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Other Symptoms/concerns (Intermittent) - Feedback?


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#1 drago

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:43 PM

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.

Side Note:

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.

Intermittent Issues
(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...').

drago

 



#2 DeathRabbit

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:32 PM

As far as the martial arts stuff goes, I took Krav Maga for about a year when my N first started getting bad and it soon became quite apparent that my threshold for pain has gone way up. Or rather I don't feel it near as much. There was multiple times I ended up in an arm bar, but the guy couldn't submit me because he'd have my arm at about 200 degrees and I'd be like "What?" It's not that I'm hyper-flexible, quite the opposite in fact. But it just didn't hurt all that badly even though it seemed like it should.They only thing that seemed to still hurt me as much as it used to was mat burns and the like. Injuries to the epidermis, as opposed to concussive stuff. Even now, I can haul off and slap myself in the face with about 60% power and it stings but not enough for me to really care. I can also punch the wall at maybe 80% about 3 times before it hurts my knuckles too badly. I guess it's just an N thing. I have heard of some people being less susceptible to nerve strikes, though in general, so they'd prolly be good in a tourney style environment,  but you might wanna forgo them in a self-defense situation, because it would really bite to take a blade if you were unfortunate enough to run up against such an individual, and you missed a chance to clock him with a good cross or ridge-hand.

 

I have had the unilateral flushing in my post Xyrem panic attacks. Xyrem *BEEP*ed me up big time and brought back anxiety I'd had controlled for years, and then doubled its potency. As much as I hate it, I may have to resort to an SNRI (I refuse to do SSRIs again )



#3 DeathRabbit

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:54 PM

Oh and I missed the insomnia. Yeah, that's a *BEEP* for sure. Have had trouble with that, especially while on stimmies, but even off them, sometimes I have issues. Narcoleptics are not candidates for bulk sleep. If we could live like cats, I think 90% of our symptoms would go away. In fact, if I ever bomb out of my career and have to retreat to my family, I'm doing this for a month just to experiment. Just sleep whenever I get tired. Wake up whenever, then sleep whenever again. It's what I did in college and my N was barely an issue. In fact, the weird dreams and HH were just lulzy. Now that I have to work fro, 9 to 6, sometimes I think a gibbon could out program me.



#4 Mmartens3

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 11:59 PM

I have a hiatal hernia which causes me to feel like I can't breathe deep enough. I sometimes get some pain.