Another Scared Poster...

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mariathegirl

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Hey guys,
First of all, thank you all very much for taking the time to answer these posts. I know it must be annoying having people with health anxiety and fear come on here asking if they may have ALS. I am yet, another one of them.

I am 25F, 136lbs with a history of anxiety. I have had anxiety for about 2.5 years, it developed through panic disorder and GAD. Tried many antidepressants, until finally Mirtazapine was the one that made me stop having obsessive thoughts. Skip forward to the pandemic, I started presenting panic attacks again, and fear of getting COVID. It was obvious anxiety was returning. At the same time, around August, I started exercising way too much and started running (im not a runner and never had been), I overexerted myself to the point of getting a leg injury; in which my leg got inflamed and tight around the calf. It was so tight I started Googling (the worst possible thing to do, that’s why I’m here). It led me to believe I had a DVT in my leg. More panic happened and restless nights; got an ultrasound and DVT was ruled out. Started going to physical therapy and it seemed to work for a bit, but the pain and tightness came back and even more so with paresthesia and fasciculations.

Throughout all that, I was dealing with anxiety more than ever, going to doctors and getting blood tests, and my psychitrist decided to change my medication to Sertraline. Little did I know it would be a hell of a drug, gave me muscle jerks, head shocks, shocks in my legs as well as shaking. Cannot sleep more than 5 hours a night, and have horrible nausea. More to say the anxiety is still through the roof.

I’m here however, because in the last 4 weeks I have gone from believing I had MS, and getting a brain MRI which showed nothing, to thinking I have ALS because the muscle twitches and weakness in my legs have gotten worse. The stiffness in my calf is at an all time high, and it has now even moved to the left leg. I now feel the same sensations on both legs. I feel weird shocks in my head, feel electric shocks in my butt and thighs. I feel like my extremities are weak, and when I raise my legs or stand on only one leg, it shakes uncontrollably. The fasciculations become even worse at night. My physical therapist is at a loss for words, as he just stretches me out and even did an X-Ray of my spine (which showed scoliosis), but keeps saying the vertebraes look good and cannot be sciatica nor pinched nerve. At the same time, my neck feels stiff and tense and I’m honestly freaking out because the first thing I think about every day is that I have a terminal illness.

My psychologist doesn’t help much with the obsessive thoughts and my psychiatrist is about to change me to my old medication which gave me less side effects. I’ve seen online that Sertraline/Zoloft can cause twitching, but not the calf tightness which I believe has gotten worse. I now even feel shaky going down the stairs, and feel like the strength in both my hands has dimished, giving me the shakes in my hand when I press really hard. All in all, I guess I’m looking for reassurance from people that know about this disease, as I am not a doctor (but do pretend to be, which leads me to scary places). I’m scared and feel like I should go to a neurologist to get a physical exam and maybe an EMG but I just hate the fact that I need all this in order to calm myself down. In the meantime, I still think I have ALS and that in only 2-3 months it has progressed and become worse. Sometimes at night my right hand goes numb and so does the right shoulder.

Thank you all for taking the time to read. I appreciate it a lot.
 

ShiftKicker

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Hello- please read here: Important - READ BEFORE POSTING! Answers to common concerns about possible symptoms

You speak of numbness and tingling, inflammation, etc. This is not how ALS is expressed. I think you already do know this, have already been told this by your doctors and are now looking for a bit of extra reassurance from folks who are seriously suffering from ALS. I think you would be better served by visiting one of the multiple online anxiety forums where you can gain reassurance from peers who have experienced the same as you and who can provide more helpful advice and who have the energy and resources to talk you through this. No More Panic, AnxietyCentral and AnxietyCommunity are excellent places.

Unless your doctor tells you there is serious concern for a motor neuron disease, this forum is not the place for you.

All the best
 

lgelb

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Second that, and I encourage you to go back to mirtazapine if that was more tolerable and effective for you. These things are individualized, and SSRIs can cause or worsen twitching, etc. in themselves. They also worsen sleep for some people, which isn't going to help you.

If you have scoliosis, I also encourage you to follow a home regimen of stretching, as your PT can help with, that can help prevent its getting worse.

Best,
Laurie
 

mariathegirl

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Thank you both for your answer. I definitely do think that the anxiety is causing a lot of trouble for me, and continuing to read has made my case very difficult to deal with. The only thing that really worries me is the perceived weakness I have on my legs and right hand. My legs shake when I raise them and my right-hand feels odd. It worries me because on the FAQ you guys have provided for anyone coming here asking questions, weakness is the first sign, and I know nobody but a doctor should test for weakness, but it definitely feels like I'm going crazy with the sensations I feel.
 

Bestfriends14

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Hi Maria

I'm glad you are getting help for your anxiety. The things you described are all things that can be side effects from medication. As for your "weakness" , that would have been found upon examination. As well, you said it yourself-it is a perceived weakness, not a true weakness. Please, please, life is way too short to waste energy on a disease you simply do not have.

Please work on your anxiety and let this fixation go. Continue to work with your docs.

Take good care and stay safe
 
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