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Pain flares and little bit of numbness


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So this happened last year and then again twice this year. Pain. Initially localized to the lymph nodes (neck, upper back, collarbone, armpits, groin). But then flaring to become generalized: calves, lower back, shoulders, quads, headache and after a while just everywhere. Pain to the point where my mind feels like its on fire. And some sort of light sensitivity: the sun or any bright light makes it worse.

I thought intitially they were drug related (going on Keppra last year, Campral earlier this year). But then I had one last weekend out of nowhere. No med changes in a few weeks, and only on my old standby Klonopin. And this time I felt it coupled with some numbness in my feet, thighs, and lower abdomen.

These flares tend to be associated with heightened anxiety, and an intial cognitive dulling, followed by a general sense of activation. I'm having trouble sorting out whether this somehow a somatization of something going on with my mood.

So I guess I'm wondering if any folks out there get pain flares (and/or numbness) as part of their BP cycle. Or should I be thinking of this the other way around: physical generate pain (possibly triggered by stress) that then sends my mind reeling.

Any input is greatly apreciated.

Best,

cache-monkey

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I don't think it is unusual to get general pain in joints or muscles as part of depression or maybe even anxiety but what you are describing sounds like something totally different.

I don't know which would cause which. Certainly what you describe would make me anxious and I would contact your doctor about it. It could indicate something serious. Numbness is not something that should be ignored and you shouldn't ignore that pain that you are experiencing either.

The lymph pain and cognitive dulling sounds similar to what I experience with fatigue with CMV, but I don't thinv I experience the same flaring that you describe. While depression does tend to overlap with episodes I think they may just effect eachother but not cause one another to happen.

Maybe someone else has had similar experiences but I would say definately talk to your doctor about this.

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I would check with an infectious disease doctor if I were you. Episodes of depression can trigger a latent virus out of its vault and into your CNS. And vice versa. It's hard to tell where the cart and horse really are (my tdoc, a neuropsychologist, has done a couple papers on the subject).

I get similar episodes triggered by any sort of "immunosuppressive" activity (including taking corticosteroids). But my symptoms are a bit more specific than yours. I tend to get Parkinson disease-type symptoms (constant head-nodding, arm swinging, trouble walking in a straight line), severe fatigue, as well as eye problems (double vision and nystagmus [eye vibrations]). Pain's pretty much limited to episodes of extreme cramping and soreness in my calves. I know my problem isn't caused by my BP, but I'm sure my BP's not helping any.

Anyways, check with a team of doctors. Come to think of it, not just an IDdoc, but also NDoc, Pdoc, and a pain medicine doctor if you can find one in your neck of the woods.

[EDIT: Also forgot to bitch about my... my... my... damn it, what's the word. It's when something goes down. Oh yeah. About my DECREASING ability to come up with words fluently. I think that symptom's now permanent... d'oh.]

[EDIT #2: I saw that light makes your symptoms worse... that scares me a little bit. I grew up in an area (Midwestern US) where various meningitises are epidemic, and at the first sign of photophobia and pain (normally headache though, not what you have), they'd spinal tap you and proceed to pump you with antibiotics and antivirals. So please check with a doc immediately.]

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Thanks for the responses. So now I'm feeling really wound up, in addition to the rest. Mind racing, heart palping, sweating. (Vitals are within normal though: 99 temp, 124/64 BP, 57 pulse.) And a little twitchiness in my eye, feet and calf muscles. Plus some tingling in my hands and feet.

This is really paralleling what happened last Spring; some sort of apparent manic-like activation. In retrospect, I think I've had other summer-time episodes like this. Except usually the physical pain is less evident, and builds slowly, rather than preceeding everything else.

I met with my GP about it yesterday and he's ordered some tests, but they seem pretty standard: cortisol, thyroid, CBC, liver. But he seemed pretty stumped when it came to the pain aspect. I think that part of the issues is that I'm presenting with a whole jumble of non-specific symptoms.

Really if it wasn't for the pain/tingling/numbness I'd chalk it up to being bipolar. But I feel like there's something else going on here.

Sudden tolerance to my Klonopin is a candidate. But honestly that seems a little dubious and I can remember an epsiode vaguely like this before starting the benzos.

Another might be Lyme disease, which would actually explain a lot. I spent eight years in upstate New York and in New England. And these pain flare coupled with neuro/psychiatric system are fully consistent with Lyme. I had an IGeneX Western Blot that came out just short of positive last year. (Positive on one band and intederminate on a couple of others; it takes two band positives for an overall positive on the test.) The problem is that these tests are so insensitive, particularly if the infection is chronic. I've ordered another test kit, and am going to run it through my doc next week. (A kind of sucky thing, from what I've read, is that if this indeed chronic neuro-Lyme, it's pretty common for antibiotic therapy to be only partially useful, and limited to the duration of treatment.)

Or maybe it's some sort of weird autoimmune thing, given the growing number of medications my body seems to want to fight off. (Most recent entry seems to be Vitamin C; I've verified with an on-/off- design, although unblinded.)

I suppose that I have to wait for the basic bloodwork that my GP ordered to come back. If that looks normal, the Lyme test comes back non-positive, and my GP still seems stumped, maybe then try to get a referral to some sort of specialist. I'm just not clear as to what kind... A neurologist?

My big fear is that this is "all in my head", or at least that's what I'll be told.

In the mean time, I guess I'll pop a Depakote and see if that calms me down a little...

~cache-monkey

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