We just returned from a trip to Disney World and I was about to get myself back into a gym routine. I’ve long prided myself on keeping a somewhat okay shape with only spurts of fitness, but it’s not all about the looks.
I started off walking on the treadmill as usual, but this time I was randomly feeling a weird sensation in my left foot. It concerned me, but did not alarm me enough, so I brushed it off. I had a moment of panic that maybe I had a blood clot in my leg or some other awful issue, but it was fleeting. Then it happened again the next day. Yep. I went to the gym 2 days in a row. And 2 days in a row I felt a random wave of some odd feeling go through my foot. I chalked it up to some nerve irritation in my ankle as my left foot has always been a source of problems for me. A few weeks went by and then I started feeling the strange sensation in my right foot as well. It originally only happened at the gym, but then it happened on walks or when exerting myself. Again, I just blew it off thinking it will go away and I’ll forget about it.
November hit and I was on the treadmill again and there it was again. I could not figure it out, and then I looked down to see if my shoes were okay and it happened. Confused, I bent my neck down again, and there it was. It was like an electrical current or shock running through my feet and it was caused by flexing my neck, touching my chin to my chest. So I hopped off the treadmill and did what most hypochondriacs do. I Googled it. I Googled it not because I thought it was caused by something horrifying, but more out of curiosity of how my neck could cause something to happen in my feet.
Cue the panic, cold sweats and racing heart. Thus began my journey down the road to being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Google immediately led me to hit after hit for something called Lhermitte’s Sign. Everything I read sounded like the sensation in my feet, but the descriptions were more body-wide shocks that radiate down the spine and into the limbs. This was just my feet, so it couldn’t be a true Lhermitte’s sign. It just couldn’t be. Now that it was in my head, and the panic had started, I made an appointment with my GP’s nurse practitioner. I told her what was happening and she said that my symptoms were not setting off red flags with her, but she went ahead and gave me a brief neurological exam and ordered a bunch of blood work. I was holding out hope that my B12 was low because after all, I do have the MTHFR mutation, so it was a good chance.
She ordered a bunch of labs – B12, folate, Vitamin D, RPR, ANA, Sed Rate, RA, Lyme, Thyroid Panel, etc. . .
I have to be honest, I was kind of sweating that RPR. I mean, maybe I DID have Syphilis and went through 2 pregnancies flying under the radar. Kidding. It’s hard to read sarcasm.
Anyway, I knew I did not have Syphilis or Lyme or any of the other things she tested for that day, but it had to be done. Hell, even when I was in school we did some testing on our own specimens for ANA and RA, so I knew I was in the clear. As I suspected, all of my tests came back within normal/non-reactive range which added to the stress since the simpler of the causes were now ruled out.
In the mean time, I remembered feeling another sensation in my left foot that was like a humming refrigerator or fan. I noticed it before any of the Lhermitte’s stuff started happening, but did not think much of it until the Lhermitte’s started. So, that began to upset me because it was happening throughout the day and I didn’t know if it was connected or to the Lhermitte’s or not.
I had a follow up with my GP. He said that it did not sound like MS at all and that he thought it was a mechanical issue with my spine. It made sense and I tried to believe that was what was causing the Lhermitte’s(-like) Sign. I was hesitant to call it that because I was not even sure that was truly what was happening. I asked him if I should go to a neurologist, but he didn’t think it was necessary, but agreed to give me a name.
Part of me did not want to go and find out that there was something really wrong with me, but at the same time I HAD to know. Ya know, that whole peace of mind thing? Yeah. I don’t know either.
P.S. If you keep scrolling, you’ll see a link to the next posting.