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Is 2016 over yet? And a medical question.


BlsdMama
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Could this year just freaking end already? :(

 

I'm so freaking over it.  Kicked off December with a bang with the baby loss and near death experience.  February was awesome - two preterm deliveries of my nephews then their deaths and funeral.  My much younger cousin died in a car accident. Another miscarriage in June.  House issues (all now resolved) and then DH with kidney stone removals yesteray.  DD had emergency double root canals a month ago.  We have psych evals for DS (11) for severe ADHD and ... next week.  

 

And all of this is relatively surviveable.  None of my kids are sick.  But something isn't quite right.  And I am having a hard time overcoming my fears and going to the doctor.  My gait is off.  No pain, no discomfort, no swelling, nothing.  But I can no longer run and coordinating my legs to do stairs is something I have to actually *think* about.  That can't be great can it?  It's been like this for a while.  At first, when we moved back from Oregon, it was during the winter and I thought some muscles in my right leg must stiffen up due to the cold or something.  But then it didn't really go away but it was sporadic.  Now it's not cold and it's not sporadic.  It's daily.  I cannot coordinate my legs to run at all.  

 

I have to go to the doctor this year - we've met our out of pocket and if it's just nothing then better to know now with no deductible than start all over next year, kwim?

But I honestly feel almost superstitious (and I know it's SO stupid) about going to the doctor in 2016.  Ugh.  I don't even know where to go.  I called everywhere and am having a hard time finding a family doctor.  I've never had one - just an OB.  And I'm actually pretty worried and not telling anyone I'm really worried, but it's starting to show up in my walk.  DH asked yesterday if my shoes fit okay because I walked "off."  That's concerning.  It's not all the time, just sometimes, but I do notice it daily now.  :/  Maybe I'm just a hypochondriac, it's in my head, and I'm just focusing on it.  That would be awesome, yeah?

 

Sigh.

 

I hate this freaking year.

 

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It could be something minor, but yes, you need to go. You need lab work done to rule out vitamin deficiencies that can cause neurological problems, and asap, as damage can be permanent if not corrected right away. You could just have a disk pressing on something in your back, who knows. But you need to be seen. With your insurance, can you go straight to a neurologist rather than starting with a GP?

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

(On the stiffness, there are probably lots of possibilities.  I'd like to just throw something out here to mentally file away, for when you do eventually get to a doc, something to rule out.  It just so happens that yesterday I was reading about Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS).  There's a simple blood test that you'd probably need to ask for, anti-gad65, as I am under the impression that this is not something a lot of docs are aware of.  I thought of this in light of your recent losses, for which it is not unreasonable to consider an autoimmune issue.)

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Um, have you had a neuro exam, just the basic one that most doctors are qualified to give? I think you need an MRI or at minimum a CT of your brain.

 

Everything you just said, described my 18yo son a year ago...right before he was dx'ed with MS.

Kris
 

 

 

 

 

Could this year just freaking end already? :(

 

I'm so freaking over it.  

 

But something isn't quite right.  And I am having a hard time overcoming my fears and going to the doctor.  My gait is off.  No pain, no discomfort, no swelling, nothing.  But I can no longer run and coordinating my legs to do stairs is something I have to actually *think* about.  That can't be great can it?  It's been like this for a while.  At first, when we moved back from Oregon, it was during the winter and I thought some muscles in my right leg must stiffen up due to the cold or something.  But then it didn't really go away but it was sporadic.  Now it's not cold and it's not sporadic.  It's daily.  I cannot coordinate my legs to run at all.  

 

I have to go to the doctor this year - we've met our out of pocket and if it's just nothing then better to know now with no deductible than start all over next year, kwim?

But I honestly feel almost superstitious (and I know it's SO stupid) about going to the doctor in 2016.  Ugh.  I don't even know where to go.  I called everywhere and am having a hard time finding a family doctor.  I've never had one - just an OB.  And I'm actually pretty worried and not telling anyone I'm really worried, but it's starting to show up in my walk.  DH asked yesterday if my shoes fit okay because I walked "off."  That's concerning.  It's not all the time, just sometimes, but I do notice it daily now.  :/  Maybe I'm just a hypochondriac, it's in my head, and I'm just focusing on it.  That would be awesome, yeah?

 

Sigh.

 

I hate this freaking year.

 


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Edited by mommytobees
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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Your year has been so hard.  I don't blame you for being superstitious about seeing a doctor.  However, the longer you wait not only are you possibly risking even worse health issues or some sort of permanent damage, you are going to continue to worry and stress and that also is not going to help your situation.  It could make it worse.  I agree with above is there any way to go straight for a neurology appointment?  If not, then I would be pushing really, really hard to find a GP right away to get the process started.  You don't want to have to start over with deductibles and the end of the year is fast approaching.  

 

Think of it this way:  Maybe taking care of this NOW will be what turns your 2017 into a great year and lets you get past 2016.  You will find a wonderful GP, they will discover that what is happening is relatively minor, they will treat it, fix you up and be done before Christmas.  By January of 2017 you will feel great, you will no longer have to worry about your walking issues and the new year will be MUCH better than the previous year.

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Um, have you had a neuro exam, just the basic one that most doctors are qualified to give? I think you need an MRI or at minimum a CT of your brain.

 

Everything you just said, described my 18yo son a year ago...right before he was dx'ed with MS.

Kris

First, :grouphug:

 

MS was my first thought as well. I'm reading a book right now where the author thought he might have MS but it turned out to be a tumor on his spine. Neither of these is good news, but the fact that you have to "think" about moving is the flag for me - please get checked out.

 

And more :grouphug:

Edited by ikslo
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Our insurance charges us the same to go to urgent care (not the ER) as to see a GP. I went to one in a chain called MASH at the beginning of the summer when my GP couldn't see me for almost a week and I was in serious pain, and they were good, but there are all sorts of different urgent cares.

 

You could also try calling your OB and asking him/her for a referral to whatever specialist(s) s/he thinks you should see, or alternatively, see if s/he can work her network to get you in with a GP s/he likes ASAP (and order bloodwork etc while s/he's at it). I agree with the other's - there's still 3 months left of 2016, you want to deal with this *now*, not in 3 months.

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I would not go to the ER for two reasons:

 

1.  It is a misuse of what an ER is to be used for. 

 

2.  This is not the kind of thing that ER doctors are trained to evaluate and treat. 

 

I would look for a doctor in a couple of ways.

 

1.  Ask your OB for a referral.  (You don't have to actually go to this doctor but it is somewhere to start.)

 

2.  Ask friends for a referral.  (Again, you don't have to go to any of these but it gives you names to check out.)

 

3.  Google names of doctors/practices in  your areas.  You can go to sites like "Healthgrades" to see ratings/ rankings of doctors as well as their specialties and focus. 

 

When you ask for a doctor, I would ask for a Internal Medicine doctor.  They are more specialized than GPs but can then refer you on to someone like a Neurologist or another specialist depending on what preliminary tests show. 

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I'm sorry.  I misread your post. 

 

Okay. I would not recommend the ER either, even if it cost the same (it'd likely cost a lot more), for the reasons you mentioned (and the wait times). But urgent cares do do a lot of just GP type work, for people who either don't have a GP, or because it's evening/weekend, etc, and I was seen in about 5 min.

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I understand your fear in opening the door. Now is a good time, as you said, as the deductible has already been met. Does your insurer have a doctor search feature on their website? That might be helpful in locating options.

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First, :grouphug:

 

MS was my first thought as well. I'm reading a book right now where the author thought he might have MS but it turned out to be a tumor on his spine. Neither of these is good news, but the fact that you have to "think" about moving is the flag for me - please get checked out.

 

And more :grouphug:

 

A couple of things ALWAYS should be checked out by a doctor asap--anything neurological, including numbness, a fall where you hit your head, and something like your gait. Chest pain. Unusual headaches.

 

If it were me, I would be thinking the worst and still reluctant to go. But go.  :grouphug:

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What a terrible year. My heart breaks for you and your family, because the hits just keep coming :(.

 

I'd also recommend going to your GP for an eval and/or referral. If it's nothing then fine, if it's something then it can be treated or worked on. You don't want to ignore something degenerative. I'm praying it's something easily fixable!

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I don't blame you one bit for not wanting to go this year. But you should. And *bonus* your deductible is met. 

 

I would ask everyone you know who they love for a primary GP (you don't even need to say why). When you make the appt, give a sense of urgency so they can get you in quickly. If you stress "new onset" (well, it is because it's nearly all the time now versus occasionally before), that may help you get in faster. Yes you need a neuro appt, but the GP can make the eval, order tests while waiting for a specialist and often get you in faster than if you scheduled yourself. I would even talk to the GP nurse to help get you in faster (they can usually switch up the schedule when needed, instead of a scheduler just plopping you in next without being aware of the seriousness).

 

Praying it's a simple condition! And it very well could be but need it checked out regardless. 

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I'm praying for you and your family Kelly, that God send you continued strength and healing. I am so sorry you're going through all of this. (((Hugs))) I just want to say you're a huge blessing to have here on these boards and I've gotten so much from your grace and experience the time I've been here. My heart truly goes out to you. Praying all the best for you.

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I'm sorry that this has been such a horrible  no-good year for you.  But yes, please see somebody sooner rather than later, if only because you've met your deductible.

 

Sounds like, yes, it could be MS, but I'm sure there are other options too.  One thing to consider is that for a friend's Mom, her pregnancies would always trigger her MS.   But yes, try and see a neurologist or ask your Internist for a referral.  S/he may be able to get you in sooner, depending on how busy things are in your neck of the woods.  If you do need additional tests and such, you have three months before the calendar year ends.

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What a terrible year. My heart breaks for you and your family, because the hits just keep coming :(.

 

 

That's it in a nutshell.  Sigh.

 

I'm going to go to our local doctor in town - I'll call him in the AM and try to get in.  He's not much for referrals (had to insist on DH's referral for a urologist when he was passing kool-aid colored urine) but I'll be pushy and get it anyway.  At least that would probably be the most efficient route.

 

Thank you all for the prayers and well-wishes.  It really threw me the other day when DH noticed something about my regular walking gait.  It seems non-ignorable now.  

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I'd want B12, D, iron, and folate levels tested.  Walking gait is affected by B12 deficiency.  

 

I hate to suggest this, but miscarriages are higher to in women with B12 deficiencies.  

 

If yours is lower than 500, I'd want it treated.  Have the doctor give you a copy of your results, too.  

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I didn't have any stiffening, but my gait was off before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. It affected my balance and the ability of my joints to stiffen (for lack of a better word). I had to very consciously concentrate on walking or I felt like my ankles and knees would easily give out. If I didn't really pay attention I wobbled all over going up stairs. I avoided walking on uneven surfaces if at all possible, and if I had to I was extremely careful. Hopefully your issues will turn out to be something easily treatable!  :grouphug:

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If he can't get you in, try calling some neurologists directly. That's really the appointment you need. Wether it is a vitamin issue, a slipped disk in your back pinching something, a nerve conducting issue, or worse, the neurologist is the person to deal with it. Hugs. 

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So, the local family doctor fit me in right away and I went Wednesday morning.  He sees absolutely no issues whatsoever and referred me to a neuro.  I have an appointment in early November. I hurt my toes this last weekend by essentially stepping on them, if ykwim?  (As in you take a step but the toes drag a bit so you put your weight down on them and they bend under the foot.)  Then, that week, I realized how often I drag my toes, because I injured one of the toes and I'll bet I drug" them 3 times more by yesterday. Then,  Wednesday night I "tripped" twice.  It was late and I was tired and the leg is worse behaved then.  The first trip was minor but the second was more and I caught myself on a table before I fell flat on my face.  I'm starting to be pretty sure it isn't just my imagination. :(  It's pretty sobering.  I think I would have told you I was probably in the best physical shape of my life this summer.  
 

So, because of that little trip incident, I called the neuro and asked to be put on a cancellation list.  She suggested my family doctor request imaging so that it's done before I go in.  So I guess that's the next step.  Thank you all for the prayers.  This is starting to be more "real" and I don't like it much.  Hoping to turn out a complete and total hypochondriac.

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So, the local family doctor fit me in right away and I went Wednesday morning. He sees absolutely no issues whatsoever and referred me to a neuro. I have an appointment in early November. I hurt my toes this last weekend by essentially stepping on them, if ykwim? (As in you take a step but the toes drag a bit so you put your weight down on them and they bend under the foot.) Then, that week, I realized how often I drag my toes, because I injured one of the toes and I'll bet I drug" them 3 times more by yesterday. Then, Wednesday night I "tripped" twice. It was late and I was tired and the leg is worse behaved then. The first trip was minor but the second was more and I caught myself on a table before I fell flat on my face. I'm starting to be pretty sure it isn't just my imagination. :( It's pretty sobering. I think I would have told you I was probably in the best physical shape of my life this summer.

 

So, because of that little trip incident, I called the neuro and asked to be put on a cancellation list. She suggested my family doctor request imaging so that it's done before I go in. So I guess that's the next step. Thank you all for the prayers. This is starting to be more "real" and I don't like it much. Hoping to turn out a complete and total hypochondriac.

I don't 'like' your update but I'm glad you're being taken seriously at least and referred up the chain. Here's to hoping you're just imagining things though. We are still praying for you Kelly!

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(((Hugs)))

Get thee to a doctor. If you can't find an FP, consider expanding your search to internal medicine. Are you required to see a primary care doc before you see a specialist? If not, try to get in with a neurologist.

 

Even if it is something big and scary, a lot of neuro conditions can be managed and maintained for a long time, especially if caught early.

 

I hope things get better soon 💙

 

ETA: missed your update. That's what I get for skimming 😊 Definitely get some imaging. May as well rule it all out while your deductible is met, especially if there's an MRI involved.

Edited by Forget-me-not
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Oh, honey! {{{hugs}}}

 

Okay, like ktgrok said, this sounds like foot drop. As she also said, you can have this for many different causes. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/foot-drop/basics/causes/con-20032918

 

Facts first:

 

  • Weakness: Muscle weakness can cause problems such as  foot drop (which causes toe drag), “vaulting†(a compensatory technique that involves raising the heel on the stronger leg to make it easier to swing the weaker leg through), compensatory hip hike, trunk lean or circumduction (swinging leg out to the side). Weakness in both legs is known as paraparesis; weakness in only one leg is called monoparesis. Weakness can often be compensated for with the use of appropriate exercises and assistive devices, including braces, canes or walkers.

 

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Walking-(Gait),-Balance-Coordination

Also on that same page is information about gait disturbances. Have your husband look at them with you and see if you can determine your gait disturbance.

They make braces to help (http://www.braceshop.com/braces-and-supports/ankle-braces/foot-drop-braces.htm) and medical insurance WILL cover them, IF you have a dx of _____ with a reason supporting the need for the brace. But, it'll likely be a fight. However, if you think about it, a brace is cheaper than a hospital stay or a repeat hospital stay.

 

Were I you, I would ask your Primary for an order for an MR w/contrast, WITH MS PROTOCOLS. Since you aren't going to have to pay for it (if I understand your insurance correctly), I'd cut to the chase and go straight for the MRI. If you have to pay for a big percentage, then you can go cheap and get a CT. If something were to show up, then you can go back and get the MR. The "with MS protocols" is simply a set of time frames. It doesn't hurt if you are NOT looking at MS, but it changes the enhanced lesions significantly.

 

ETA: I wanted to add...the MS protocols are important to determine if a lesion is active or not. So, this is important MS or NOT MS. If you have a lesion somewhere in your brain, it will show up as a spot on the image. After the contrast, the spot will have a doughnut shape enhancing the lesion, think of it like a target, a circle with a dot on the inside. If the spot doesn't enhance, then it is an old spot. I have 4 spots that do not enhance and have stayed unchanged for years. My son's MR's aren't so easy. 

 

You may not have MS. There are other explanations for what you are dealing with, however, if your insurance will cover the MR with little to no cost to you, I think you should plan ahead. If you go into the Neuro appointment with MR records that show NOTHING abnormal, YAY. He'll look at something else. If your MR images show something or doesn't show something, then you don't have to wait the 1-2 weeks for the MR and the radiologist to read it and the Neuro to get them and then get back to you. Even with the best of times, it takes us 2-4 weeks from the ordering of an MR to get the results from the Neuro. I've taken to requesting the MR disc and radiologist report 24 hours after the MR.

 

{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}} 

 

Please remember that there are other things, but I would take this seriously and be on the quick side. 

Kris

 

 

So, the local family doctor fit me in right away and I went Wednesday morning.  He sees absolutely no issues whatsoever and referred me to a neuro.  I have an appointment in early November. I hurt my toes this last weekend by essentially stepping on them, if ykwim?  (As in you take a step but the toes drag a bit so you put your weight down on them and they bend under the foot.)  Then, that week, I realized how often I drag my toes, because I injured one of the toes and I'll bet I drug" them 3 times more by yesterday. Then,  Wednesday night I "tripped" twice.  It was late and I was tired and the leg is worse behaved then.  The first trip was minor but the second was more and I caught myself on a table before I fell flat on my face.  I'm starting to be pretty sure it isn't just my imagination. :(  It's pretty sobering.  I think I would have told you I was probably in the best physical shape of my life this summer.  
 

So, because of that little trip incident, I called the neuro and asked to be put on a cancellation list.  She suggested my family doctor request imaging so that it's done before I go in.  So I guess that's the next step.  Thank you all for the prayers.  This is starting to be more "real" and I don't like it much.  Hoping to turn out a complete and total hypochondriac.

 


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Kris,

 

This was a very valuable post for me.  I had thought an MRI would be all the same - I'll read more on MS protocols.  The general practice MD did ask about familial ties to MS.  I have none.  Honestly I just have NO other symptoms of anything - no tingling, no pain, no discomfort, no inflammation, no......  anything in any place - no neck discomfort, back discomfort, hip discomfort, etc.  Just this slow downhill decline from a leg that behaved oddly when cold to a leg that behaved badly when tired to now a leg that behaves "off" as much as "on" lately.  

 

I swear, when it's good, I think I'm losing my mind.  And when it's not good, I wonder if I'm making it that way with anxiety. :P

 

 

 

 

Oh, honey! {{{hugs}}}

 

Okay, like ktgrok said, this sounds like foot drop. As she also said, you can have this for many different causes. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/foot-drop/basics/causes/con-20032918

 

Facts first:

 

  • Weakness: Muscle weakness can cause problems such as  foot drop (which causes toe drag), “vaulting†(a compensatory technique that involves raising the heel on the stronger leg to make it easier to swing the weaker leg through), compensatory hip hike, trunk lean or circumduction (swinging leg out to the side). Weakness in both legs is known as paraparesis; weakness in only one leg is called monoparesis. Weakness can often be compensated for with the use of appropriate exercises and assistive devices, including braces, canes or walkers.

 

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Walking-(Gait),-Balance-Coordination

Also on that same page is information about gait disturbances. Have your husband look at them with you and see if you can determine your gait disturbance.

They make braces to help (http://www.braceshop.com/braces-and-supports/ankle-braces/foot-drop-braces.htm) and medical insurance WILL cover them, IF you have a dx of _____ with a reason supporting the need for the brace. But, it'll likely be a fight. However, if you think about it, a brace is cheaper than a hospital stay or a repeat hospital stay.

 

Were I you, I would ask your Primary for an order for an MR w/contrast, WITH MS PROTOCOLS. Since you aren't going to have to pay for it (if I understand your insurance correctly), I'd cut to the chase and go straight for the MRI. If you have to pay for a big percentage, then you can go cheap and get a CT. If something were to show up, then you can go back and get the MR. The "with MS protocols" is simply a set of time frames. It doesn't hurt if you are NOT looking at MS, but it changes the enhanced lesions significantly.

 

ETA: I wanted to add...the MS protocols are important to determine if a lesion is active or not. So, this is important MS or NOT MS. If you have a lesion somewhere in your brain, it will show up as a spot on the image. After the contrast, the spot will have a doughnut shape enhancing the lesion, think of it like a target, a circle with a dot on the inside. If the spot doesn't enhance, then it is an old spot. I have 4 spots that do not enhance and have stayed unchanged for years. My son's MR's aren't so easy. 

 

You may not have MS. There are other explanations for what you are dealing with, however, if your insurance will cover the MR with little to no cost to you, I think you should plan ahead. If you go into the Neuro appointment with MR records that show NOTHING abnormal, YAY. He'll look at something else. If your MR images show something or doesn't show something, then you don't have to wait the 1-2 weeks for the MR and the radiologist to read it and the Neuro to get them and then get back to you. Even with the best of times, it takes us 2-4 weeks from the ordering of an MR to get the results from the Neuro. I've taken to requesting the MR disc and radiologist report 24 hours after the MR.

 

{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}} 

 

Please remember that there are other things, but I would take this seriously and be on the quick side. 

Kris

 

 

 


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Kris,

 

This was a very valuable post for me.  I had thought an MRI would be all the same - I'll read more on MS protocols.  The general practice MD did ask about familial ties to MS.  I have none.  Honestly I just have NO other symptoms of anything - no tingling, no pain, no discomfort, no inflammation, no......  anything in any place - no neck discomfort, back discomfort, hip discomfort, etc.  Just this slow downhill decline from a leg that behaved oddly when cold to a leg that behaved badly when tired to now a leg that behaves "off" as much as "on" lately.  

 

I swear, when it's good, I think I'm losing my mind.  And when it's not good, I wonder if I'm making it that way with anxiety. :p

:grouphug:

 

I am glad you are being proactive and getting it checked out.  Instead of waiting and constantly second guessing yourself and causing yourself stress and tension at least now, hopefully, you can get some answers.  

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