- CASE FILE
I’ve had five years of neurological symptoms, pain, and fatigue with no explanation or diagnosis.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
My symptoms began about five years ago. At first, my life was not impacted very much, even though I was worried about what might be wrong. However, the past few years have been difficult. I feel like a different person. I can’t participate in life the way I want to because I am frequently extremely tired and in pain. I used to be energetic and motivated. Now I’m happy if I can make dinner for my family. I feel like only half a person.
The first thing that I noticed was that my left foot was numb and tingly. After a few weeks, this symptom went away. Two months later, the numbness returned and spread up my leg, later turning into burning pain. My primary doctor couldn’t find anything wrong.
Again, the numbness and pain subsided, but a new symptom appeared a few months later. My left hand and arm were weak and numb. I kept dropping things. A few months after this, the right side of my face became numb and I had intense burning pain on this side of my face. This has gotten better, but returns occasionally.
Around the time of this last symptom, I began having muscle cramps in my legs and feet, along with twitching muscles. I started having trouble lifting my foot off the floor when I walked. My left leg was very stiff and hard to move. I had bouts of dizziness and memory problems as well. A neurological exam was normal, but I had a positive ANA. I started seeing a rheumatologist, but have no diagnosis.
All of these past symptoms have improved, but come back when I am stressed, tired, or in hot weather.
Over the past two years, my main problems have been intense fatigue and muscle pain. These symptoms come and go, but have a very negative effect on my ability to function. I can’t be the kind of mom, wife, or employee that I want to be. I would like to have an explanation for this because doctors, friends, and even my own family don’t understand or really believe that anything is wrong. I’m tired of being thought of as crazy or lazy!