Chat Now!   Member Gallery    Member Articles    Games   Member Groups   Member Blogs   Health News    Bored?

Author Topic: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied  (Read 523 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline NYanxiety

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« on: February 16, 2014, 11:41:24 AM »
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking around your forums for the past 2 months just reading and absorbing what I could so i finally decided to register.  I guess I'll get straight to it.

My brother got diagnosed with MS when he was 21 and is now 38.  He was stable for the first 5 years but declined ever since, even being on medication.  The possibility of me getting MS wasn't even a thought until last December 2013.  I was sitting on my chair, got up, and my left but check fell asleep and I had a weird feeling in the sole of my left foot.  I googled this and basically that's been the reason for my anxiety (MS).  I always Google things because I'm naturally curious about everything.  That odd feeling went away that night but the anxiety has been been with me ever since. 

The next day I went to my neurologist and told him my fears and I said my brother has MS and I'm scared and he said "you don't have MS".  He is a very conservative doctor and pretty highly regarded although he is young.  He said i dont need an MRI but if i really want one he could do it.  he did do a reflex test though.  Anyway...the anxiety has stuck around.  The MS anxiety went away about a month ago due to an HIV scare (believe I may have contracted it through blood by mistake at the gym) and I was on the HIV forums reading and reading and had my doctor do an HIV test.  It came out negative and I was SO happy for the following few days. 

Then...my fixation on MS started again and I've been paying close attention to my left foot.  Sometimes it just feels weird sometimes it doesn't.  There's no outright numbness (watch, I'm going to jinx myself now).  Ill take a spoon, leave it in the freezer for a half hour, take it out and compare if I feel the same level of coldness in the toes on my left side as the right.  Yea...it's THAT bad. 

A few minutes ago I had a tightness uNder my lip for a few seconds that went away and now I forgot about the foot and I'm fixated on the new area.  It's a horrible cycle and I'm scared to death of MS because I see how it affected my brother.  Im 28 by the way, soon to be married in August.  My fear is getting MS before the wedding and fearing that it'll ruin my wedding (there's a lot of planning for this.  I'm Indian and Indian weddings are HUGE affairs with lots of festivities that are planned by both sets of parents). I fear a diagnosis could ruin this and I won't be able to care for my wife after we get married.  I feel there's a lot of pressure on me because things didn't turn out well for my brother and my parents only have 2 kids.  I don't want them to have to see BOTH their kids with MS.

I read articles online and turns out a lot of people have direct family members with MS.  This whole time I thought it was purely genetic.  This scared my even more.

I will say that I had a bp disc bulge last September and my neuro got an mri of my cervical spine to confirm that diagnosis.  If anything like lesions showed up In the MRI I'm hoping they would have mentioned it.  All it said was disc bulge at c6.

I'm also a lifter at the gym.  I had to take a break from September to December due to the disc issue but I'm back at the gym lifting the same weight I left off at.  I'm incline bench pressing 85lb dumbells with both hands which isn't exactly light.  I share this because I want to say I don't believe my strength has been comprised.

I got back to running on the treadmill and can run 1.5 miles before getting tired and stopping.  But I haven't ran in years as I usually do elliptical.  Wanna know why I got back to running?  To test my balance as a sign for MS.  Yea....I'm paranoid.

I go to work depressed and don't interact with people anymore because I'm SO scared.  I had so many hobbies I enjoyed that I don't care for anymore.

The random odd sensation I feel in my left foot is scaring me along with cold toes all the damn time.  Seeing my brother everyday is a constant reminder of how cruel MS can be and I feel I have a duty to take care of him and my parents once I'm married.  I just worry about getting MS because of all the responsibilities ill have coming up.

Do MS symptoms hit a person hard initially before diagnosis or can be the onset my minor with things I'm experiencing?  Thanks in advance everyone.
Bookmark and Share

Offline NYanxiety

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 12:08:02 PM »
I apologize I made a few typos and left out some things in my initial post which I can't edit since its probably in an approval stage.

- I'm aware a brain mri is also needed for MS diagnosis and not a cervical spine mri alone.  I just wanted to mention I did have a cervical spine mri done for my disc bulge and there was no mention of lesions of anything.

- I'm scared to death to do a brain mri for fear of bad news.  I'm aware it could alleviate my anxiety but I'm terrified of the possibilities of bad news too.  Here, the fear out weighs the positive.  I was a wreck for HIV testing so I can only imagine what this would feel like.

- I had blood work done in September.  All normal.  So no thyroid issues or diabetes.

- is it normal to perceive feeling things in parts of your body when you fixate?  As you recall from the original post, today I had a few seconds where there was tightness under my lower lip which went away but now I'm focused on that and doing all sorts of strange tests to see if I have feeling in that area, which I do.  But it still feels weird...maybe this is perceived.

- I'm a big motorcycle guy.  I love speed.  I was set to buy a new bike in march, even left a tiny deposit.  But im debating losing that deposit and not getting the bike because I fear MS will disable me in a few years so there's no point. 

- I'm scared to ask my brother what his initial ms signs were for fear that'll ill fixate on that.
Bookmark and Share

Offline NYanxiety

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 09:47:35 PM »
Does anyone have any feedback?  I'd appreciate it greatly
Bookmark and Share

Offline Delonteeast

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 01:38:24 AM »
Everything you've said (other than the disc problems, etc) is a symptom of anxiety. Our brains have a funny way of making up symptoms. I would put money on it that you don't have MS. Get the brain exam. In the rare event that you do have it, you'll be glad that you caught it as early as possible. MS is not the end of the world. I played a guy with MS at the gym one on one the other day and he kicked my ass. I'm not some awful athlete either. More than likely, though, it'll put your nerves to rest and confirm my beliefs that you DO NOT have MS.

LSS (in case you're like me and don't like reading) : if you can run on the treadmill and lift the same amount you could BEFORE your surgery, you don't have MS. No weakness? No MS. I used to think I had MS. The doctor literally laughed in my face at the suggestion of it. Don't take some random dude on the internet's word for it though, get the brain scan and officially kill this bitch dead so you can go onto worrying about the next rare disease like i do :) lmao
Bookmark and Share

Offline NYanxiety

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 10:18:02 PM »
Everything you've said (other than the disc problems, etc) is a symptom of anxiety. Our brains have a funny way of making up symptoms. I would put money on it that you don't have MS. Get the brain exam. In the rare event that you do have it, you'll be glad that you caught it as early as possible. MS is not the end of the world. I played a guy with MS at the gym one on one the other day and he kicked my 0104. I'm not some awful athlete either. More than likely, though, it'll put your nerves to rest and confirm my beliefs that you DO NOT have MS.

LSS (in case you're like me and don't like reading) : if you can run on the treadmill and lift the same amount you could BEFORE your surgery, you don't have MS. No weakness? No MS. I used to think I had MS. The doctor literally laughed in my face at the suggestion of it. Don't take some random dude on the internet's word for it though, get the brain scan and officially kill this bitch dead so you can go onto worrying about the next rare disease like i do :) lmao

Hey there thanks for the reply!  I admit my posts are pretty long so thanks for taking the time to read it.

You know what?  I'm dead scared to get a brain MRI just for fear of some bad news.  If I didn't have a wedding coming up I probably would get a scan but I can't handle any bad news before the wedding.  It'll just put me in bad spirits.  I'm hoping this passes but I doubt it.  Seems to be a pretty strong case of HA I got going on.

Then I think...when I had my HIV fear, not once did I think about my foot issue.  If it was really that bad wouldn't it have been persistent so that it would be nearly impossible to take my mind off of it? 
Bookmark and Share

Offline ScaredBunny

  • Hyperanxious Rabbity Thing
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 1
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Sleepy
    Sleepy
  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 05:20:20 AM »
First of all: I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. However, if it makes you feel any better (even just a little), my mother has MS and I've had tons of symptoms over the course of my life, but nope-- no MS! My neurologist wasn't too worried, despite the fact that my parent has it. I even have a little bit of a myelin issue behind one eye that was discovered when I was 13. Almost a decade later and I'm still MS free. :happy0151:

What you said right here:

Quote
Then I think...when I had my HIV fear, not once did I think about my foot issue.  If it was really that bad wouldn't it have been persistent so that it would be nearly impossible to take my mind off of it?

is very perceptive. If you had MS, I very much doubt that you'd be able to just forget about your symptoms when something new and potentially scarier comes along. They'd be persistent and would likely get worse. Since you do have a first-degree relative with the disease, an MRI might not be a bad idea, but I'd work on getting your HA under control first. That way, you can tell yourself that this is just a precautionary measure to finally put your fears to rest. Focus on the fact that you have very few symptoms. I wouldn't recommend doing any further Googling about the hereditary risk of developing MS, but think about how many people out there who have parents or close relatives with MS who don't have the disease themselves (I know quite a few)! Do your best to reassure yourself, enjoy your wedding, and then if you feel that it might be the best solution for you, get an MRI. Though honestly, I think you're totally fine.

Quote
is it normal to perceive feeling things in parts of your body when you fixate?

I do that all the time. Isn't it awful? Sometimes the feelings are so incredibly convincing. I've been able to will myself into thinking I have chest pain, arm pain, neck pain, and probably tons of other aches and pains that I'm forgetting about. This is very typical of HA.
Bookmark and Share

Offline NYanxiety

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 09:57:52 AM »
First of all: I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. However, if it makes you feel any better (even just a little), my mother has MS and I've had tons of symptoms over the course of my life, but nope-- no MS! My neurologist wasn't too worried, despite the fact that my parent has it. I even have a little bit of a myelin issue behind one eye that was discovered when I was 13. Almost a decade later and I'm still MS free. :happy0151:

What you said right here:

Quote
Then I think...when I had my HIV fear, not once did I think about my foot issue.  If it was really that bad wouldn't it have been persistent so that it would be nearly impossible to take my mind off of it?

is very perceptive. If you had MS, I very much doubt that you'd be able to just forget about your symptoms when something new and potentially scarier comes along. They'd be persistent and would likely get worse. Since you do have a first-degree relative with the disease, an MRI might not be a bad idea, but I'd work on getting your HA under control first. That way, you can tell yourself that this is just a precautionary measure to finally put your fears to rest. Focus on the fact that you have very few symptoms. I wouldn't recommend doing any further Googling about the hereditary risk of developing MS, but think about how many people out there who have parents or close relatives with MS who don't have the disease themselves (I know quite a few)! Do your best to reassure yourself, enjoy your wedding, and then if you feel that it might be the best solution for you, get an MRI. Though honestly, I think you're totally fine.

Quote
is it normal to perceive feeling things in parts of your body when you fixate?

I do that all the time. Isn't it awful? Sometimes the feelings are so incredibly convincing. I've been able to will myself into thinking I have chest pain, arm pain, neck pain, and probably tons of other aches and pains that I'm forgetting about. This is very typical of HA.

Your case in particular is a bit reassuring for sure so thanks for sharing!

Its just that a section on the top of my left foot just feels different.  No tingling or numbness (knock on wood) but just different, especially if I fixate on it.  The weird part is a do a balance test every night where I balance on a single leg with my eyes closed.  I'm able to hold my balance on my left foot (remember the left foot is the one that just feels a bit different) for about 40 seconds with eyes closed whereas I can only do it for 8 seconds on my right and my right foot feels normal.  Weird.
Bookmark and Share

Offline Lililanny

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 382
  • Country: 00
  • Rec's: 2
  • Mood: Worried
    Worried
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2014, 10:47:46 AM »
Hi there,

Firstly, I am sorry to hear about your brother, I hope he is doing ok at the moment.

I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with MS anxiety and some symptoms too. I actually have a very similar symptom at the moment with my left leg feeling kinda numb, cold and tingly. I have had this in other limbs from time to time too. It has always gone away, but of course, now I am very focused on my leg and how it feels. I actually had a brain MRI about 8 or 9 months ago and the results were clear; no signs of MS or brain tumour. Of course, now I am worrying that something could have changed since then. But, realistically, I know that this is very unlikely. I have dealt with other aches and pains, and tingling over the past few months too. I have to conclude that it's anxiety, but it is naturally difficult to accept. It appears to be true that focusing on a symptom magnifies it. My advice is to try to accept what you are feeling but not to think of it negatively, just to accept that your leg feels weird but that it means nothing. It should hopefully go away then.
Bookmark and Share
Hypochondria is the only disease I haven't got - Graffito

Offline lulululu

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2014, 10:57:25 AM »
Hello :) I just wanted to comment to let you know that having better balance on one leg than the other is totally normal. I used to do ballet, and all of us had a 'good leg' for balancing :) so dont worry at all about that
Bookmark and Share

Offline Egg

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Rec's: 2
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2014, 10:21:52 PM »
I related quite a bit to your post.  I too have someone close to me with a serious illness that has recently caused decline -- it is distressing and has certainly provoked anxiety for me.

Also, it sounds as if you are feeling pressures/responsibilities related to your family -- both with your upcoming wedding (joyous as I'm sure it is!) and your position in the family.  I have different circumstances, but I related to this, too.

Your spoon anecdote -- total anxiety behavior.

In short -- I can see how your circumstances, and the way you perceive them, could provoke health anxiety.  You should check out the HA workbook modules stickier at the top.  It talks about how health anxiety can develop (having contact with someone suffering from a serious illness is a top trigger), and ways to redirect your attention.

It's great that your neurologist sees no signs of MS.  Trust him, and try to focus on what you can control -- your anxiety, which is what is affecting your quality of life right now.

All the best to you!
Bookmark and Share

Offline scaredmiss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Rec's: 0
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2014, 10:24:51 PM »
Hi, I just wanted to offer support since I'm in the same boat (http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,83648.0.html) -- my brother just got diagnosed and I'm freaking out that my tremor and twitching is a sign of MS. I was a hypochondriac before so I know exactly how you feel! I'm getting an MRI just to be sure and to put my mind at ease, so you do whatever you need to do to feel reassured. If that means going to the doctor for that strange feeling, than be it. Imo at least... No one knows how it feels when you have something so serious affecting your closest relative and the chances of getting it yourself multiply. I guess we just have to live with that risk, I mean, there's no other way.
Bookmark and Share

Offline NYanxiety

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2014, 09:24:22 AM »
First off I want to say a sincere thank you to all who replied. 

Lililanny- my brother is really struggling.  I seem to be going against the natural order of things.  He's 9 years older than me, single and unemployed because of his MS.  I have a job and getting married in august.  I can't tell you how guilty I feel.  Seeing him is a constant reminder of how cruel MS can be.  At the moment we are trying new approaches to his MS like the Swank diet which has some proven success and even a different type of therapy available in India as a last resort.  I want to see him move on with life and be happy.

 Lulululu- yep I know balance will always be better on one side.  However I was saying it seems to be a lot better on the foot that just feels different than then right foot.  You would think it'd be the opposite.

Egg- thanks for confirming the anxiety behavior.  Its just really hard to trust a doctor no matter how good they are.  And I'm scared to get an MRI.

Scaredmiss - you're in my boat so I know you relate to this.  Sorry to hear about your brother. Is he in good spirits?  Is he older than you?
Bookmark and Share

Offline michelle360

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 290
  • Rec's: 5
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2014, 01:36:45 PM »
I'm sorry to hear your brother is having a tough time. What kind of MS does he have? How long had he had it before diagnosis? What type of medications was he on? Please remember that MS runs a different course for everyone and a lot of factors are believed to affect rate and severity of progression. That being said even if you DID have MS there is nothing that supports the idea that your disease course would mimic his. Also try to remember that they are making leaps and bounds in the area of progressive MS treatments. Research is now focusing on actually repairing past axon and myelin damage in the CNS. A lot if experts think we are even on the verge of a cure. I know all of this because I happen to live in the MS capital of the U.S. and have the damn disease myself. I see a lot of excitement in the MS community over this new research. It gives me hope. It should give you some hope for your brother.
Bookmark and Share

Offline scaredmiss

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Rec's: 0
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: My brother has MS...my MS fears are multiplied
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 02:15:54 PM »
Scaredmiss - you're in my boat so I know you relate to this.  Sorry to hear about your brother. Is he in good spirits?  Is he older than you?

He's 3 years older than me, 27. Unfortunately he's been very depressed ever since he suspected something was wrong. The other day he said "when I'm old, if I ever get old at all.." and it's just awful. I hope things get better for my family though, hope he gets a girlfriend, gets married etc. How did your brother (and parents) accept it at the time, and what's the quality of his life like? Our dad died at 38 of aggressive cancer, so I just want health please.  :(
Bookmark and Share

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
844 Views
Last post November 02, 2010, 12:17:07 AM
by diana66
4 Replies
542 Views
Last post July 14, 2011, 05:30:00 AM
by jojo1976
2 Replies
281 Views
Last post December 30, 2011, 05:22:27 PM
by milkshake
3 Replies
382 Views
Last post May 23, 2012, 03:33:49 AM
by burgundyplace
0 Replies
120 Views
Last post January 15, 2014, 08:23:34 PM
by hijikata