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colinscared

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PALS
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Kamloops
Hi everyone,

This place seems to be a good place to post my concerns and get some good advice and hopefully reassurance.

I am 27 years old and am attending university over 6000km away from my family.

I have been feeling ill in different capacities for some time. I got sick in October, 06 and had an allergic reaction to some mold found growing in my apartment. After i got out of there, I started having very little energy, upset stomach, diarrhea and a level of anxiety/depression. My eyes also became irritated and somewhat sensitive to light.

At the beginning of January, I began experiencing pains in my forearms, wrists and hands along with some paresthesia. I also had some muscle twitching in different parts of my body. Over this period, I developed sleeping problems and lost about 10 pounds. I chalked many of these problems up to anxiety, but began seeking doctor's help anyhow.

About two weeks ago, while reading i bed, i felt a pain in my left arm right where it was bending. As I stretched it out, it still hurt and my fingers felt like sandpaper when i rubbed them together. My skin also felt painful to touch. I awoke the next morning to find my arm in a similar condition but both palms of my hands had a sort of 'sticky' sensation.

Since then, my left arm has been acting very strangely. It feels somewhat weak and it often hurts, especially the muscles on the outside of the arm and my wrist. Sometimes my arm shakes when i use it to support my upper body. Whenever i try to exert my arm (such as doing push ups, the muscles get sore very quickly. I haven't lost any control of my arm, my grip and fine motor skills also seem fine. It also seems to be fine when it comes to lifting things, but tends to get tired quickly when i have to extend it.

I do have some aches and pains in other parts of my body, including my left leg. I am still having muscle twitches all over my body mainly happen when i'm at rest.

My neurologist appointment is not for another two months (thanks to our speedy, but free, health care system) and I have been going crazy worrying about ALS in the meantime.

My doctor hasn't given me much to go on except a clean physical examination and his opinion that the odds are not great that i will have this disease.

Any help, support or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Colin
 

Al

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Joined
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Hi Colin. Welcome to the forum. You say thanks to the free health care so I'll assume you are Canadian. Can I ask which province you are in? First the good news is that at 27 you are very unlikely to be at risk of ALS unless you have a family history of it and you didn't mention it so it is probably not there.
There are quite a few different conditions that mimic ALS and the other motor neuron diseases. You mention paresthesia which leads me to believe you are either a med student (very stressful) or have been doing net research. Both of which can lead to anxiety induced escalation of symptoms. At least once a week someone is here and you can tell just from their wording in their posting that they are in an agitated state. I don't blame them because fear of this disease and the unknowns surrounding it is very real and possibly one of the scariest things you may have to face in life.
The pain and some of the other symptoms you describe are not really "typical" of ALS in the early stages. Try not to worry and try not to focus on each and every little thing that you notice that you think may be different from yesterday or last week. That will not help your symptoms at all. Hope we can help and keep us in the loop as to what is happening with you.
AL.
 

colinscared

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
3
Reason
PALS
Country
CA
State
BC
City
Kamloops
Thanks for your speedy reply and reassuring comments.

I'm currently living in Kamloops, British COlumbia and studying journalism. My proper terminology comes from my extensive research on the Internet and my nature as a writer I guess.

The main thing bothering me is the muscle twitching. It's pretty regular whenever i'm sitting down and happens all over my body. The causes for muscle twitching that I come across aren't very numerous. I know that these things can be anxiety induced.. but my anxiety level right now is pretty moderate. Worry and stress are pretty elevated. I've calmed down a fair bit in the past couple of days.

I've had blood tests done that show my electrolytes and everythign are in order and my doctor is treating me for depression and anxiety with paxil and clonazepam. He hasn't suggested any other possible reasons for my arm being the way that it is and that worries me.

I have some support from schoolmates, friends and counsellors. But my family are on the other side of the continent and only at the end of a phone. Waiting to see the neurologist while trying to finish school is a difficult experience.

I'm seeking any means of support available.

Thanks again,

Colin
 

colinscared

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
3
Reason
PALS
Country
CA
State
BC
City
Kamloops
Yeah i guess you are used to folks like me on here stressing out over things. I'm really just trying to do whatever i can to be positive and build energy again.

Cheers,

Colin
 

Al

Moderator emeritus
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
City
NW of Toronto
Well Colin we'll try to help if we can
Al.
 
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