Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lesson learnt. Do not use google for some things. It will only make you feel worse.

I have narcolepsy.  It's fun, really.  Yeah.  Fun.  Any who, my face goes numb from time to time.  It seems though that now my face like to stay numb.  And the numbness likes to migrate to encompass most of my head.  And include headaches.  I decided to look up these symptoms on the interwebs.  You know what came up time and again?  Multiple sclerosis.  So looked further into it.

Symptoms include:
  • Balance and Dizziness
  • Bladder dysfunctionthis is new for me, just started a couple of weeks ago
  • Bowel Constipation, Diarrhea and Incontinence
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Depressionclinical
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dysarthria, or difficulty speaking
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Fatigue and Fatigability
  • Gait (difficulty in walking)
  • Hormonal Influences for women with MS
  • Inappropriate Affect (also known as pseudo bulbar affect, emotional incontinence, involuntary emotional expression disorder-IEED)
  • Incoordination
  • L’hermitte's (Electric shock sensation radiating down spine with neck flexion)
  • Mood Liability / Bipolar Affective Disorder
  • Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
  • Painbut who doesn't have pain, really?
  • Paroxysmal Symptoms
  • Sensory Impairment, Numbness / Tingling
  • Spasms
  • Spasticity
  • Tremor
  • Uhthoff's Phenomena (Heat Intolerance)
  • Useless Hand Syndrome (of Oppenheimer)
  • Weakness

And here are the symptoms of Narcolepsy:
  • Cataplexy (loss of muscle control)
  • Hallucinations while falling asleep or upon awakening
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Microsleep/Automatic behaviour
  • Nighttime wakefulness includes
    • hot flashes
    • elevated heart rate
    • sometimes intense alertness
  • Rapid entry into REM sleep
All of that affects:
  • Physical well-being and safety
  • Mental health - including depression, of course
  • Intimate relations
  • Memory and concentration

Well, there you go. The majority of my MS symptoms are also the symptoms of Narcolepsy. But now, because of my really great decision to look up facial numbness, I will always have in the back of my mind "what if I've been misdiagnosed?" Lessons learnt. I'm an idiot.

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