MRI results: brain lesions and possible MS

So you know when you have a crappy health situation and then it gets worse and you think it can’t get worse than This hell? Yep. Can. Always can.

Personally, I think there should be a lifetime limit on the number of chronic illnesses one can possibly have. But nope.

MRI results: Brain lesions and possible MS

So. MRI.

I have a lot of lesions on my brain. Might as well say my brain is a lesion. And they said it likely demyelinating going on. So very likely I have MS which is a common cause of that. Which does run in my family so that would be more logical than other causes. And it sort of freaks me out. But on the other side, I have dealt with health issues since I was young. I know I can handle any issue that comes up. I have resilience. But still freaked out a bit. I do have to confirm with a neurologist for diagnosis. Because white matter lesions happen in chronic migraine and migraine with aura. And I had them in 2009 which were said to be related to migraine. So nothing set in stone until they tell me so.

Basically, I am upset. Because it is a lot to handle with all the other stuff I handle.  And I did actually think it was a likely possibility when my doctor called me in to talk about it. But after a week of waiting for that appointment, I came up with a few possibilities. That one just seemed the most likely of them really. And I feel overburdened with ailments at this point. My cup overflows with illness. And that sucks. It is a real suckfest.

However, you can’t get ahead of yourself. I will need to talk to the neurologist about it and see what his opinion is. What sort of lesions. If it is another demyelinating disease of some sort. Maybe just migraine lesions. Maybe there is no demyelination at all. I don’t know. I am not a neurologist. So I will have to wait until I get in to see a neurologist. And just try not to worry about it.

Not only are there overlapping symptoms between the two, but both migraine and MS can show abnormalities in your brain as well. When you see a neurologist for your headaches, you’ll typically have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of your brain. If you have migraine or MS, it may show brain lesions called white matter lesions or T2 hyperintensities, although the pattern is usually different in each. This is why these lesions need to be interpreted carefully on an MRI and considered along with your symptoms. Verywellhealth

And I read that you really have to look at an MRI and the lesions to determine anything. Not just because of migraine lesions but also a lot of other conditions that cause lesions. I know my MRI this time is a lot worse than last time, for sure, but that doesn’t say much. The pattern I have suggests demyelination but that pattern has to be confirmed by a neurologist along with symptom presentation.

So who knows, eh?

And then… just deal with it, eh? What more can a person do? New treatments. New symptoms. All the same deal just a different game.

So let’s mention the symptoms that can crop up early on in MS (Healthline)

  • vision problems
  • tingling and numbness
  • pains and spasms
  • weakness or fatigue
  • balance problems or dizziness
  • bladder issues
  • sexual dysfunction
  • cognitive problems

See also MS Society

And yeah most of them are common to other conditions. So I am familiar with most of them simply from fibromyalgia. But the visual issues I have had have been pretty weird. Including, before the vertigo began, one-sided blindless that lasted only about a minute. But now with the problems focusing and blurred vision… bit more than that. And the fatigue I have had lately is massive. I mean severe. Way more severe than fibromyalgia, which sucks by itself. Might be a combo of things. Vertigo… makes your body and brain very fatigued, for example. And I definitely have had constant dizziness and balance issues. Ergo my cane. And the cognitive issues I have been having are like a really severe brain fog. At times, you can’t think through it.

Here are the supplements you can take for MS

I take a lot of them already in mild dosages. Might have to amp up the Vit D though. Or get outside for walkabouts in the sunlight.

Here is Healthline’s best of the best MS bloggers that I definitely will be checking out.

Things I am thinking about

  • Not cool, body. Not cool at all. Chronic illnesses are not like collectables… you don’t need them All.
  • I wonder… how Long have I had this? Did I ever have vestibular migraines? Or was it always this? Because it came and it went, and came and went… and so forth. And I wonder if it would have made any difference if that is the case.
  • I wonder do I have the progressive sort or the relapsing form.
  • I wonder if my relationship can endure this.
  • I wonder what I am feeling. Because I am not sure yet since I haven’t processed it really. And likely won’t until I talk to the neurologist and it is said flat out and what we will do about it
  • I wonder how I will cope. Or do I need to adjust my coping strategies again?
  • I wonder if it is MS at all. And how they can tell the difference between migraine lesions and MS lesions.
See also:

Literally, have no posts about this one.

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25 comments

  1. Sorry to hear that you may have yet another challenge to face. all you can do is take one (wobbly) step at a time. Good luck with your appointment

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will just have to wait to see what they say about it. I looked at the MRI report and yeah that is a lot of lesions… so something is going on. But hard to confirm until I see the neuro. But even if it is… just something else to cope with.

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    1. Me too. It looks bad. But migraines also cause lesions… when you have had them for a long time and are chronic. So they will definitely have to tell the difference between those and MS or other conditions similar to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitively diagnosing MS when the patient has a history of migraine is challenging. This I know from personal experience: I started having migraines with aura at the age of 10 (I’m 53 now!), had optic neuritis when I was 32, significant fatigue started about that same time, and then cognitive problems in my mid to late 30’s that has continued to worsen. I was in and out of doctor offices trying to get to the root of my fatigue (and then cognitive) issues for a span of over 15 years, with many MRIs taken over that course of time. Even after the optic neuritis attach in 1997, the neurologists insisted that the lesions seen in the MRI were associated with my significant history of migraine (with aura) and that the fatigue was related to stress and depression. Admittedly, the MRIs only showed about 3-4 smallish lesions so they didn’t stand out as a huge problem that needed immediate attention. In my late 30’s, after several doc visits over a period of years, I became so freaking tired of seeking answers and discouraged with the medical field that I just resigned myself to the idea that my fatigue and cognitive problems must just be within the norms of what everyone must feel who is in the same age category. Otherwise, doctors would not be so dismissive of my concerns, right? For most of my 40’s, I did not seek medical help in dealing with these things. And then one day in late 2012, I was in the optometrist office to get an eye checkup for a new glasses prescription. He gave me an OCT scan (Optic Coherence Tomography) to get a baseline of my retina, useful to get early indications of any future retinal detachments or tears (I’m high-risk for that kind of thing, given my near sightedness). To his surprise, the OCT scan showed anomalously thin retinal nerve fiber layers in *both* of my eyes, indicating a neurological problem. Off again I went to a neurologist, who this time said that at least one of those MRI lesions (the same lesions that had been seen in an MRI 15 years previously) had a shape that was almost certainly unique to MS (the shape is called “Dawson’s finger”). My point of this long story is that categorizing MRI lesions is unfortunately still very subjective and not a quantitative science. Getting the opinion of a neurologist associated with an MS clinic is always a good idea, as well. In my case, my MS went undiagnosed/untreated for so long that the MS has now transitioned into a “progressive” (untreatable) phase. I think that this transition happened within a few years of that 2012 MS diagnosis. Had my condition been recognized and diagnosed a lot earlier (say, at the time of the optic neuritis attack) and followed up with appropriate Disease Modifying Therapy (like Copaxone or whatever was available in 1997), perhaps I would not now be dealing with a perpetually weak right leg and notable grey matter brain atrophy (my hippocampal volume has unfortunately been measured to be in the 5th percentile for my age/gender, the likely source of my cognitive decline over the past several years). Good luck to you, and please keep us updated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. I do wonder if those first lesions I had were the start of this a decade ago because of how sick I am now. But all I can do at this point is hopefully having a good neuro that knows his stuff. I am so sorry it took you so long to get a diagnosis. I figure with migraines we are at a disadvantage in this case because we can get lesions too and that is worrisome

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      1. I also wonder it was actually MS symptoms that I was experiencing, starting when I was 10 years old and suddenly starting having migraines and very strange aura. I hope you get answers soon, with good doctors that you can trust!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. Getting the MRI results, well, it doesn’t look good for sure. But now I have to wait to see a neuro to confirm anything. And that is stressful

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  3. Oh Nikki, this sucks. I’m really sorry it wasn’t better news. I’m not surprised you’re a bit freaked out. I’d be pissed off for having more to deal with. I guess one way of looking at it is that there may be more answers now/soon when diagnoses are firmed up, hopefully giving you a clearer direction of the way forward and how to manage what’s going on. You’re so greedy having all these health conditions! I do think that when it rains it pours, I found that I went from one problem very quickly to several, too. “I know I can handle any issue that comes up. I have resilience” – Absolutely, you can deal with whatever life throws at you. But it’s also ok to be upset and scared and angry and disheartened for a while  ♥
    Caz xxxx

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  4. Holy shit Sweetie!!! That’s A LOT to take in. I’m sorry it wasn’t better news, but your crazy strong and will take the results in stride and take it one day at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to hear that! I am in similar situation. Symptoms of MS (eye nerves incl) for 4 years but with no lesions and last 2 symptoms of Parkinson’s but nothing confirmed. Waiting is the hardiest! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This super sucks, Nikki. I love your brand of humour, and am amazed at how you even keep that intact. Situation’s not funny at all, though. I totally get your opening paragraph on how pain is a bottomless pit. It really, really is. Like you said, all we can do is just do, what other choice do we have. Sending hugs from across oceans, and feel free to PM me anytime if you need someone to listen. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does suck. I will see what the neuro has to say. One can hope this is just migraines… but the pattern doesn’t look like it is. Still, I’m not a neuro so I won’t worry about it until they tell me. Then I will really worry about it.

      Like

  7. Nikki, You sure have had a nightmare rollercoaster ride of it- heart goes out to you big time!Crossing all my fingers plus toes for you!So can identify with you as at end of December 2018 had an emergency admission into hospital due to sepsis. My life was saved, yet, crazily was readmitted in another emergency a few weeks later with recurrence of sepsis so became a double sepsis survivor within the space of just a month. Now have Post Sepsis Syndrome , too, which is no bagatelle. What is more am awaiting an operation to have my gallbladder removed! Will keep checking in here to see updates. Hold on tightly- fellow Sisu warrior! Please feel free to lean on my broad shoulders any time, too, okay. Sending much healing light plus warmest wishes to you from UK to Canada, namaste Clara 🙂 Risso dolphin smiles across the miles to You 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Seems you have been on that same hell worsening symptoms and conditions rollercoaster ride too. It certainly never is predictable and we just have to deal with the consequences.

      Like

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