assume that's what it's called in english), so the muscle spasms and the CONSTANT tingling in hands, feet, and my face were sort of explainable - lack of magnesium, right? Except all the blood tests (old and recent) say I have plenty of Mg in my blood even without taking any supplements. The numbness and clumsiness brought on anxiety attacks which only led to being called a hysterical hypochondriac. That didn't really help my mental state, so to avoid being called crazy and told that "it's all in my head", I ignored it for years just like everyone else did.
Pain and numbness
A year later, I dislocated my shoulder a few times which resulted in torn ligaments and consequentially a surgery during which the surgeon (or someone else... honestly, I have no idea since it's been years and I still don't know what they did during the surgery) messed up some nerves in my left shoulder. Knowing I'd lost feeling in my upper arm, I thought the pain, the numbness, and the inability to feel or use my hand after holding a phone for more than 5 minutes was a result of that.
In 2016, my vision started deteriorating. In my right eye at first. I work in IT, so I assumed it was because I spent hours upon hours a day staring into a monitor and that I simply needed new prescription for glasses. To my great relief, alocal shopping centre just acquired a supermodern new machine, and offered potential customers to get their vision tested for free. Just my luck, I thought. Determined to get new glasses, I took my lunch break and went to the mall. After numerous tests, the optometrist said the machine gave her varied results ranging from negative to positive, so she excused herself and went to fetch their on-site ophthalmologist who, after numerous tests, looked at me as if I were dying and told me to go see a specialist because there was something wrong. Scared out of my mind, I booked an appointment with a specialist and found out my cornea was flat and very thin. I was like "Okay...?" I didn't understand what it meant, but it didn't sound like anything serious since she was not even looking at me. Then she turned around and asked if I was free three days later for an emergency surgery. Apparently, waiting longer would result in losing vision in my right eye. I always joked about being blind as a bat, but when she put it like that, it was no longer funny. I got the super expensive "cosmetic" surgery the insurance company simply refused to cover because I was not blind yet, and I got my happy ending. For two years, at least.
I trusted my doctors because who wouldn't, right?
Two years after the eye surgery, I was at my regular check-up with my super special ophthalmologist who berated me for not coming in any earlier because one of the rings they implanted in my cornea tore through the surrounding soft tissue and scarred it. When I said that the last few times I'd complained about the dryness, itchiness, and the burning, she said everything was completely fine, so I did not know anything was wrong. I had another surgery and everything was dandy. Until it wasn't.
During another one of the check-ups, she said she'd found the same issue in my left eye as well, but since it was not really progressing that much, she'd see me again in a year (AN: with the first one, it took less than three months to almost completely lose sight in my right eye. Just saying.). To my question about the involuntary eye movement and it being related to my problems, she said it was normal and thus nothing to worry about. So I didn't worry, I trust my doctors because who doesn't, right?
Sent for a neurological examination
Earlier this year (at the end of January), I began having pulmonary issues which kickstarted an onslaught of check-ups and tests. At the same time, I picked up a new hobby; I decided to challenge my non-artistic mind and bought a paint-by-numbers canvas. The first one took embarrassing twelve hours to finish, the second one about fifteen times that, and now I can't hold a brush for more than ten minutes without being in pain. My sister, having grown up alongside an injury-prone person like me, looked at my cramping blueish hand and told me to get that checked for carpal tunnel syndrome. And so I did. I booked an appointment with a specialist in the field who, after reading through my medical history, said that with everything that's in the folder and everything I told him, it looked more like MS. I had no idea what that stands for, so I just shrugged, and to his question, "How long have you had these issues?" I said, "For about seven or eight years now." He apologized for not giving me good news and for possibly scaring me a little, and said that if untreated for too long, it could result in a slow and painful death. Let me tell you, that was about the last thing I expected to hear from an orthopedist. So when he handed me a recommendation for a neurological examination, I almost cried.
Battling with depression
I had two weeks before the examination, so I decided not to look up whatever he put in the result to calm the nerves (it was full of abbreviations I did not understand, so I thought I'd educate myself a bit). Little did I know... Page after a page, I told myself the guy was a crook who had no idea what he was saying, but the more I looked, the more of my symptoms I identified. I have been battling depression for almost 13 years now, so you can imagine that seeing something like this as a possibility did not exactly boost my mental state.
Blood tests, MRIs, and CT scans
The last four months or so have been filled with blood tests, brain MRi, spine MRi and CT scans, endocrinology check-ups, EMG, sonogram and many others, but the results are still inconclusive. The only thing that came out positive (no idea why they call it that... I don't see anything positive about it), was some non-specific post-inflammation gliosis on my brain and something about a spinal disc. No one really told me what any of it means, and no one is rushing to share, so I'm inclined to believe I made it all up so convincingly it manifested physically.
Is it all in my head?!
Point is, as of the last few months, the numbness and the tingling seems to be spreading, the pain intensified, my vision got worse (got my first check-up after a YEAR scheduled for the day after tomorrow, so fingers crossed X...well, as much as it is physically possible now), and I haven't felt well rested in months. Now, every time someone makes fun of me tripping over my own feet, or for forgetting stuff immediately after I set out to do it, or for a cup slipping through my fingers because my grip is just too weak, I take a deep breath and tell myself that there is a doctor out there who knows what's going on. Or maybe they were right and it IS all in my head. Crazy or not, I learned my lesson; nowadays I keep two sets of clothes at work for when I spill stuff all over myself.
I'm exhausted, depressed, in pain, and I just want someone to fix me. Is that so wrong? Am I crazy?
Sorry for the rant, and thanks for letting me vent.
Tippy-Toe over and out
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?