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cdekter

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
2
Reason
Loved one DX
Country
AU
State
QLD
City
Brisbane
Hi,

I just joined up so I could get some feedback from people here and also that someone Googling symptoms might find my post and realise they are being silly :)

Let me start from the beginning: About 7 years ago, my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with ALS. She was well advanced in years (in her 70s I believe) and so the disease tragically took her life within just a few years.

Fast forward to last year, when a very traumatic event in my life caused a period of depression and severe anxiety. I started suffering from regular anxiety attacks, especially at night while trying to go to sleep.

Things seemed to improve for a while, until last weekend. I suffered a major anxiety attack where I was convinced I was about to die. Eventually I was able to calm down and go to sleep. The next day I thought things were back to normal until... the instep of my left foot started to twitch, non-stop.

Being a keen internet researcher, I started Googling my symptoms, and sure enough I turned up ALS. Alarm bells started ringing - after all someone in my immediate family had died from the same illness! I started getting increasingly anxious, and would monitor myself extremely closely for any change. And change I did see - the twitch then spread to my right foot as well, and into both calves. The more I watched, the more I was convinced I was in the early stages of ALS, and the more anxious I got. I was absolutely convinced it was ALS - I started thinking about what the future held and envisioning scenarios of what my life would be like with ALS (!)

On Tuesday I went to see my GP who did some basic neurological tests on reflexes, hand-eye coordination and strength. Everything checked out normal, but I was still far from convinced. I continued to fret about it and started noticing other symptoms, like a leaden feeling in my arms and legs, and sporadic twitches around other parts of my body.

Now comes the kicker... in my searches I had come across the term BFS, but had ignored it to read all about ALS. Somehow, today I decided to have a look into BFS. Sure enough, it matched my situation exactly. And would you believe it, as soon as I started to calm down and stopped thinking ALS, the twitch started to reduce in severity as well!

So I guess the lesson I learnt is that the wonderful source of information that is the internet can be a double edged sword. I know very well that self-diagnosing is a bad idea, yet I still couldn't help myself.

I guess in conclusion I might put down a few things that lead me to believe it is not ALS:
  • Twitch started a few days after major anxiety attack
  • Twitch was exacerbated by increased anxiety, and reduced when anxiety reduced
  • Twitch stops when the muscle is tensed, and only reappears when it has been relaxed for a short time
  • No associated weakness in the area - I can stand on tip toes without any problems
  • Normal reflexes

I'm seeing the GP again on Tuesday just to be sure, but I'm kinda breathing a sigh of relief as you might well imagine!

Sincerely,
Chris
 

crystalkk

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
1,210
Reason
Learn about ALS
Country
US
State
pennsylvania
City
philadelphia
Chris,

It does sound like it is anxiety related, please try and get with your anxiety.
Your mind can do wicked things.
Don't look into ALS or google anymore and get off this website.

Take care,
 

Jennifer51

Distinguished member
Joined
Jul 7, 2008
Messages
441
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
03/2008
Country
UK
State
England
City
London
No disrepect to anyone seriously thinking they are ill with ANYTHING, but it makes you think.. I heard on the tv the other day that some UK doctors now have a new name for people googling symtoms and fearing they are seriously ill...... webchondriacs
 

Zaphoon

Extremely helpful member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
2,855
Reason
DX UMND/PLS
Diagnosis
08/2011
Country
US
State
Missouri
City
Springfield
Chris,

Thank you for sharing your experience and rationale! Many, many people that visit this forum could take a lesson from you.

Zaphoon
 

planningguy

Senior member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
556
Country
US
State
Wyoming
City
Sheridan
Chris,

I just wanted ot echo what the others have already said, and commend you for taking the time to let others know about your journey. Stress and anxiety can be real challenges in people's lives. BFS certainly sounds like a possibility.

Best of luck,

Robert
 

cdekter

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
2
Reason
Loved one DX
Country
AU
State
QLD
City
Brisbane
Thanks for the kind responses guys. I will hopefully be getting some treatment for my anxiety as I have been ignoring it up till now, but since it seems to have gone to the nth degree it might be time to do something about it. :)
 
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