Hi, MeFi. I've had a medical condition for the past month which involves numbness in my hands and face, headaches, fatigue, emotional distress, and other unpleasant symptoms. I know YANMD, and I am in fact already seeing a doctor and will soon be seeing a neurologist. I'm sorry about the wall of text, but if any of this sounds familiar, please let me know -- it would really help when talking to my doctors!
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
At the end of October, I was recovering from a very minor cold: my throat was mucousy and I was coughing a bit, but that was it. One day, I started to feel a certain numbness -- you could even call it "pins and needles" -- in my hands. It started innocuously, once every few days, usually when I was driving at night. Soon, it spread to my face and started happening with an increasing frequency, but still mostly in the evenings. The sensation was bilateral.
This didn't pass after a week, so naturally, I started to worry. I started to feel like I had the flu, and I spent a day away from work when I was feeling particularly crappy. On Monday, I went to see the doctor. My blood tests were fine, with only a minor vitamin D deficiency (which I'm taking medicine for now). I was also prescribed an MRI, just in case.
The following week, my symptoms seemed to change. I wasn't getting the pins and needles so much anymore, but I started having more headaches. In addition, whenever I woke up, my fingertips and face felt strangely numb, and I felt like it was probably related to the pins and needles. One time, I went over to a party in Berkeley. It was really stuffy, and I suddenly felt strangely ill. My face and ears were very warm to the touch and I felt a bit dizzy and disoriented, even to the point where my eyes had some trouble focusing. It was almost like I had drank too much. I just wanted to lie down somewhere, and when I did, even though I could still reason quite clearly, my emotional state was completely off: I recognized the house and my friends, but they didn't have all the emotional associations that I usually have with them, if that makes any sense. The next day, I was really tired and still a bit disoriented, and I ended up sleeping for most of it.
Then, a few days later, I suddenly felt fine. Everything was great for a while, but then I started getting a feeling of lightheadedness and slight associated nausea. For a week or two (I think), it really felt like I was alternating between the warm-faced, migrane-like state I experienced at the party, feeling good, and feeling lightheaded.
My MRI was coming up in a week, and I was completely panicking the entire time. My thoughts turned to various horrible diseases with matching symptoms I had uncovered on the internet: what if it was MS, or worse? I thought about death a lot. When I finally went to see my doctor for a followup appointment, it turned out that the MRI came back clean. Whew!
At the moment, my symptoms have transformed somewhat from their original state, but still seem related. A lot of the time, I feel okay -- not great, but okay. I often feel tired and somewhat depressed, and I don't feel like I have the energy to go out and do stuff very often. I still wake up with numb hands and face which often lasts for the entire day, and I seem to have some trouble sleeping. Then, every few days, I get that same warm-faced headache, though to a much lesser degree. (For example, I don't feel the emotional disconnect so much anymore, which is great: when it first happened, I was terrified that I was losing my mind!) I noticed that whenever it happens, my throat feels like it's burning. My skin also sometimes feels sensitive to the touch, as if it's been sunburned (but this usually passes quickly). I've experienced pain in my lower left abdomen, and I've found that I had to go to the bathroom more often than I did in the past. The original pins and needles don't reoccur so much anymore, but when they do, they're often unilateral, on my left side. And throughout all this time, I've had various flu-like symptoms, including coughing and mucous buildup in my throat.
I've been avoiding gluten for the past few days to see if I have Celiac disease -- no help, just got another headache today. And I recognize that many of my symptoms have attributes of panic attacks, which I've had one of in the past -- but I feel like too many of them are physiological to be completely caused by stress.
Any thoughts? Thank you for your time!