Old 07-08-2015, 02:39 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default How concerned should I be that this is ALS?

Hello. First let me say, thank you for taking the time to talk through issues with those who come here worried and scared. It is kind of you, and a big investment of your time, so, thank you.

I am a 42 year old woman. I am a triplet. Both of my sisters have reported swallowing issues in the past few months but we all have GERD and so I didn't think anything of them having an issue. One of my sisters fell and broke her hand earlier this month--as she says, she was just walking and then she wasn't. She broke her ankle 2 years ago.

Without knowing that they had these symptoms going on (I have a chronic cough and sometimes lately I have swallowing issues following a cough/bronchospasm but not to the degree I would have thought twice about it), my left arm has been feeling heavy and weak, as though I have a weight on it. My left ring finger has a tremor. I thought, pinched nerve. When I have really exerted this arm in the past, it aches for a few days like a toothache (basically any time I scrub a tub or a floor!) so pinched nerve sounded reasonable. The heavy, weak feeling is terrible--I would liken it to when your leg falls asleep but BEFORE it wakes up. I saw in the sticky that ALS does not "feel" anything. So I would not even be wasting your time except now my right hand wants to play.

I am right handed. I am now having trouble gripping a pen. My hand cramps terribly when I write and the pen gradually slips, slips, slips down toward the paper until I have to shift it entirely back to where I need it. Last night I had so much trouble holding chopsticks. I am not able to use chopsticks properly normally, but I can at least hold them. It was scary and frustrating. Today my right hand was shaking as I used a spoon. Forks have given me trouble. I can still type quickly though.

Again, I would put this off to pinched nerve but my left butt cheek, top of my thigh and sometimes my ankle are getting a weak and heavy feeling. I am guessing Parkinson's is more likely than ALS, but because I have two sisters who are having swallowing issues and one of them falling, it concerned me.

I don't know if cognitive issues are involved with ALS at all, but for 42, I sure do that "go into a room and not know why you went there" thing a LOT. This may be down to anxiety.

I am sorry this is so long. Again, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this and any feedback you might have for me.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:47 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How concerned should I be that this is ALS?

It sounds like you are having symptoms in a lot of places and most of them sensory so sounds like something else. Go to your doctor and get checked of course. About the triplet things unless your family is FALS the chances of the three of you getting ALS let alone at the same time are astronomical. One of my relatives had a relative on his non FALS side get ALS. That person had an identical twin who lived to be very old and never got it.
Call your doctor now instead of worrying
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:03 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How concerned should I be that this is ALS?

Nikki is absolutely right in every detail as always. See your doctor, but don't worry about ALS.
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:08 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How concerned should I be that this is ALS?

Thank you both very much, I appreciate your time and feedback so much.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:21 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How concerned should I be that this is ALS?

There are some adult-onset muscular dystrophies and neuropathies that run in families. The good news even w/ that would be at this late age of onset, not likely to disable anyone. Though it's unlikely, to put all of you at ease you might consult the UAB neuromuscular clinic. All the best.
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