27 Year Old Male - Could This Be ALS?

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ThatBankDude

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Good evening,

I want to start this off by saying that my heartfelt sympathies to those who are battling this monster of a disease. I have a friend of mine who’s mom passed away from her battle with ALS.

I have read the sticky however I was hoping for some more clarification. I want to provide an overview of my life and symptoms to be able to paint a better picture of what my life is like and the “symptoms” that I have been having.

My wife and I have been married for just over 6 years and we have 2.5 year old twin boys and a 5 month old little girl. I started my MBA in August of 2017 and finished in June of this year. I immediately applied for, and was accepted, to a Master of Science in Finance program. My twins have never been great sleepers and continue to wake up once or twice per night (each) and just about every night I end up sleeping on a pallet I make on the floor of our room in an effort to get sleep. I would save I average about 5-6 hours of good sleep per night. About 2 or 3 months ago I noticed that my arms were feeling heavy and wrote it off as stress and lack of sleep. Fast forward, over the past 3 weeks or so I have noticed that I have random, and quick, muscle twitches on my arms, legs and shoulders alongside the heavy limb feelings. They are not long lasting and they last for no more than 5 seconds. My brother is an ER Physician so I have someone to go to however I first went to Dr. Google which immediately pulled up ALS.

I made an appointment with my GP and they did bloodwork in which they did a CBC as well as checked for autoimmune disorders. Everything was perfect except my Vitamin D level was a 26 and they said it was low. I immediately began taking Vitamin D supplements along with magnesium supplements about 1 week ago and the muscle twitches are not alleviated. I have also noticed that I have been more clumsy with my hands in terms of dropping my phone or something else I am holding. My GP has ordered a MRI for September 5th and referred me to see Dr. Brent Beson and Dr. Joshua Kershen at the MDA Clinic in OKC on September 11 (hopefully that day does not give bad juju for me). Here for the past 4-6 days I have noticed a “lump in my throat” feeling as well as the fact that my left calf muscle appears smaller than my right (I know self examining is a no-no). I am still able to chug a bottle of water in 5 seconds, eat what I want and so forth but I feel as though mucus or something is lodged in my throat. Everything I have read has stated that it typically starts with 1 limb if limb onset or choking/slurred speech if bulbar onset however things I have read on Facebook there have been people say they started with this same feeling.

So in summary, I have been having the feeling of heavy arms/legs, muscle twitching widespread, left calf appears smaller than the right, occasional dropping of things and a “lump in the throat” feeling that will not go away.
 

ThatBankDude

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I must also add that I have recently began to have muscle twitching on my stomach. Similar to the ones that occur on my other extremities. I also get the occasional cramp in my hand or calf. It is not every day. It has occurred about 1 time in each location over the last 3 weeks.
 

ThatBankDude

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One more thing is that I have excess saliva. No issues swallowing though.
 

Bestfriends14

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No, nothing, zip, zero, nada of your symptoms describe ALS. Try to de-stress and put less on your plate. Also, perhaps you should address the obvious health anxiety you are experiencing.

Good luck to you and take good care.
 

lgelb

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I would stay off Facebook and Google as far as medical insights are concerned, and figure out a way to get more sleep/less stress, like deconstructing the twins' every-night issues and slowing down your Master's program if needed. A nasal steroid trial, dosing before bed, may be worthwhile. Fragmented sleep leads to a higher likelihood of mouth breathing/saliva issues. Diet, exercise and bed vs. pallet are other considerations.

Everyone is right -- we won't see ALS in this.

Best,
Laurie
 

ThatBankDude

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Thank you both for your responses. I am working to minimize my stress load and I deferred the 2nd masters program for a few years. I am hoping that the MRI and specialist appointment help alleviate my anxiety completely. I cannot help but feel as though my “symptoms” are consistent and not going away currently. I will update once I find out more.
 

ThatBankDude

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I had my MRI today and the results came back normal (I read the report) other than ethmoid and maxillary sinusitis. That may explain the increased swallowing and mucous in my throat. My mom has Multiple Sclerosis so it is good to know I am clear for that. I have my neuro specialist appointment next week and will update again. Muscle twitching has still continued although I have not noticed any sort of clinical weakness.
 

ThatBankDude

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So for the past few days I have had an insane amount of post-nasal drip. I feel as if I cannot swallow enough and occasionally it feels difficult to do so. I am still eating and drinking but I am coughing more along with it.
 

KarenNWendyn

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You’ll drive yourself crazy focusing on every symptom. See your doctor if you’re concerned. But you don’t have ALS. Continued presence on this forum is not good for your mental health. I’m closing this thread. Good bye and best of luck, truly.
 

ThatBankDude

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Good Afternoon,

My other thread got locked but I wanted to update since I had my doctors appointment. I met with Dr. Joshua Kershen, MD who is a board certified Neurologist and is 1 of 2 neurologist in Oklahoma who are board certified in neuromuscular medicine.

He started off asking about my story and I told him from the very beginning to the very end. He then proceeded to perform a neurological exam in which he had me stand with my eyes in with both feet together and then he tested the strength of my arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes. He also checked the reflexes in my legs and arms as well as utilized a small metal tool to poke my arms and legs to see if I could feel it. I had an MRI done on September 5th which came back as normal but he reviewed the scans to make certain that nothing was missed. He then came back into the room and said that the neurological exam was normal and he does not believe I have a motor neuron disease. He did say we could do an EMG if I desired to have one done but said he did not deem it necessary. We set up an appointment for me to come back in 6 weeks to do another neurological exam.

A couple of questions:

1) He did not do anything regarding the mucus/increased swallowing issue I am having to get food down. Is that normal?

2) Is it normal to have a patient come back in 6 weeks if neurological exam is normal?

I apologize for the new thread and questions, I am just trying to figure everything out.
 

Bestfriends14

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1-You do not have ALS so the mucus/swallowing thing would not be his department.
2-He has you coming back to cover his butt at because someone (you) have extreme health anxiety about a disease you do not have. He is putting your mind at ease.

You do not, do not, do not have ALS. When in the world are you going to let it go? Please, it is time for you to go elsewhere to "figure things out". You do not belong here and that is a very good thing. Try to be grateful for that, OK?

Good luck in your life
 
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