Advice for young people with ALS symptoms

Brandon23

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*I know what you think this post is gonna be, but please read till the end*

If you are reading this, you - like me - probably have symptoms that scream ALS. A little background about me, for the past year I have been dealing with symptoms like muscle twitches, cramps, and muscle atrophy. These symptoms have been almost constant, and they have been very disruptive to my life. I have a spot in my hand that is always twitching, and my thumb muscle has atrophied a bit. The worst symptom that came was the bulbar related symptoms. I have been having trouble swallowing, and have been afraid to eat for fear of choking. At this point, I was launched into a full blown existential crisis. Imagine knowing you’re gonna die soon, especially at a young ages. I, myself, am 24, like many of you here.
I began reading this forum and preparing for what I knew were going to be the last years of my life…

Except they aren’t.

I recently went to a neurologist, and was diagnosed with CARPEL TUNNEL of all things. I kid you not. Like many of you, the fear of this disease was overwhelming. I literally have spent the last YEAR expecting to have this disease. I stopped planning for the future. I stopped working out. I stopped applying for new, better jobs. I spent HOURS a day googling my symptoms. I would say about 4-5 hours a DAY, I kid you not. After my actual diagnosis, these symptoms have almost all faded.

I felt compelled to write this because I’m hoping I can save someone from their health anxiety, and push them to seek help for the actual issues they are having. I was literally delusional, and I was so sure of myself that I put off the help I actually needed. I never posted on here because, I think deep down, I knew I didn’t have this disease (despite the hours I spent browsing). But I don’t want to be one of those people who forget this community now that this mental obstacle is over for me. The stories I have read here have impacted me, and I’m ready to give back. I hope that if you’re a young person with health anxiety, reading this has resonated.

As for those actually affected by ALS, I hope I can take some of the burden off your shoulders trying to soothe people whose real illness is a mental one. I also hope that, even though I am not affected, I can be of service and hear your stories. Maybe be a friend, and make a connection with you all. If you ever need someone to listen, I am here.

Anyway, I’m rambling now. But for those with health anxiety, please don’t be afraid to reach out to me! Hopefully my story can help you relate and overcome your troubles. And for those who patiently take the time to reply to the previously mentioned people, I’ll try and respond more to people so you don’t have to.

Thanks for hearing me!

-Brandon
 

lgelb

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Hi Brandon, thanks for sharing your story. I am sure it will help someone.

Appreciate your kind offer, but people who aren't affected by ALS must stay in their own threads, like yours here.

Best,
Laurie
 

affected

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Thanks Brandon, your story is really important to have recorded here. All the very best.
 
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