Not very reassuring.

Well, great.  I asked a group of Facebook friends about my sensitivity to heat and two of them said that this is a symptom of MS.

I did some Googling and read a few websites about MS.  Sensitivity to heat was not a listed symptom of any of them.  You know what was?

  • Fatigue (which I have)
  • Constipation (yep, although I think it’s stress combined with lack of fibre)
  • Bladder issues like feeling as though you have to go all the time, or waking in the night having to pee (yep)
  • Sexual dysfunction (kind of…specifically, it talks about being unable to reach orgasm.  I was never unable per se but for a while there it was more difficult than usual and I went from mostly using my hand to mostly using the Hitachi)
  • Vision problems (…kind of?  My vision goes blurry sometimes, but I assumed it was eye mucous smearing itself across my eyeball.  That’s what it feels like.  I’ll have to check next time it happens.)
  • Shaking (…kind of?  I thought I only got the shakes because of low blood sugar but maybe sometimes it’s not…)
  • Clumsiness (maybe?)
  • Pins and needles, numbness (nope)
  • Random pains (nope)
  • Speech problems (nope)

I’m pretty self-aware – not just emotionally but physically.  That sitcom trope of rushing to the hospital during a “heart attack” that turns out to be gas?  That would not happen to me.  I believe I would feel the difference.  Likewise, I think I’d know if I had a degenerative brain disease.  I think blurred vision due to brain signals being disrupted would look and feel different from blurred vision caused by something else.  But I might be wrong about that, and I’m feeling a little freaked out.  Especially because you don’t need to have all those symptoms for it to be MS, or even to have the symptoms constantly.  They can come and go.

I’m not freaked out enough to make a doctor’s appointment just yet.  Partly because I feel like MS is a pretty serious allegation and it’s hard to imagine a doctor taking that seriously.  Each symptom on the list can be caused by, like, a million other things, too.  I don’t know what I should do.


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6 responses to “Not very reassuring.

  1. gingernic

    I try not to do this over the Internet, so sorry, but here goes:

    1) don’t ask non-experts who haven’t examined you for diagnosis, be it FaceBook or WebMD or Wikipedia. It won’t end well.

    2) call a doctor. Not because it’s MS (as a health professional who has not examined you, I refuse to attempt a diagnosis but there is ZERO logical basis for that fear based on your description so far), but because you have a health condition with significant symptoms and medical intervention is likely to be able to point you to a cause and/or behavioral change that will help.

    3) try not to panic. If you think the symptoms are primarily heat related, there are a few things that will mitigate heat effects. The spritzer bottle is one, rolling ice cubes in a handkerchief and tying it around your neck is another.

    4) sorry again. I’m not a doctor and we’ve never met, so obviously I’m not qualified to give you healthcare advice.

    5) I hope things improve!

    • Oh, I know that people over the internet aren’t going to be able to diagnose me with any sort of accuracy. But they can at least give me some ideas of what the problem might be.

      Because, see, doctors haven’t done shit for me. Ever. Aside from occasionally confirming things I’d already figured out. So I actually don’t want to go to a doctor at this point unless it’s to say “I think I might have __; let’s look into that.” If they don’t have a particular direction to go in they tend to just shrug awkwardly and send me away. Or attribute anything I’m experiencing to clinical depression.

      • gingernic

        Sorry doctors haven’t been helpful to you. I can imagine that would be incredibly frustrating.

        I’d suggest (and please note that I deal in behavioral health, so there’s a bias here) looking for a correlation between symptoms and behavioral and/or environmental changes. You’ve noted it happens with heat, but what’s different on hot days when you don’t react so strongly? Do your recent dietary changes seem to be related at all? How are you sleeping, eating, how much water, how far are you walking in the heat? Increased situational awareness and pattern recognition might give you enough personal data to find a solution.

  2. Brugmansia

    Regarding overheating … have you ever looked into eastern medicine? My knowledge is extremely limited, but I’ve heard of heat and dryness being associated with a yang (vs yin) constitution. See this site: … She lists under ‘Yang Patterns of Imbalance’: uncomfortable in hot weather, sleep often restless, constipation, thin body type, and rosy cheeks, especially after exercise … and recommends nutrition choices based on yin/yang imbalances.

    That’s my admittedly unqualified idea!

    • I was actually just thinking about looking into eastern medicine, since western medicine seems to have gotten me as far as I can go for now. Also, I have a friend who swears by it.

      I’d never heard of the yin/yang constitution thing – thanks for that link! I wonder how the yin/yang ways of balancing things compare to ayurveda (which I learned a teeny bit about, ages ago).

      • Irene

        You need to watch out for some of the traditional Chinese remedies — aristolochia, for example, is now known to be carcinogenic and nephrotoxic (causing kidney problems).

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