Apologies in advance for the length of this post.
I'm currently in a bit of a problem state. I feel like many of my symptoms remain unexplained and completely dismissed. I get frustrated with the constant doctor appointments, especially the referrals to specialists who run their basic battery of tests and then seem to be completely incapable of consulting. (i.e. I went to a pulmanologist who never got around to calling my neurologist about her tests) After herding doctors around for several months, I got exhausted and threw in the towel for a few months.
Anyway, I am getting ready to go back into my PCP and Neurologist and was looking for any ideas/advice people here might have regarding my concerns/symptoms.
For the past three months I have been struggling with what I will not call a devastating bout of insomnia thats responded very poorly to treatment.
First Concern: Nerve Strikes
In the martial arts style I study, we work with wrist locks, arm bars, and nerve strikes. The wrist locks and arm bars work on me to the extent that the user can influence my movement (because my body can't bend any other way) but the pain associated with these moves is minimal, especially when compared to other people's reactions.
The pain associated with nerve strikes (locations: lower/upper arm, lower/upper leg, floating rib, neck, and face) is almost nonexistent. It feels like someone is just hitting me, not striking a nerve. I can see the difference when other people are hit with a solid nerve strike: it's basically a knee-jerk reaction, the body jolts from the pain. But even when the sensei hits me (and he doesn't pull punches), I don't jolt. Obviously, there is the impact of taking a hit, but there isn't a jolting or radiating pain of any kind.
Obviously, in terms of my karate training, this is a good thing, because nerve strikes don't work on me. That gives me an edge against better-trained opponents... But, my concern is WHY don't nerve strikes work on me? It's not a matter of conditioning: people who have trained in this style, or styles that use nerve strikes, still feel the pain. They might deal with it more effectively, but the nerve is still a nerve and being painful when you hit it.
Any ideas on what this could be?
Recent issues that have flared up
(1) Subluxation of the Left Knee (started up in early May)
(2) Pelvic Misalignment (started acting up last week)
(3) Especially at the end of the day (around 6pm) or the end of the night (around 10pm), my legs will feel stiff/restless/need to be moved in order to keep comfortable. This started up right before the pelvic misalignment occurred.
The trouble with all these is that they're not like muscle strains or injured bones. Mostly because when my knee is reset and taped, it's okay for a day or two, but it shifts back into its subluxation. The same thing happens with my pelvic misalignment. It gets reset, and within a day or so, I can feel it's shifted back out of place. There's no strong correlation to when it happens. Whether I keep off my leg, modify my workout, or do a complete workout, the misalignment still happens.
Beyond the pain and the ridiculous balance issues, what really bothers me about this is the lack of a cure. If I broke a leg bone, we'd splint it and all that jazz, but a subluxation of the knee isn't broken, it's "partially" dislocated. Don't get me wrong, I prefer physical therapy over a cast or surgery! But it's frustrating to have stuff like misalignment that recurs with no known cause. It's not like I do something and POP! it goes out of joint. It's like I wake up the next day and I can feel it's out of joint.
Luckily I have a very good physical therapist to help me with this stuff. But since I haven't incurred an injury or had an incident that caused these issues, I'm wondering if something else is causing the alignment issues, like a neuropathy.
(1) Hearing - sometimes sound (from TV or music or whatever) will fluctuate in level, even when the volume hasn't changed. i.e. The TV will go from a reasonable level to sounding so high that it "smarts" (hurts) my ears. At other times, I'll hear fine one minute, then the sound seems to drop to inaudible. This is not related to the volume of what is being played changing at all. It's merely how I perceive the volume. (Yes, I checked the equipment just in case.)
(2) Seeing - sometimes I have visual agnosia (difficulty identifying objects even though I can see them just fine). It's annoying and ultimately disturbing when it rears its ugly head.
(3) Chest pain - presents when I take a deep breath. It feels like my lungs 'snap shut' when I breath "too deeply." It feels tight and, depending on the situation, my heart tends to race... although I feel like that is me thinking "why is there a tightness in my chest?" and getting worried. I did all kinds of crazy tests (asthma, lung capacity, costochondritis, acid reflux/heartburn, etc.) and nothing. My PCP kept pushing "anxiety" as the problem and dismissed other possibilities after I went through the list of tests she drew up. I would be willing to accept anxiety as a possibility, except I had no other symptoms that suggested it, and wasn't feeling stressed or anxious at all at the time.
(4) Unilateral flushing - My skin becomes hot and red usually when speaking, but sometimes while doing nothing. The flushing is usually restricted to one cheek/one side of my neck and it is highly asymetrical. [When I flush normally, such as when I work out, the flushing is bilateral.]
These intermittent issues sometimes crop up for weeks at a time, then disappear. The problem with this is that these symptoms are all intermittent, so both my neurologist and PCP dismiss them. I get frustrated by the doctor's inability to figure out what's wrong, especially when the doctor has already dismissed it. So right now I have these four random symptoms that come and go with no real trigger, and none of the doctors I've seen seem to think it's a big deal.
I'm in my late twenties. I do 8-12 hours of Karate each week (modified currently to accommodate my hip/knee) as well as 2-3 more hours of physical therapy/stretching for my current injuries. Working out helps me sleep through the night and keeps my energy up, but it also helps me reduce stress and such.
Anyway, if anyone has insight on any of these symptoms, or ideas, or anything, I would appreciate it. I'm hoping to get some answers from my doctors this time (even if it is 'that can happen to people with narcolepsy...').