A.J. Walker

Multiple Sclerosis etc

February 2021

Anther Bloody Cold and Buzzy Week

This week I've been kind of waiting to recover from whatever I am suffering from - or maybe have it identified so it can be dealt with. Was hoping to get at least a date for the MRI, but there is no sign of that yet. The nurse who volunteered to take my bloods did so on Tuesday, which was great - it wouldn't have been taken until next week otherwise, which would have pushed things back another week, if I'd had to wait for sampling from one of the blood centres.

The taking of the bloods was fun: in that she struggled to get a vein and had to go for a second attempt. When I had tests at the start of the year the nurse commented at how easy it was to take the bloods. I think it has to be something to do with my sudden bout of everything being 'unusual'. Hoped that the results would be sorted by Thursday or Friday. As it was whilst I was chasing the results by phone on Friday afternoon the doctor, who was off, sent me a text as the the bloods had come through. Apparently they showed I was deficient in folate. I won't know until I see the doctor how likely it is to be the reason for my current issues or a side show discovered whilst investigating it. We shall see.

The fact that my nerves are fooked from my waist down to my toes - and that hasn't changed in the last week - seems a bit over the top compared to some of the typical symptoms of folate deficiency. As it is the feelings down both legs on all sides are messed up. The feet have strong pins and needles now and it is less like walking on soft mattresses when I am out for a stretch and more like walking on broken mattresses. Other than that had a bit of dizziness but nothing major. Of course that may have been something and nothing, now every little thing I feel comes with a 'is it a symptom' question. I'm also wondering if I've had weight loss or not. I don't weigh myself so I have no records to follow - all I know is my jeans are very loose. But that may be because I'm around the house without a belt on more. Maybe I should take some weight measurements and see what follows.

Been taking the folate pills since Friday. Not sure how quickly that will do anything, or indeed if it will do anything significant anyway.

For now I've got to see if I can get to see the GP early this week to discuss. I'm not sure that the folate deficiency is the cause of my current issues. I mean it is not that unusual an issue and yet the GP and the neurologist both thought the symptoms were very unusual - and looking at the list of typical symptoms of a folate deficiency:

  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • trouble concentrating (or something like that)
  • headache
  • bloody irritability
  • heart palpitations
  • sores on the tongue or mouth
  • a change in colour of skin, hair or fingernails (I may be a bit greyer?)
  • shortness of breath.

…well I don't have a single one of these.

I need to cross my fingers that the MRI can get sorted so that it can do its job in looking for other internal issues. Fingers crossed for the MRI soon. In the meantime it would be nice to simply wake up with the legs feeling good and everything to have moved on as if by magic.

Where Is House When I Need Him?

After years of not going to the doctors and only suffering from the odd episode of gout in one or other of my knees (treated with ibuprofen and time - it is a strange disease in itself) I find myself going to the GP again.

Before Xmas I had the whole numb on one side of the face thing, followed between Xmas and NY by visual issues. Putting the two together the GP told me to go to A&E as it sounded like I needed an MRI to look into it. At A&E they decided the numb face thing was shingles and the visual issues were down to Labyrinthitus (though they saw no evidence of that, and there was also no pain or rash associated with the ‘shingles’).

Since then the numbness of the face disappeared and the visual issues cleared up too. I went to an ophthalmologist department and they told me my eyes were alright though they weren’t sure what had caused the issue in the first place. Both the ophthalmologist and later two of the GPS discounted the Labyrinthitus diagnosis.

I was better. But I was put in for an MRI to box things off and see if there were any reasons there that they could identify that would cause the strange no pain/no rash/no other damn symptom issues. The date for the MRI could not be given, but it was thought it could be in the order or six weeks or so.

So in the meantime I was okay and back at work. No problem.

Then last week came along with a new sideswipe and yet again ‘unusual’ symptoms. Basically numbness was the main symptom, but instead of it affecting half my head it inflicted me from the waist down. Pretty weird and maybe a bit scary - I mean if it was numb one day what would it be the next day, or the day after that?

Got through to the doctors eventually and the receptionist told me to call an ambulance. I thought that sounded a bit OTT and couldn’t work out quite why. But on reflection, at the time I was worried the odd symptom was maybe a side effect of the
Amlopidine they have me on for elevated blood pressure, I may well have said something along then lines of ‘I can’t feel my legs and I think it’s the drugs I am on.’ So maybe she thought I was a druggy in the process of ODing. You’d think they would be used to people referring to pharmaceuticals as drugs in a doctor’s surgery? Maybe she should have asked me to verify what I had taken. Lol.

In the end she talked it down to getting the GP to give me ‘
an emergency call.’ Three hours later the call came through and I was told to come in. Chatting about the issue and then testing if I could feel the difference on my legs between cotton wool and being stabbed ensued (I think I could). The doc concurred that the issue was highly unusual, and that it wasn’t my due to greedy drug habit. He said he’d call the 'neurological helpline'. Unfortunately the helpline operates between the hours of 11 and 1pm. So it would have to wait until the next day.

I walked from the surgery to the chemist to pick up my Amlopidine; which I’d put off getting until I knew whether that was the issue.

Walking is weird. My legs at the moment (and long may it continue) are working fine to a point. The weirdest thing is as there is numbness for the full length of my legs and pins & needles in both feet, wherever I walk and however long I don’t feel it properly. The closest description I can think of is that it feels like I’m walking on a continuous row of mattresses. Which may sound nice, but it really isn’t.

The GP left a message for me on Friday. He had spoken to the neurologist and he had concluded that the symptoms were ‘unusual’. That at least seems unanimous. He would check on what was happening with any MRI appointment - and I hope chivvy it along. I guess the MRI now be extended to look along my spine (I have no pain anywhere still) - as well as the head for the Xmas time issues.

It is weird having an issue which involves no pain or other issues. Normally if you are off sick it’s awful because of all that extra time to yourself you can’t use because you can’t face reading or watching TV - because of a headache or other issue. And certainly you wouldn’t be able to play an instrument or write or whatever. But other than moving around or bathroom issues -
I'll leave that there - I feel fine in myself in the main.

Today is Monday and there has been no obvious change one way or the other - maybe a little more discomfort to the right leg but I'm not sure. I still have numbness from the waist down and pins & needles in the feet - and the gods continue to throw mattresses in front of wherever I want to go. Tomorrow I am going in for blood tests (I think just B12 related). I had bloods taken between Xmas & New Year and everything came back okay - apart from elevated cholesterol - I don’t expect the bloods to be the answer. But then again I had thought that it was ‘
obviously the drug I was on’ and it wasn’t.

So it’s bloods Tuesday then MRI... when?

House 1
The prognosis is what!?

I’m beginning to feel like I’m in an episode of House and I'm expecting to be tested and prodded by multiple strangers in whites until House arrives on the scene and has to guess Lupus (it’s never Lupus) before some interesting and obscure cause is identified. My GP has already asked me about any poisonous or hazardous materials I may come into contact with at work - I could only think of Pringles. Fingers crossed the symptoms like the Xmas ones just disappears or they can identify it and treat it. Well, either way I'd like to know the cause. The not knowing is not good at all.

It reminds me of back in the 1990s I went into a isolation ward in Fazakerley hospital. I was quite seriously ill after returning from Nigeria. The most obvious symptom being my tongue swelling to fill my entire mouth so I hadn't eaten for days and found even drinking a great difficulty. Anyway after a few days my body returned to normal and they let me go. I left with the doctors never having identified what I had. I wonder if the same thing will happen again (although this time we’re all ostensibly in isolation)?