Old 09-25-2017, 11:40 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Young with symptoms

Hi all,

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I will be as clear as can be:

I am 23 years old. In late May, I noticed a reduction on the size of my right arm. In the gym this was accompanied by a reduction in strength. Motions such as curling and pulling felt as though certain muscles were not being activated. I went to a neurologist and received an EMG of my right and left arm. No issues were found. I felt as though something was missed and found another neuro. In August, this second neuro performed an EMG on my right arm only. After a lot of searching, he finally found an issue in my bicep through the EMG, and diagnosed me with a brachial plexus injury. There was no accompanying pain in my arm, but he did not see this as a limit to this diagnosis. I figured it may have been done in the gym (I am not a big guy) or through sleeping on my arm or something.

Fast forward to now. The bicep has not shown much if any improvement, though it hasn't really gotten worse. However, I am fasciculating all through my feet, legs, hands and arms, and now slightly in my tongue. Recently, I have noticed something off in my left foot, as though it isn't working correctly when walking. Best put, it feels uncoordinated, even like I'm walking flatly. This left leg also shakes when putting weight on it, and has now become noticeably more difficult to balance on. Note, I have only noticed this for a little over a week. My hands have also been shaking when holding my phone, which didn't used to happen.

I am worried about this progression and have booked another appointment with the neuro, but that isn't until November. I am scared and have tried to rationalize as much as I can. I'm very young for this kind of diagnosis. Maybe it's just BFS. Maybe my leg was overworked somehow. And maybe it all is just a brachial plexus injury with my imagination and anxiety bringing on the rest of the symptoms. But I can't shake it from my mind. I don't know if anybody here can even really give me an answer I want. I just needed to put it out there though. I'm sorry if I sound like another hypochondriac, the existence of symptoms coupled with an actual finding by the neuro has kind of thrown me for a loop. Thanks for your time and support.
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:48 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Young with symptoms

Arlington, you're right, we can't provide a definitive answer. But I would seek out an internist if possible before seeing the neuro, to narrow the field a bit. What we can say is that ALS is rare in 20-somethings, and that the timing of the features you mention would be unusual as well. That's a lot of unusuals in a fairly rare disease.

So the smart money's on starting back with a basic workup, thinking about diet/stress/sleep, and considering that any silent injury in one so young suggests something about your routine lifestyle or gym regimen that might bear correction, or systemic illness of some kind. ALS is at the bottom of a long, long list.

Best,
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:35 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Young with symptoms

Laurie,

Thanks so much for the kind reply. I will take your advice and consider other factors that could be playing into my symptoms. I think I'm kind of over sensitive to my body right now and am looking for anything that could worry me. Again, thanks for taking the time to reply
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:10 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default I have no doubt anymore

I posted this about a week ago.

Over the weekend, I was walking around a lot and finally realized something about my walking. It becomes slow and tired very easily, and my feet feel as though I am striking the ground rather than smoothly walking. It is a struggle to walk long distances anymore. I constantly feel the need to rest but then it comes on again after walking just a little while. I am twitching all over, and especially in my legs. It has been this way to a degree for months but it felt so much more noticeable now.

Combined with the nagging twitches and buzzes everywhere (tongue, lips, shoulders, arms, hands, back, stomach, legs, feet) , I have no doubt anymore that this is ALS. I can walk on my heels and toes, but the altered gait I am experiencing is real, and no matter what, sticks around. No matter the rest. No matter the thought. No matter the effort. It is just simply more difficult. My legs get tired, and feel stiff, and take increased effort to move after walking for a little while. I have to consciously try to make my feet strike correctly, and they often feel like they're flopping. Its as if muscles simply aren't working to make walking smooth anymore. I can't believe I'm experiencing this at 23 years old. It sounds a lot like many people's posts I've read that have confirmed diagnosis. The progression seems to fit ALS. I have an appointment with the neuro this week, and am expecting the worst. I never had my legs tested with the EMG, and now I know I should have. Sorry for starting another thread, I just didn't know how to get eyes on this update.

I'm sorry if any of this comes across as disrespectful, I'm just absolutely beside myself right now. Thanks for reading.
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:38 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Young with symptoms

Mod Note: you did indeed post about a week ago, and it was still open.

I merged your two threads, plz stay in ONE open thread.
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:35 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Young with symptoms

At this point, your Dr. may well do a full EMG among other tests, but it's waaaay too soon to be talking ALS. That, and you are saying "it FEELS LIKE". That tells me your symptoms are very sensory. ALS rarely "feels like" anything. In ALS you hear things like " he looked at his foot and wondered why he could not life he toes" , "he looked at his hands and wondered why they did not work".

Neuro issues are a broad category, you are not even close to "sure ALS".
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:05 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Young with symptoms

LKaibel, thanks for the reply. While I know there is a process of elimination, I myself wonder why my legs won't work properly. And why my fingers sometimes are clumsy and slow. My ability to move has been hindered, and its terrifying and confusing. Again, I appreciate the reply, and am hoping for anything else
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:17 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Young with symptoms

Arlington, I'm afraid I have to agree with the other posters.
#1 Your age, ALS is pretty rare it twentysomethings.
#2. I don't really see much of anything that points to ALS.
#3. You had positive EMG tests done and redone.

Try to take no for an answer, this is a good thing. Lots of other things can cause what you describe,, Number one among those is improper hydration. Make sure you get plenty of water, replace electrolytes (Gatorade, or a similar product) see your GP and get some blood work done,

Good luck and God bless,

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Old 10-29-2017, 11:52 AM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Young with symptoms

Thanks again for everybody's replies. I wanted to keep off the site for a while until I could update.

I now have been having issues with my speech. When I am tired or stressed I have a hard time pronouncing words. My voice gets weak, and my throat has a hard time with K's, G's, hard C's, and R's, usually when these letters are in the middle or end of a word. No one has noticed, but it takes considerable effort to hold a conversation. My throat and neck become tired, and I have a hard time pronouncing the odd word in conversation. This all seems to come and go. I also have an overwhelming need to swallow and yawn. I keep trying to chalk it up to anxiety , but I have never read a single person with anxiety presenting this way. I have read multiple accounts on here where slurred speech and pronunciation problems would come and go depending on stress and energy levels, but ultimately became worse. I feel I'm headed this way.

Tomorrow I have an EMG scheduled for all limbs. My neurologist hopes to put my fears to rest, but with these vulgar symtpoms beginning to present, I I'm starting to doubt he'll be able to. I'll report back after my visit tomorrow.
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