My Three Week (and counting) Struggle

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My Three Week (and counting) Struggle

Postby jsandmann on March 18th, 2014, 11:03 am

I wanted to share my current story with what is hopefully BFS. It is helpful for me to talk about it and hopefully it will be helpful to others who are experiencing similar problems.

About a month ago I started waking up in the middle of the night with numbness in my left hand. As it progressed I started having trouble using my pinky finger. These symptoms only occurred during the night. After getting up and moving around for a few minutes everything would return to normal. During the day I began noticing that my hands felt weak (although they were not).

I made the awful mistake of checking google to find out what was wrong with me. I was quick to learn that I could have ALS or MS. At that moment I went into panic mode and made an appointment with my primary care physician. After an examination, he believed that my ulnar nerve was compressed and prescribed me 20mg of Prednisone (40mg the first day) for six days to help with the inflammation.
Unfortunately, Prednisone kept me awake and I believed caused my anxiety go through the roof. I could not think of anything but having ALS or MS. I became worthless at work and at school (I work full time and attend law school at night). I only took the prednisone for 3 days (although it seemed to help with my hand) because I could not handle the side effects. I also began to experience other symptoms which made my anxiety and insomnia even worse. Symptoms included numbness and tingling in hands and arms (still at night), my whole body would shake, I would have random muscle twitches all over my body, I had muscle cramps in both hands, I had trouble swallowing and times (it would come and go).

Because I was having so much trouble sleeping, I saw my doctor again and he prescribed Ambien. I slept well the first night but the second night I was up at 2:30am with another anxiety attack and could not return to sleep. I ended up in the emergency room the next night because I could not sleep and was having constant anxiety attacks. Every time I would get comfortable my hand would go numb or a muscle would twitch and it would remind me of the debilitating condition that I convinced myself that I had.

The emergency room doctor gave me a prescription for Ativan to help with the anxiety and I am finally able to sleep with it (although I hate taking medications). Note: I am not taking Ambien with the Ativan.

I saw an orthopedist last week and he too believes that I have an ulnar nerve issue. He is in the process of scheduling me for an EMG. He also prescribed me a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug.

Thanks to this website I’m sure that I do not have ALS but I am still very concerned about MS.
Many of my symptoms come and go. Last night and yesterday I had a lot of twitching but today it has been much better. The numbness and tingling was not bad last night either. Now my main problem is my right eye. It has been twitching some and my tear duct feels sticky when I blink. It also seems to be more sensitive to light. I’m sure that could be caused by the lack of sleep that I have experienced over the past two week or perhaps some of the medication that I have been on. None-the-less, I believe that is a symptom of MS (although I’m not looking on the internet anymore).

I have never suffered from anxiety before and I generally handle stress very well. I am in my final semester of law school, I work full time, and my wife is pregnant with twins. Perhaps all of this together has created the perfect storm. Over the past week I have started exercising and eating healthy so hopefully that will help as well. Getting answers on the EMG will hopefully resolve my fears and help me on the road to recovery. I will keep everyone updated as I hate reading stories with no endings. Any encouragement would be appreciated.
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Re: My Three Week (and counting) Struggle

Postby Watereddown on March 19th, 2014, 10:26 pm

Hey man

I don't think there's much to worry about by just reading your story. Im sure if you utilize the search bar and type in your symptoms, you'll get a 100+ hits. Ive experienced everything you have. I wake up every morning with my pinky and ring finger numb on both hands. The doctor's say its ulnar neuropathy. I brought this up to my neurologist who was checking me for MS and said that had nothing to do with it. MS numbness, when it happens, is not transient. It is caused by a physical lesion that needs to be treated with corticosteroids to heal fast. But to get the peace of mind, go see a neurologist. I'm sure they'll tell you the same thing theyve told everyone here on this board. Good luck with everything
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Re: My Three Week (and counting) Struggle

Postby jsandmann on March 31st, 2014, 5:21 pm

I had my EMG done today. The doctor confirmed that my numbness is caused by compression in the ulnar nerve. I will meet again with the orthopedist to map out a plan to deal with that. I am convinced at this point that the rest of my symptoms were caused by the extreme anxiety I was experiencing. I am still having random muscle twitching (including the eye) but only when I am feeling nervous or stressed.

I did not like taking the sleeping or anxiety medications because they made me feel like a zombie. I found that many people online had success with Magnesium and Amino Acid supplements. I decided to give that a try and it has made a world of difference. For the first time in a month I was able to sleep all night without medication. Here is a link to the discussion forum that prompted my attention in case others are curious.

http://anxietyforum.net/forum/showthrea ... my-Anxiety

I am grateful for this forum for helping ease my fears during a very difficult time in my life. I am hopeful that I am on my way to better days. Best to everyone!
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Re: My Three Week (and counting) Struggle

Postby jsandmann on April 28th, 2014, 12:26 pm

I am providing a quick update because it has been a while. I also would like your thoughts on medical treatment. I am doing physical therapy for my ulnar nerve issue and it is doing much better. Unfortunately, I am still having the twitching in my muscles. They range from my face all the way down to my legs. My arms and legs also randomly jerk sometimes as well. The jerking is light but it still causes me some concern. Everything is worse when I drink caffeine or I get tired. I am no longer experiencing the panic attacks that I was back in March and I am now sleeping great.

I am trying to decide if I want to go back to the doctor to have the twitching / jerking looked at. Some days I barely notice it and others it is all day. I don’t even know what I would have tested. I guess I could see a neurologist but I don’t know if it would be worth it. I keep thinking it will get better. Any thoughts?
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Re: My Three Week (and counting) Struggle

Postby nrwtwitcher on April 28th, 2014, 12:37 pm

That is all extremely typical for bfs. You are lucky because you can sleep well. I am twitching since 7 months and it goes worse over the time. Many people in this forum are twitching since years...
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Re: My Three Week (and counting) Struggle

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