I am a 44-year-old, single parent and former police officer. Approximately four years ago, I was working as a deputy sheriff in sunny Florida when I noticed severe, consistent headaches accompanied by numbness in my legs and hands while working nights.
During the headache spells, I started noticing that my speech and balance seemed as if I had been drinking alcohol. I decided to go to the hospital for a check up. After an evaluation, the doctor dismissed me as “hormonal.” I saw my PCP the next day and explained my symptoms. She ordered blood work and a brain MRI.
After a two-week wait, she called me and insisted I see a neurologist. The neurologist ignored the MRI report and dismissed the abnormality in my brain, treating me for migraines. I was getting weaker and more numb. Soon it became debilitating.
I decided to move back to New England after suffering for two years. I went to specialists in rheumatology, oncology, urology and got another neurological opinion. NOTHING could be found. I decided to continue working in law enforcement as a bailiff.
I felt sick one afternoon and fainted in front of a judge during a hearing. Back to the ER where I was dismissed with “pain meds.” Feeling down and severely depressed, my PCP advised me not to continue working until I found a diagnosis. I decided to move to Maine and continue searching for answers.
Still suffering with severe double vision, vertigo, pain, stiffness, extreme fatigue and depression, I still could not get a diagnosis. I ended up at the neurological center in Portland. I was put through tests for the next five months: EMG’s; EVP’s, Tibial Nerve Conduction; CT Scans of thymus; tons of blood work, two spinal taps, MRI of brain, cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.
Results of the brain MRI report states, “Persistent signal abnormalities in the brain stem at the level of the pons. No lesions elsewhere.” My neuro advised I had a strong positive in one test for Myasthenia Gravis Disease. He sent me to a neurophysicist in Massachusetts for a SFEMG which came back normal as all of my other tests did.
Disgusted, I went on my own to an ophthalmologist for my double vision. He advised that my eyes were fine, but the doctor suspected optic neuritis in my left eye. With this report, I went back to my neurologist. He all but told me to not worry and come back in December. My follow up appointment in Mass was today. I was expecting something after all of the testing and being put through a thorough neurological exam, but I didn’t realize I was in for the shock of my life!! He all but told me that my “problems” are “PSYCHOLOGICAL!”
I am in so much agony EVERY DAY with no treatment as I continue to suffer with severe vertigo, double vision and depression. I am at a total loss!