Saturday, June 12, 2010

So, Now What?

There is a bit too much in my head to leave it at a "Six Word Saturday" today.

About 6 weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk at work, and all of a sudden my right breast and underarm went completely numb. It lasted about 5 minutes and then everything was fine. I thought it was extremely strange and figured perhaps I was leaning on my elbow too much, or had a pinched nerve or something. Then, the next morning, all started up again. Only this time my lips would start to go numb as well. This occurred sporadically several times throughout the day. It also sort of felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I thought for sure I must have a rib out and pressing on a nerve or something. I was also just extremely tired. Like, majorly fatigued.
I had my usual monthly chiropractor appointment and thought for sure things would be better after that. They were the same, although it didn't feel like someone was sitting on my chest anymore. I called the Dr's office to get an appointment, and when the gal on the phone asked me for my symptoms, she then put me on hold and a nurse came on the line. She told me to go to the instacare or ER. She said that when things happen on the right side of the chest it often times is related to the heart. I was like... hmmm. Did not know that. But, okay.

So, off I go to the insta care. And I think the nurse on the phone probably freaked me out a little, so I probably was a little more anxious than normal. My blood pressure was abnormally high. And it is usually sooo low, they often joke that they are surprised I am alive. Anyway, they did an EKG, but all was normal. They advised me to go ahead and make an appointment with my regular Dr. Wow. $45 co-pay to tell me what I was planning on doing anyway. Great.

My appointment with my Dr. was set for 1 week later. Every day, I still had the the numbness on my right side and I began to notice that any day it was warm, I felt extreme fatigue. I had heat exhaustion once, almost to the point of heat stroke. It felt similar to the onset of that. Also, little things like going to the grocery store would wear me out. At my appointment my Dr. ordered a full blood panel and also wanted me to get a "stress echo" (stress echocardiogram) on my heart, just to be sure. I've had one of these before so I knew what it entailed. It is an ultrasound on the heart, which is really painful by the way, and then they throw you on the treadmill to stress your heart out, and then do more ultrasound.

The blood lab was scheduled for the next morning at 8 am. Had to fast beforehand. Fine. The stress-echo was scheduled for 10 days later, and I was also suppose to go in fasting. Not fine. THAT appointment was set for 12:30pm... Which meant I was gonna be HUNGRY by the time it was all over.

The blood work came back and everything was great. Thyroid, liver, glucose, cholesterol -- all fine. No signs of any infections either. Each day, I was still having numbness in the same places. Except now my tongue started going numb too. So, right underarm, chest, lips and tongue are randomly going numb at any given time throughout the day. I am so exhausted that I am actually getting more sleep than what I am used to too. (Like 6 hours instead of 4!) I tried to chart when I would get the parasthesia thinking there might be a common link. But I could not find a pattern. It happened when I sit, stood, was walking, lying down, working, eating... it just didn't seem to matter. It was all very sporadic.

Went and did the stress-echo and after doing that rigamarol, they then had me meet with the cardiologist right away. I mean, it was nice that I didn't have to wait for a week to get results, but it was after 2pm by this point and I was really hungry! The Cardio said everything looked great. She actually said, "better than normal". She went through the charts and everytime she said, "we like to see normal in this range", my little valves rated better. Good valves. :)

So, now it has been almost 6 weeks since this all began and the other day, in addition to the sporadic parasthesia of my right underarm, chest, tongue and lips, my entire right arm from shoulder to finger tips was numb for an entire 9 hour period. It was a constant numbness for 9 hrs straight. Weird!

I have been doing "research" on the internet. I have been talking to peeps on Facebook. And here is what I have found out:

I know 2 people that have MS; one man and one woman. Both stated that their symptoms started with parasthesia of extremities. Both said that they often felt fatigued and that heat made it much worse; like they just felt "achy". Both stated that their MS was detected early and therefore they have been able to treat it and live happy, normal, active lives. I know this part is true, because to look at them, you'd never even know they are "sick".

Another girl I know stated that she had similar symptoms. (Although, her tingling was just in her hands.) After a myriad of tests, her Dr. informed her it was aspartame poisoning. Apparently, among a plethora of other things it can do to you, parasthesia of the limbs is one of them. (By the way, are tongue, lips, chest and underarm considered "limbs"?)

I googled Aspartame Poisoning. One medical site said the best way to rule this out or to test the theory is to "de-tox" for 30 days. No diet sodas or anything with aspartame ("NutraSweet") in it for 30 days. If you do have it, it takes 30 days to detox and after 30 days you will feel better and your symptoms will be gone. Interesting.

I was going to stop drinking Diet Coke anyway. I had already started replacing it was water and orange juice. I was down to 1-2 per day, and some days none. So, this is a good reason to quit completely anyway. You can read more about Aspartame Poisoning {{HERE}}

So, my next follow-up is Monday. Those are the 2 things I am going to ask about.


Anonymous said...

My sister has MS and this is the first thing I thought when you were going through the symptoms...Do you have a neurologist appointment? Gosh good luck to you!

Holli and Billy said...

Good luck. I hope they figure out what is going on. That is scary stuff!

Betty said...

Oh Emma, I do hope it´s not MS. I have a friend, who´s daughter has MS. You can live with it, but it is such a mysterious disease.
Good luck for the rest of the tests!

RhondaLue said...

I sure hope you don't have MS.

Also, at my Physical therapy center they have a nutritionist on site that says if you do NOTHING else for your body, QUIT ASPARTAME. I haven't gone to any of the classes about it but she wanted to spout off all sorts of awful things it causes that people don't realize but I tried to mentally plug my ears and go "la la la la la" cuz I didn't wanna be scared of my diet cokes. LOL but seriously, you should definitely try it!

Deborah said...

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with these symptoms--they have to be scary! I'll be praying for you!

Megan said...

Bless you Emma! I hope they can help you figure out what is going on.

Big Sis said...

This stuff is scary! I hope the Dr.s find out soon what is going on. We'll be praying for you!

Susie said...

I have never heard of that! Crazy! I hope you get resolution soon!

okeydokeyifine said...

knowing is half the battle. It is the not knowing that drives me crazy. Once I know what I am dealing with I know I can handle it.

Tulsi said...

Sometimes my hands go dead. Not just numb. And the top of my feet. No one can tell me what is wrong. And it isn't 'asleep'. There is no tingling. I hope things are found out for you.