- CASE FILE
Weakness in both legs with burning sensations in the thigh and calf area. Weight gain in the thighs and buttock, with cellulite appearance.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
Approximately five years ago, I began seeking medical attention for weakness in my legs, and a restless feeling in my legs. Coming from someone who was a cross country runner her whole life, played softball and basketball, and coached as well, it was a big deal to not be able to stand for short periods of time without tiring easily. I found myself sitting down a lot to relieve the pressure I was feeling when standing, feelings I used to get after a long day of hard work now came after such a short period of time, and with no exercise. I tried to continue running, even if it was a shorter distance then before, but my legs felt so weak, and the energy in them was gone. Episodes of a restless feeling in my legs began to happen, and this was the start of desperately seeking answers to what was causing these feelings. The feeling would happen out of the blue, never finding anything that triggered the feelings, and found nothing to help relieve the feeling when it would come on. It felt like I was going to explode out of my body, I would shake my leg, jerk it around, anything to distract the feeling, but nothing worked. If it occurred while I was driving, I would have to pull over because I couldn't sit still behind the wheel. If it happened at bedtime, I couldn't lay still, but I had no energy to get up at the same time. I began spending all day in bed when I didn't have to go to work. There were no physical changes in the appearance of my legs at that time. This was pretty much the start to the testing and treatment that doctors would began trying. It would probably be easier to list the things that doctors did not try, then listing every test and every kind of medicine to help determine and treat what was going on. All the tests were coming back "within normal limits" and there was no improvement of the symptoms with the many different types of medication they tried. I not only got second opinions, I got fifth and sixth opinions, and repeated every test at least once with different eyes on the results. The symptoms were getting worse, and a diagnosis was nowhere in sight. The symptoms and the state of mind that I was in began taking a toll on all aspects of my life. There was no explanation to my symptoms and how I was feeling. Fast forward, I moved out of state and began seeking help from a new set of doctors and started over with testing. The episodes of restlessness in my legs began to decrease, however, the weakness progressed. It is all I can do to get off my feet each day. My legs burn, specifically in my thighs and calves, and increases with any use of my legs. The burning feeling you get when you go to the gym and you do squats and push yourself and then stop, that feeling of a burning flush going through the muscles that you worked, is what I get with the slightest bit of the use of the leg muscles. Pushing yourself to cross the finish line after running six miles, is what I now get when climbing up a flight of steps. I used to get slight relief when I would lay down, however, I do not get the same relief, and now it takes a couple of days laying in bed to get relief from the burning and pinching sensations/discomfort in my legs. What I used to feel after a gym workout, I feel with just a few steps up, or the push of a shopping cart. With the added symptoms came a change in the physical appearance of my legs where I was experiencing the pain and discomfort. There has been an increase of weight, noticeable in my buttock and thigh area. For someone who has always been very thin/petite, and very tone in shape, the 15 pounds has been very noticeable. There is an increase in the appearance of cellulite in these areas as well. I can grab the excess skin in these areas, it is very uncomfortable as it moves around, and very tender to touch, especially a pinch or grab or any pressure. Despite being able to see what I am trying to explain to doctors, no doctor has put their hands on my legs whatsoever to try to feel what I'm seeing/feeling. I began wearing shorts to doctor's appointments because they wouldn't even ask me to get into a gown to look at my legs. Even with shorts on, they never examined my legs in a way I thought they would/should. At the end of the day, I feel that my legs are stretched to the max and are going to explode. When I stay in bed for a couple of days my legs feel weak and wobbly. I lay down and try to get relief, but the burning and pinching/stabbing feelings remain in my thigh area. I feel a severe burning feeling in my thighs above my knees. My legs are so weak, the longer I try to stand, or try to use the strength of my legs, the more my lower back hurts, and constant spasms occur in my back (Yes, these areas have been looked at too). When I am driving and have my foot on the gas pedal, I can feel the burn in my thigh area as my leg becomes weak. I push down with my hand on my thigh to try and assist with the strength needed. My quality of life has diminished. I have been passed around from doctor to doctor, specialty to specialty, with no one able to give me an explanation as to why I feel this way. At this point, all the doctors have told me that they do not know what is causing my symptoms, and have done everything they can do.