How it all started or the “Myth of the carpal tunnel syndrome”

Sunday, May 27 2012 – London

Life was perfect that weekend – we went to London for a few days to shop, relax, get another one of the Top 25 restaurants off the bucket list and meet up with friends. All was easy and fun until Sunday morning when I noticed that I lost the feeling in the finger tip of my right thumb and index finger. Odd. But you can always make up an excuse, I was sure I slept in a weird way on my hand or simply walked too much the day before. The day passed and I kept on shaking my hand as the numbness didn’t leave – I am sure you know what I mean as it happens to us all that a hand or foot falls asleep for a few minutes, but a day seemed already a bit strange to me.

The next day, half of my right hand was affected – by the time I returned to Amsterdam, it was the entire hand. I still didn’t worry as I had all kinds of excuses – maybe a pinched nerve, stress, some odd cold and so on. I had an appointment with my GP the week after anyway and didn’t want to cause any hazzle.

I noticed that I could do less and less with the hand and arm, lost the strengths all of a sudden, broke stuff, burned myself, switched the mouse at work from the right to the left. I googled for my symptoms and yes, it looked 100% like a carpal tunnel syndrome and my GP had the same idea after she had a quick look at it.

Mid June things got worse – I lost the feeling in my entire arm and started to feel very tired and for some reason I knew something was wrong when I noticed my back is numb, too. From that moment it went all very quickly, within 2 days my entire right upper side was complete numb, so was my head and face.

I got really worried and went to the ER as I just knew something is so wrong now, but was sent home with painkillers ” as it is not a stroke or meningitis but probably a pinched nerve in my shoulder” – referring to a visit 3-4 years ago when I had similar symptoms in my right arm but as it wasn’t a carpal tunnel syndrome back then, they didn’t do any further examinations. Today I am convinced it was the first MS attack as it took weeks before my arm was back to normal – ONE MRI would have been enough, but instead I went one for a few years and hope the untreated MS didn’t cause any further damage.

Luckily I flew home to Germany on the day of the lovely ER experience and this is the first time doctors actually cared about me – my GP knew right away that something is up and in no time I was in a German hospital with specialists all around me giving me the best care.

The MRI of my head showed 8 MS spots, old and new, in my brain plus one in my neck that is the trouble maker at the moment.It’s that easy, one ridiculous MRI….well, not going to complain about the Dutch hospital etc now, they will hear from us anyway.

I spent 6 days in hospital and they started MS treatment with cortisone IVs right after the results – but you don’t get better from it, it just switches off your own immune system to give the nerves a rest. I have no clue how long it takes until I feel again, could be days, months or a year. I had needles and injections in places I didn’t even know exist and it was all a bit traumatic – but I knew that I finally receive help.

It’s been 3 days since I got released from hospital and I can’t remember that I ever felt physically so ill, I hope it’s still the cortisone as I am on no other meds at the moment. I really do feel like I am fading into darkness, but more about the emotional side of the story in a bit, wanted to give you the ” how it all started” first as not all of my friends heard it yet and the blog is an easy way to update everyone in one go.

x to the real world out there, Anja

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