April 23, 2006
I have not chosen to bore people by whining about every ache and pain of my 62 year old body on my Journal/Blog , but a major problem has been gradually developing over the course of about the last 3 years that can no longer be ignored, because it seems to be forcing a major change in lifestyle on me.
I have developed a gradual nerve deterioration (motor neuropathy) in my legs, which is accompanied by muscular atrophy. The first symptoms were general clumsiness and a number of trips/falls. At first I thought this was related to balance issues, but it turns out to be more related to incoordination of my legs, particularly my right leg.
Although the onset of this has been very gradual, it started getting noticeably more severe in the autumn of 2005. I was very grateful to have made it through the run of the Christmas Revels without falling down on stage. Since then the condition has worsened, and I'm now just barely able to walk without assistance.
I haven't been able to ride a bike since early September, 2006 though I can still ride my Greenspeed trike, very slowly. Getting on and off and getting clipped in to the pedals is a bit of a challenge.
I've been seeing a neurologist since October, 2005 have had 11 MRIs, one CT scan and a needle EMG test. The description is "polyradiculoneuropathy", but the cause has still not been determined.
The worst for me was February 2006, when I was very much afraid that it was ALS ("Lou Gehrig's Disease".) Fortunately, the needle EMG and the fact that the symptoms are confined to my legs seems to have pretty much eliminated that as a possibility.
Fortunately, the nerves involved are strictly "motor" nerves, so I am not in any actual pain or discomfort.
October 25, 2006: The neurologist I've been seeing for the past years appears to be stumped, and he referred me to a neurologist#2. He told me that my problem is most likely multiple sclerosis, of the fairly uncommon "primary-progressive" variety.
A friend who is a retired MD referred me to neurologist #3, very highly recommended. He isn't convinced of the MS diagnosis, had me treated with IV Immunoglobulin, but that doesn't seem to have helped...