Almost 3 months with symptoms

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Titus1229

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35 year old male, fairly active, good physical health my whole life except for some football injuries.

Need to begin by saying that I have had severe bouts of health anxiety within the last year, colon cancer, lung cancer, bone cancer, all of which started with small symptoms that manifested into larger ones that ended in tests that were negative. Before that suffered from general anxiety for about 6 years. That being said I started having symptoms that made me fear als at the end of July, fast fatiguing forearms, bout a month later my lower legs and feet were fatiguing. Went to my Dr. who checked me and said it is likely the anxiety, prescribed anxiety meds, shortly after started having more fatiguein my lower legs and feeling of twitches in lower legs and visible twitching in my left foot arch. At the end of the day my feet ache horribly and the twitching in my left foot is the worst.

I workout obsessively doing calf raises and forearm excercises all the time, trying to test myself and prove I can do things.

Dr did a neuro exam saying everything is ok, but put in neurology referral after I told her about twitches, appointment not until end of January.
I’m really scared, every step I take I check to see if I trip, every time I pick something up I examine how difficult it is. I go to bed scared I’ll wake up and it’ll be worse. Scariest and most concerning is the twitching in my left foot arch.
 

Atsugi

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Titus, you're a lucky guy. Everything you posted has nothing to do with ALS. This "fatigue" you're feeling is great! It's a fantastic thing to have, because it means your nerves are working fine.


ALS is not a disease of the muscle, it is a disease in the brain. You see, ALS destroys some nerves in the brain. Those nerves are motor neurons which connect to the muscles and tell the muscles to contract. When the nerve is destroyed, the muscle doesn't get a signal, and so lays limp, useless, paralyzed. Importantly, the muscle doesn't feel anything. It isn't working, so it doesn't feel tired. In the beginning of ALS, muscles don't get fatigue--they simply don't move anymore, because the nerves in the brain are damaged and not sending a "move" signal.


Follow your doctors orders, but don't worry about ALS anymore.
 

Titus1229

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Thank you for kind words and support, God Bless you for what you do on this forum.

I guess my explanation in my mind is that I have other muscles compensating for the ones in my foot that are not working, hence the fatigue, I’m convinced that the muscle in my left arch is going because it twitches and has a tingling feeling every time I sit down after walking/standing for a period of time. it seems to be harder to balance on that foot than my right also, I can do things like walk on my toes and heels even hop on one leg up stairs.

The mind his powerful in both positive and negative ways, which I realize, it’s been the negative for most of my life. And it’s ridiculous how long the wait is for psychiatric and neurological care where I live so leaves me trapped in my irrational brain. Been reading the posts on this site for about a month now. It really is the definition of selflessness the love and patience you show to others.
 

dldugan

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While I am new at this, muscle weakness seems to result in fatigue as other portions of the body work harder to “fill in” for what is missing. I wouldn’t consider fatigue a good thing to have under any circumstances. Fatigue is a warning to rest.
 

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DL, we want to distinguish "muscle fatigue in known ALS" from "perceived fatigue in the midst of a diagnostic process." The former, you are right to say is something to think about, as we do not want to prematurely discharge all the power in the "battery," although research is suggesting carefully formulated exercise-for-exercise's sake may be helpful. But the latter, which is where Titus is, is a different animal.

Titus, anxiety meds often need tweaking in terms of dosage/type(s) before things get better. If you are still working out obsessively, stay in touch with your PCP and take the time to get it right. Given the recurrence of health anxiety, starting or beefing up counseling is another obvious suggestion.

Best,
Laurie
 

dldugan

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Titus - My recommendation is that if you are ok waiting until January that you severely cut back exercises. In the event you do have a neurological issue, perhaps ALS, strengthening exercises may be damaging. Since you are waiting until January try cutting out all exercise for only a couple of days and see if you are still fatigued. I was unwilling to wait 4 months and found a top flight muscular neurologist in another city that would take me, and had my first neurologist who did not find ALS do a referral. The first neurologist said I was too old to get ALS, but things seem to fit.

If it is too difficult for you to cut all exercise limit yourself to stretching, balance, aerobic/endurance, and light resistance exercises.
 

Titus1229

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Definitely not ok with waiting, feel like I’ll end up in the hospital for mental breakdown before then. Is there anything an ER can do for me? Probably not but I’m to the point where it’s hard to take care of myself and get through the day I’m so worried and obsessed.
 

Nikki J

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An ER is for emergencies not for diagnosing ongoing issues. Suggest returning to your primary doctor who can examine you and help with a plan
 

dldugan

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If you get to the point that it is difficult to function and you cannot immediately get in to see your PCP, I recommend you try an urgent care facility associated with your PCP’s hospital/facility if there is one available. They will have your medical records and can do a referral if necessary.
 

Nikki J

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If the difficulty functioning is as stated by the OP due to being “ so worried and obsessed” and the OP has a stated history of severe health anxiety this is a situation where he should be working with the doctors who know him best- his pcp and , if he has one, his counselor for the health anxiety
 

Titus1229

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Got in to my PCP yesterday, she examined me again and still has no concern. Says that I have plantar fasciitis because of the obsessive lower leg excercises I’ve been doing and that can be causing twitches/foot and lower leg issues. Since I obsessively do single leg hops and stand on my toes, calf raises, etc. To me it’s harder to balance on my left foot than my right, I have to move my foot back and forth to stay balanced, my left foot seems smaller than right. I got relief for about 2hrs from going to pcp and now back to being paralyzed by fear. I really don’t know what to do, I’m wrecking my life and my family over this. All I can do is sit think. Frantically trying to get in to neuro, meanwhile trying to be dad, husband, and employee.
 

Nikki J

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It is NORMAL to have different sized feet and it is normal to have better balance on one side even before injuring onself with self testing

Were you treated for the health anxiety you noted in your first post?
 

Titus1229

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I’m on two meds to help anxiety/depression. Not really helping much.

Also not sleeping
 
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ShiftKicker

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Titus- These are things people on this forum can not help you with. You have been cleared of ALS, and there is nothing we here can do other than to repeat what has been said already.

You have admitted health anxiety.

You have been cleared of ALS by the doctors. The people here also say your reported symptoms do not follow a pattern that is ALS.

You are actually causing yourself physical damage by obsessively repeating certain motions.

You are seeking emotional support from people with a terminal disease and their caregivers even though you don't have that disease.

You are sitting on a forum for a terminal disease you are fixated on and seeking to engage with the people here and are searching through all the posts for more to be worried about. You are feeding your anxiety.

Seek proper help from your doctor.

I am closing this thread to discourage you from remaining here. Please do not start another thread.

Please take care of yourself and I hope you find some help soon.
 
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