I had a mysterious-ish nerve damage episode years ago. One morning, I woke up and my left leg and right hand were numb. At first, I thought I just slept on my arm funny, but the numbness never wore off. On my hand it was my thumb, index, middle, half of ring finger and half of the palm on the thumb side. I could still type, I could still write, although it was messy and I had to try very hard to be neat. When I touched my face with my own hand, it felt like someone else was touching me.
It slowly got worse, it started hurting more and more, my fingers started swelling. When I pet kat_box's cat Taz, my left hand felt soft fur, my right hand was petting iron spikes. When I washed my hands, cold water hurt, hot water hurt and lukewarm trickling water felt like I had my hand in a high pressure water blaster and it was ripping my hand off my arm.
Svena, my doctor at the time, did all kinds of tests. My reflexes and everything are completely normal except for numbness in certain areas of my leg/hand, all blood tests showed no signs of problems (other than the elevated ESR levels but that just says "something's inflamed somewhere"), I had no other symptoms of more serious problems. MS was ruled out, a herniated disc was ruled out, etc. I was on Naprosyn-E 250mg, three times a day for the inflammation.
I went to a Neurologist who looked at it, ordered MORE blood tests, and said it looked like classic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I was booked in for surgery. They were going to slit my wrists. =} At the eleventh hour, an electro-myogram was done to confirm Carpal Tunnel. This is where they draw all over your arms and legs with a Sharpie, connect up electrodes to different parts of you, zap you up and down with electric current to measure how much you twitch which shows up as F-waves on the thing that looks a lot like an oscilloscope. Or something.
Well, it was not Carpal Tunnel at all. Surgery was cancelled. But, by now, I was in quite a bit of pain and they STILL didn't know what the hell was going on with me.
Over the 6 months, I don't know how many gallons of blood were taken and tested. There were some really horrid, scary, controllable-but-incurable diseases that were theorized, Lupus, Guillain-Barre, Fibromyalgia. I had protein and electro-encephalographies. Inconclusive. All of it. I also had a biopsy. Also inconclusive.
I was in pain every moment of my waking life and no one could figure out why.
Being constantly in pain like that does really nasty things to your state of mind. You never want to go anywhere or do anything because it hurts to move. The worst thing was wishing with all your might that some test will come back positive for SOMETHING, even if it's the nastiest, scariest disease you could imagine.
Please, let me have Lupus. I know it means my immune system is failing to recognize my own organs and attacking them like a foreign entity. But pleasepleaseplease let it be positive this time. Please.
You just want to know something even if it's the worst news possible.
It started getting better after 6 months, but I can still feel that my hand isn't quite the same. We still have no idea why it happened and it could come back at any time. Peripheral Mononeuropathy was the best description of what it was, but that doesn't really say much.
It could be a precursor to something really bad. Any day now, I could wake up numb, in pain or some kind of relapse and not be able to move or not be able to control my bladder/bowel. I don't know. I just try to live well and live healthy as much as I can.