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One sided weakness/numbness, "brisk" reflexes, fuzzy headed

(78 Posts)
iwasagirlinavillage Fri 28-Apr-17 12:59:49

I'm going through an especially stressful time at the moment - marriage has broke down and I have two young children to care for. For the past 3 weeks I've been getting numbness and tingling in my left arm, accompanied by fuzzy headedness/feeling spaced out, headaches and blurred vision. It's not been constant, on average once a day for the past three weeks, sometimes lasting minutes, sometimes hours. Two days ago the numbness started and then I had shooting pains going down my arm into my hand. The shooting pains stopped but the numbness carried on. Later that evening I had what I thought was a panic attack - pins and needles in my hand, lightheadedness, struggling to breathe. After the panic attack the numbness continued and it was still there when I woke yesterday. I went to minor injuries and was seen by a doctor there who, upon examination, said that my reflexes are brisker on my left hand side in both my arm and leg. From the examination I realised that the loss of sensation is all down my left side. It's not completely numb, I can feel it when touched but I can feel more on the right side than the left. I can use my arms and legs fine but, with my arm at least I have to put more effort in. It feels weaker and heavy, like there's extra weight attached to it and it tires easily if I'm carrying something. Following the examination the doctor advised me to go to A&E as he felt I needed a CT scan. They did similar physical examinations there and then sent me for a head CT which was clear. They came to the conclusion that it's a type of migraine as I have a history of migraines. However this isn't anything like the migraines I've had before. They said to take over the counter pain killers, but I'm doing this and it's having no effect.

The numbness/weakness is still there in my arm and I am noticing it in my leg now that I'm more conscious of it. When I first stood up this morning I noticed a tingling shooting sensation when my foot came in to contact with the floor, and I remembered that I had numbness in my foot, also left, at the beginning of February which resulted in me injuring my foot and needing to go to minor injuries for x rays. It wasn't broken and no one had any idea how it was bruised and swollen from doing nothing other than walking on it when it was numb, or indeed why it was numb in the first place.

I will be going to the GP to follow up about this. I'm wondering if it could all be related to stress, but I mentioned that to the first doctor I saw and he said that stress or anxiety often bring things to the surface but they can't give you actual, physical symptoms - like the brisk reflexes.

Has anyone had similar or know what this could possibly be? Could it really be a migraine? Even though it feels nothing like a migraine to me?

stayathomegardener Fri 28-Apr-17 13:02:57

How worrying on top of everything else for you.
Nothing useful to add medically but I didn't want to read and run.

sufferingicecakes Fri 28-Apr-17 13:49:56

I had strange physical symptoms when I was going through a period of my life turning upside down. I had numbness and tingling in one side (although predominantly my face and arm) I saw several doctors and GPs, and had a brain mri, which was clear. I remember on one trip to A&E the consultant remarked that my reflexes were fast, but I do not think it was just one side.

In my case it all suddenly went away and was put down to migraine auras or stress. I had experienced migraine auras in the past, but nothing like this. It re-appeared 10 years on and this time when I saw my GP, he said 'oh it is classic stress symptoms'. I think from time to time, I also had those shooting pains that you referred to, which I put down to adrenaline. I did not notice any weakness and although there were frequent headaches, I cannot remember blurry vision.

I would push to get further diagnosis in your case though, if only to put your mind at rest - if it is stress, it is a catch 22 situation.
I hope you feel better about everything soon.

iwasagirlinavillage Fri 28-Apr-17 15:03:41

I'm currently having the fuzzy/spaced out feeling so I thought I'd try to explain it more for my own sake than anything else.

I feel like my eyes are being strained. I want to close my eyes to rest them. Light doesn't affect my eyes either way but moving my eyes from side to side hurts - the further and quicker I move my eyes the more it hurts. I've got the "blurred vision" that's I've had previously. It's more that things are a bit fuzzy and it's difficult to focus. Unless I try hard to focus it's like double vision. Unless I really focus my gaze starts to wander because it starts to hurt if I focus for too long. My head hurts on top of my head. Not really a headache, more like when you've hit your head on something. I generally feel a bit disconnected. It feels a bit like when you've not eaten enough, but I've eaten fine today. The back of my neck feels stiff. The weakness in my arm is still there with no change.

iwasagirlinavillage Fri 28-Apr-17 15:06:35

When I walk around with this feels I feel wobbly and unbalanced.

3luckystars Fri 28-Apr-17 15:10:32

When are you seeing your own gp?

iwasagirlinavillage Fri 28-Apr-17 15:12:07

I don't have an appointment at present. I'll need to go to one of the walk in clinics one morning next week, it's pretty much the only way to get an appointment.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 28-Apr-17 15:16:18

I do get some of these feelings with migraine, so that is possible. Could you have an issue with your neck? Seeing a chiropractor helped my migraines.
I would go back to the GP if I were you though, as you are no better.

iwasagirlinavillage Fri 28-Apr-17 15:24:44

They did ask if I had any neck

Fortheloveofscience Fri 28-Apr-17 15:27:40

OP you could have been me 2 years ago. I was referred to a neurologist with almost identical symptoms (even down to the brisk reflexes on left side!) but I had a clear MRI and symptoms vanished when I was less stressed and haven't come back. In my case I suspect it was a combination of anxiety symptoms and the stress causing muscle tension impinging nerves.

Definitely do go to your GP (though expect just a referral) but I hope this reassures you.

Fortheloveofscience Fri 28-Apr-17 15:30:17

Oh and your first doctor isn't right - the consultant neurologist I saw said that anxiety and stress can change your reflexes if the muscle tension puts your nerves under stretch.

iwasagirlinavillage Fri 28-Apr-17 15:31:04

Sorry, posted too soon!

They did ask if I had any neck pain yesterday and I don't specifically, other than a bit of tension which is normal. Although they said that a problem in the neck would only affect the arm and not the leg. The leg being affected as well would indicate a problem in the spine or the brain which is why they wanted the head CT.

I've had migraines with aura before but for me it's different to this. It tends to start with a numb feeling and tingling in my arm on one side and then it moves around my body, usually on one side. It feels like pins and needles and goes in to my face, leg, mouth, eye. But that doesn't last for long, maybe 15 minutes and then when it goes off I get the most blinding headache, a blind spot, I can't find my words and I feel generally crap. That feels worse than this and the only solution for it is to sleep and wait for it to pass. It lasts a few hours at almost and after a sleep I wake up with a hangover type headache but no other symptoms. This is very different and is lasting much longer.

chaz777 Fri 28-Apr-17 15:33:26

Sounds like you might be getting Aura migraines.
I have had them since I was five but they get more frequent and severe when I'm stressed. When my Dad was poorly a few years back I had some horrendous ones.
Mine are also affected by my hormones. Won't do any harm to pop to the GP and have some test to check your ok xxx

glasshill Fri 28-Apr-17 15:35:33

Is it hemiplegic migraine maybe? They can be very frightening and mimic strokes. I have them and have experienced your symptoms. It's possible to have them with no headache.

glasshill Fri 28-Apr-17 15:37:25

Meant to say too that leg/arm/facial numbness, tingling, weakness can last up to 3 weeks with mine.

iwasagirlinavillage Fri 28-Apr-17 15:43:42

Thank you for the responses. It's reassuring to know that others have had similar as a result of stress. Did anyone find anything to help or reduce the symptoms until the stressful period was over?

RupertsMum2 Fri 28-Apr-17 19:01:38

I have had this for about 13 years. Almost exactly the symptoms you describe but although I mostly had left sided weakness my right leg was also affected.

Mine started during a period of stress (bullying at work, late miscarriage, childcare issues with dc with s/n's). It was so bad on holiday I made an emergency appointment from the caravan site and came home two days early as I was sure I had MS or a brain tumour.

I went into the appointment expecting to be admitted to hospital (I had even packed a bag) and came out with a diagnosis of stress related 'silent' migraines. It has never been quite as bad as it was the first time but I've had it quite a few times over the years. Strangely, I now take Fluoxetine for stress and amitriptyline for Fibromyalgia and I haven't had the symptoms for a good while.

It would be worth speaking to your GP to see if there's anything you could take even for a short while as I'm sure you are even more stressed with these symptoms.

iwasagirlinavillage Fri 28-Apr-17 19:12:39

Unfortunately I doubt there's anything I can take as I'm breastfeeding. I've been taking paracetamol and ibuprofen but it's made no difference. Earlier my daughter had a red mark on her head - she'd bumped it - and I looked at her and it looked like she had stripes going down her face. When I focused properly I could see it was just one line on her forehead but I think that confirms that it is double vision as my eyes were repeating the same mark down her face.

I will go to my GP but I am reassured that it's most likely just stress related.

iwasagirlinavillage Sat 29-Apr-17 14:20:24

I'm so conscious of every symptom now. I keep having the "episodes" of lightheadedness. I've had 3 today so far which is more than I was getting previously. I do have a slight headache accompanying it when it happens but not agonising and if it is a migraine it seems weird that the headache, double vision, lightheadedness etc come and go so frequently, you'd think it would either be constant or would just happen once and then go. I also noticed that when I got in to the bath I could feel that the water was hot more on my right side than my left. My left arm seems to be getting weaker as well, I'm finding I can't carry my daughter for very long on that side and it's aching quite a bit as well as feeling numb in patches, which is an odd sensation.

I have a massage booked for this afternoon so if it is tension or a pinched nerve or something hopefully that will help. I'm sort of hoping it is something like that now so that at least it can be resolved, whereas if it's stress related I might just have to ride it out.

PingaPenguin Sat 29-Apr-17 20:29:48

I've suffered from very similar symptoms, but mainly on my right side (occasionally on the left)
They started about 10 years ago right after I'd gone through an episode of severe anxiety. No one has ever really given an answer, but several GPs, two neurologists and two MRI scans have shown no actual problem with my body.
The symptoms come and go. They can appear and last for weeks then disappear for months.
The more you think about it, the more intense the symptoms can seem (not easy to not think about it though, I know)
Hope you get on ok at the doctors.

iwasagirlinavillage Sun 30-Apr-17 19:14:33

I had a massage yesterday and it was very strange because I could feel the difference in sensation across both sides of my body. Something that was borderline uncomfortable on the right side felt fine on the left side. But, on the left side I did have some strange shooting sensations. Like when she was massaging my thigh I felt tingling in my foot. In fact a lot of the massage on the left side, although not painful, felt like my skin was being tickled and I could feel my limbs reacting by jolting. She had to tell me to relax my leg back down a few times. Very strange. She did say that there was an area around my left shoulder blade that was quite tense and she worked on that. I thought it was tense and it does feel a bit better today. The numbness is still there and I've had two lightheaded/dizzy "attacks" today and three yesterday. I've started keeping a diary of when they happen, who I'm with and what I'm doing when it starts to see if there's any pattern.

Hotpinkangel19 Sun 30-Apr-17 19:42:03

Please please get seen ASAP. It could be mini strokes, TIA. Often leading to an actual stroke. Please don't mess around wasting time with something like this x

iwasagirlinavillage Mon 01-May-17 11:47:43

I've just realised/remembered something else. Last year when I was learning to drive had real trouble with the clutch. The instructor would talk to me about and show me the biting point using the dual control and he used to say "can you feel that difference?" but I couldn't. That was my left foot and the same side that is showing loss of sensitivity now. I'm wondering if it was related.

alicemalice Mon 01-May-17 11:49:45

Sounds like could be hemiplegic migraines but you should definitely get it checked out.

iwasagirlinavillage Tue 02-May-17 09:33:39

Couldn't get a GP appointment for today but I told the receptionist what's going on and she said she'll get someone to see me so I have to go back at 11.30.

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