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  • daisyfish
    Hello everyone,

    I wanted to reach out to get opinions about whether I should seek a second opinion. I've been having symptoms that my primary doctor thought sounded like MS. He referred me to a neurologist. After an MRI with contrast, the neurologist told me that I have 3 spots on my brain, but that she suspects they are old. She said her best guess was that the symptoms were stress related. By the time I finally got an appointment with her my symptoms had started to go away, so I wasn't that worried about it. I remained symptom-free for 4 weeks and now the symptoms have returned. 

    The symptoms are constant numbness on the top of my right foot, pain behind my eyes, general pain and little pinprick pains throughout my arms and legs, weakness in my legs (can't balance on one foot and legs shake), and extreme tiredness to the point I feel a little out of it. 

    I am not stressed at all so I didn't really feel like the doctor could be right that all of this is caused by stress. Should I seek a second opinion? Do these symptoms fit with MS? I'm at a loss for what to do and would appreciate any feedback. 

    Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all well.
  • bubbadog66
    Froms sounds of it you need a second opinion if you have no stress and this neurologist says stress is what ails you...sounds like you didn't partner well. 
    Your PCP made the refferal to begin with so maybe start there again.
    Getting formally diagnosed can be challenging process, was that way for me. My neurologist (2nd one now since diagnosis) believes i've had MS for over a decade if not two given the damage he sees. I switched neurologists because my first one and i didn't partner well...she refused to listen to MY concerns. Her only interests were my walking speed and some dumb peg test thing. She talked way to fast and used big complicated words, my appointments felt rushed. Wouldn't even refer me for Neuropsyche exam to establish a cognitive baseline. Her reasoning was MY stress level was too high and i needed to eliminate that stress first, like yeah right. I'm no doc and i even knew that was "wrong" thinking and stupid. Wishing you all the best. 
  • april9517

    I would seek a second opinion if you feel something is wrong. I saw 3 different neurologists growing up and they all said my symptoms were stress related (or I was trying to get out of school). when they found spots they said they were probably from my migraines and it's not too much to worry about. Even after diagnosis, the first neurologist I saw I didn't click with, her views did not match mine at all, I did my research and found one that I really trust. 

    Ask your PCP for another referral -or- find another Neurologist first and then just ask for a written referral. 

  • MS_Navigators
    Hi daisyfish,

    If you would like a second opinion, you may want to look for an MS Care Provider using this link to our website. You can also call us at 1.800.344.4867 (M-F 7am-5pm MST) and ask for a list of neurologists.

    Best,
    MS Navigator Stephanie
  • anywhereoutofthisworld
    I was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis in late July of 2017 after a brain MRI came back showing lots of MS lesions and a spinal tap came back positive for high amounts of elevated protein 'o' bands. I was diagnosed quite swiftly, in fact I saw my neurologist for my first appointment on June 28th of last year and by July 25th I was diagnosed, following the results of a July 18th spinal tap. Due to the large amount of lesions found on my brain MRI (I'm no neurologist and I myself could cleary see them) and the large amount of protein bands in my spinal tap results, my neurologist says he believes I have had MS for quite some time. I do believe you need a second opinion and that's your best bet. I would also suggest making a list of any and all symptoms you experience on a daily basis and have that list with you at your next neurologist appointment.

    I am gonna post a link here, it is guidelines for MS diagnosis you may wanna look over - Click to See Link For Guidelines

    I am also gonna post some common MS symptoms, this was the list of symptoms I reviewed prior to being diagnosed that confirmed for me that I was 99% sure I had MS.

    Speech and voice disorders ***** (speech slurring was the main symptom I had that led me to see my doctor, I had a very bad slurred speech episode that lasted a month starting when I woke up on May 18th of last year, also for 2 weeks during that time the right side of my face went stiff and I couldn't smile normal, my mom thought I'd had a mini stroke in my sleep. My speech was not only very slurred but I was told I sounded high when I spoke and I don't do any drugs so that seemed odd)
    ----------------------------------------
    Up to 40% of people with MS experience problems with their voice or speech.
    One possible problem is dysarthria, a motor speech problem that manifests as slurring, poor articulation of words, and speaking too loudly or too softly. Another possibility is dysphonia, a change in voice quality, such as sounding hoarse or nasal.

    Fatigue
    ----------------------------------------
    Some 80% of people with MS will experience fatigue at one point or another, but fatigue can have many causes. Some people experience “MS lassitude,” a very severe fatigue that occurs daily that tends to get worse as the day wears on.

    Numbness
    ---------------------------
    (or a lack of sensation in various parts of the body) is often one of the first symptoms to bring a person with MS to the doctor. Numbness can occur in the face, the body, or the arms and legs, and can interfere with walking, holding on to objects, and even chewing, if the numbness affects the face.
    Sometimes the feeling—or lack thereof—progresses over hours or days, but it usually subsides on its own.

    Vision problems
    ---------------------------------
    Like numbness, vision problems are one of the most common early symptoms prompting a person to visit the doctor. The problem can manifest as double vision, eye pain, blurred vision, or a scotoma (it looks like a hole in your vision).


    Bladder Dysfunction
    -------------------------------
    Bladder problems in people with MS can manifest in two, seemingly opposite ways. Some people have difficulty emptying their bladder. That means urine stays too long in the bladder, leading to infection, discomfort, and a distended bladder. Others can't keep the urine in, resulting in leakage and urgent frequent bathroom trips.

    Constipation/ IBS
    --------------------------------
    The most common bowel problem related to MS is constipation or also irritable bowel syndrome.

    Dizziness and Vertigo
    --------------------------
    The good news is that the symptoms of dizziness and vertigo often do go away and, for others, common drugs used to treat dizziness and vertigo in otherwise healthy people can be effective.

    Sexual Dysfunction
    ----------------------------
    There are three types of sexual problems related to MS, and the first is direct neurological damage to the nervous system. For women, that means loss of sensation, loss of vaginal lubrication, and an inability to achieve orgasm. For men, it can mean sensory changes as well as difficulty getting and maintaining an erection and difficulty reaching orgasm.
    In addition, people with MS might feel reticent about sex because they’re tired or are worried about bladder control. Some MS medications can also affect sexual function.

    Depression
    --------------------------
    Not surprisingly, depression is common among people with MS. Changes in the immune system can contribute to depression, as can biochemical changes in the brain.

    Cognitive Dysfunction
    --------------------------------------
    Cognitive dysfunction affects upwards of 60% of people with MS. The good news is that only specific areas are affected. This could be recent or “working” memory or the speed at which a person is able to process information. Or a person may have trouble focusing or multi-tasking. Once these problems start, they often don’t go away, but they do progress slowly.

    Anxiety
    --------------------------------
    This is the poor second cousin to depression. That’s because depression gets all the attention, though anxiety can be equally debilitating. Not only are there organic changes in the brain that result in anxiety, but the ongoing, uncertain nature of MS can be nerve-wracking.
    MS can also involve mood swings and irritability, although the irritability may be a consequence of depression.

    Emotional changes
    -------------------------------
    About 10% of people with MS may experience “pseudobulbar affect” (PBA), a neurologic change that usually occurs in tandem with cognitive changes. Here, the expression of a mood or feeling is disconnected from how a person’s actually feeling so a person may have uncontrolled bouts of crying when they’re not actually sad or they may laugh hysterically at inappropriate times.

    Pain
    ----------------------------------------
    The pain is often the direct result of nerves damaged by the disease. If this is the case, the person may feel severe burning sensations in their legs, feet or hands, or might imagine a knife is stabbing the side of his or her face because the nerves on that side are inflamed.

    Spasticity
    ---------------------
    Spasticity can involve both stiffness as well as involuntary muscle contractions. As a symptom of MS, it’s most common in the legs and may manifest as a mild feeling of tightness in the muscles or as more severe pain.

    Balance/ Coordination Problems
    --------------------------------
    People may report they feel suddenly weak in one limb or they may find objects slipping easily out of their hands. If there’s damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance, people might also be unsteady on their feet and prone to falling.

    Tingling
    --------------------------
    Tingling is related to numbness and may feel like your arm, fingers, or toes are falling asleep, yet never quite waking up. Like other MS symptoms, this is a result of damaged nerves sending mixed signals to the different parts of the body. People may also experience something called the “MS hug.” It feels like somebody is grabbing them very tightly around the midsection, but it’s not muscular.

    I detail all of my symptoms in great depth in my profile so if you want you can review that was well, may help to see how many of those you have experienced. Also feel free to message me for any other inquiries you may have.


     
  • capitolcarol
    Definitely yes.  You need a second opinion to get the right neurologist. Sometimes, it even takes three neurologists.  Keep at it until you  feel comfortable with your neurologist.  Maybe if you can find a MS neurologist would be even better.  Then have a MRI done and have the  neurologist go over it carefully with you, explaining everything, and pointing out different clusters of lesions on your brain and neck.  Make sure that you  have a list of questions to ask for your first appointment and then when you see your neurologist, please take notes, maybe even have a friend or spouse witih you so that you don't forget or miss something important.  Good luck to you and let us know how it goes.
  • gabrielle519
    Hello daisyfish,

    Get a second opinion. I had a doctor that diagnosed me immediately. He then put me on a medication. I told him it wasn't working. He told me he though it was stress and depression from nursing school. I finally got a second opinion and found the medication wasn't working. I don't know if you have MS but if you feel like it isn't stress then you should get a second opinion. MS is hard to diagnose you might have not been having a flare when you first  saw that doctor but now you are. You might no have MS it might be stress but you want to be sure that everything can be done. Thanks Gabrielle

    PS: the MS society has a lot of information they may be able to help you find a MS specialist in your area.