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My Mom

PostPosted: December 5th, 2014, 9:30 pm
by lostinneverwhere
Curious if anyone has an idea or experience similiar to this:

My mother (she's 55, and love her dearly :D ), has lost most of the use of her right hand. Seems to have happened mostly over night (and about a month ago to boot). She said that she was doing a large amount of data entry at that week and come Monday of next week her hand just wouldn't respond to her commands.

Initially the Doc though she had a disc issue in her neck, but that returned no result when they did an MRI. Meanwhile, she's have some irritating pains in her shoulder and elbow, occasionally in arm, and infrequently in hand. Her hand looks quite swollen and she hasn't recovered any strength in it. She's a bit irritated and depression with the whole situation.

She's had wonderful humor about the situation, as she has poor grip and finger control, and often "flips the bird" when people as her if she needs a hand while working with items. Other than spreading pain, especially if she really uses her right hand, her grip hasn't decreased beyond when it started.

She has an EMG this coming Monday and visit with a neurosurgeon that Thursday.

Anyone ever hear of something like this happening so suddenly? I just worry for my mother and was seeing if anyone had any insight or similar experiences.

Re: My Mom

PostPosted: December 6th, 2014, 1:40 am
by Yuliasir
my sister in law had a nerve pinchment issue which was very painful and lead to partial paresis of the fingers (pain was concentrated in wrist and arm), which come suddenly, as per her report. I do not know if she had swelling (did not see her at that time). She was treated for about 6 months and recovered completely. She was about 50 at that time.

Pain is rather about compression, swelling too may mean an inflammation which causes paresis if nerve is compressed in its passage in the joints. Usually in ALS people do not complan for pains and swelling. Hope your mom\s stroy will go this line.

Re: My Mom

PostPosted: December 8th, 2014, 8:20 pm
by lostinneverwhere
Thanks for your reply. You always provide such calm and insight.

As an update my mother had her EMG today. The neurologist was a bit confounded, as he tested her hand, arm, and neck, yet could not find a reason to explain the condition with her hand and the pain she is experiencing. I suppose I should be happy that the neuro implied as much and take it as a good sign.

Additionally, the neuro studied her x-ray, not MRI, and believes he sees a bulging disc in her neck that was not part of the MRI and is informing her doctor and neurosurgeon that it warrants another look. I just hope that they are able to find a positive answer before it causes damage to her body.

I'll update as I hear more.

Re: My Mom

PostPosted: December 9th, 2014, 1:30 am
by Yuliasir
I think it is a good sign that EMG of definitely affected region did not revealed denervation signs.

I can tell you that in those very unfrequent cases (2 or 3 for 14 years of the existence of the site) when our fellows vere diagnosed with MND, they had specific changes on EMG far before loss of limb usage. So it means, as for me, that should your mom lost her hand operability due to long term running denervation process, as it is in MND, it would be a) painless b) at the moment of hand loss already well seen on EMG.

hope you could find a root cause and your mom will feel better eventually.

Re: My Mom

PostPosted: December 11th, 2014, 4:31 pm
by lostinneverwhere
Just an update. My mother had her second meeting with a neurologist.

They are going to do a brain scan to see if they can find something going there. They may do another EMG in 8 -10 weeks to see if anything shows.

The doctor doesn't suspect ALS or MS at this point, and isn't overly concerned (guess I should trust the doc, right?) although he is puzzled about the condition.

Physically, her hand, especially fingers are getting weaker and harder to control and still has pains shooting through her arm and neck.


Re: My Mom

PostPosted: December 23rd, 2014, 4:45 pm
by lostinneverwhere
Well the brain scan showed 3 lesions (2 minor, that were considered negligible, and 1 that has concerned the neurosurgeon) in her brain. They are doing blood work and body scan to check for cancer and we'll have those results hopefully today.

He told her that surgery would be difficult but an option (said it was not in the best of places) additionally, chemotherapy would be an option as well. They aren't saying cancer yet (biopsy is the next step I believe). She could have MS, as brain lesions do occur in that disorder. She was taking steroids and the hand and arm gained much function (so I hope that's a good sign). Sadly the steroid has ran it's course and is getting worse again.

Thanks all.

Re: My Mom

PostPosted: December 24th, 2014, 12:33 am
by Yuliasir
Yep steroids are potent anti-inflammatory drugs so if the hand regained action, it means they did the job and damage is reversible at least, so MS is possible.

Wish you good resolution in a new Year

Re: My Mom

PostPosted: January 13th, 2015, 4:43 pm
by lostinneverwhere
So holidays have come and gone.

Turns out she had a cancerous tumor effecting her motor cortex. The docs worked fast and did surgery a few days after finding out (diagnosed Dec. 24th, surgery Dec. 26th). Sadly, the cancer in her brain came from her lungs, that we were unaware existed. She has 3 small spots effecting her left lung.

Her oncologist told her last week that he was "cautiously optimistic" that she could beat the cancer with some chemo and radiation (surgery isn't an option because of location). They are starting a very fast and intense regimen at the end of January.

She started occupational therapy to regain the use of her arm and hand (it's a slow process, but she's making improvements). I never would have suspected cancer.

When they told us on Dec. 24th that it was cancer and a tumor she couldn't use her arm or hand, she walked with a limp, her shoulder was slumping, and was losing control of her bladder (the right side of her body was effected).

Today, her mood is much improved and aside from the arm and hand in need of rehabilitation, she's getting around well and getting ready to go back to work.

Here's to beating cancer in 2015.

And if there was thing I could count on during the ordeal (and even now), it was knowing that at least I could twitch.

Re: My Mom

PostPosted: January 13th, 2015, 9:38 pm
by garym
i wish you and your mother the best of wife's mother just got a definitive dx of melanoma that has spread to her lungs. She gets her first treatment tomorrow.

Re: My Mom

PostPosted: January 14th, 2015, 12:37 am
by Yuliasir
best wishes for your mom.