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pleasehelp

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Hello. First of all, thank-you to anyone who has taken the time to read this and to anyone who replies. I have no family members with ALS but have very sadly observed the progression of the disease after my step-father (in hospital with a severe TBI) became close to a young man who was diagnosed and has passed away now.

I wanted to ask a question about symptoms, specifically, do people typically present with multiple 'forms', ie leg problems and swallowing problems? More info below if interested.

I've been reading up on line of course but am still not sure whether ALS presents initially in only 'form' (if that's the right word). I have one symptom that I am very worried about - I've lost the ability to stand on my right leg and bend it. I can't really do it on my left leg either but that's because of an old knee injury so I can't really identify whether this problem is limited to one side. There is definite and noticeable atrophy on my right thigh, which, for the first time in years since my left-knee surgery is visibly smaller than my left thigh. I can still walk. It feels weird but I can. I'm unsure how I can walk when I can't stand on my right leg and bend it but I can't do that. I try and fall.

I've been to the doctor who did a whole lot of blood tests and tested reflexes. My blood tests were all normal. It seemed to me that the knee reflex was extreme. The doctor said nothing but she often says very little because ... here's the next thing ... I do have a bit of hypochondriasis and anxiety and we tend to not talk about possible diagnoses until all tests are done. I just tell her my symptoms and she asks questions. She has seen for herself that I can't stand on my right leg and bend it. I couldn't do it when asked. And the atrophy is visible. I'm now waiting on a back x-ray and further tests if that shows nothing.

I understand there could be many many reasons for this. I did read in the FAQ that sensory symptoms aren't the issue and I've had some tingling in my legs in general, so it could be something else. I also understand that I am particularly scared of ALS so could drive myself insane. And I do offer my sincerest apologies for moaning about one symptom. But there's also this - when I drink, or eat, I feel a fluttering in my throat and I swallow a few times to get the food down. But it does go down. It could be anxiety (because I've read of swallowing symptoms so will imagine them) so I didn't want to mention it to the doctor. Should I? I try very hard not to be a hypochondriac. I'd love to know if it is typical to present with swallowing symptoms and the inability to make a leg do something? Or would it be one or the other?

I'm 47 years old, pretty healthy aside from a history of hypertension (stress-related no doubt) and removed skin cancers. I *have* lost weight recently (appetite loss when stressed) but definitely more in my right thigh than anywhere else. The inability to make my leg do something does worry me.

Thank-you. I wish there were some more words to say.
 

Atsugi

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Hi, Kiwi.
Let's do this. Walk on your toes, forward, then backward. Now walk on your heels, forward, then backward.
Can you do a squat and come back up?
When sitting straight up and "square" in a chair, can you lift your foot up so it goes straight out in front of you? Now lift the foot even higher, so your thigh muscle is involved. How about the other foot?
 

pleasehelp

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Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, I can do all of those activities. It feels strange and lifting my foot up is certainly easier on my left leg but I can do it on my right which I'm guessing is encouraging. I went to the doctor because my right leg was feeling 'dead' often and I'm half-expecting to wake up one day without the ability to use it. (There is no atrophy in the lower leg though - all upper leg). However, I can walk and do what you suggested. I can squat, however, I can't squat just on my right leg - it doesn't work.

Thank-you so much for taking the time to reply. And I will apologise in advance if this thread disappears (if we can delete them). Worried about being recognised on here.
 

Atsugi

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Hi again, Kiwi.

I have encouragement for you. Feeling "strange and feeling "dead" don't point to ALS, because ALS only destroys the motor nerves in the brain that tell your muscles to 'go'. So the muscle doesn't feel weak or feel fatigued or anything at all, it just doesn't go.

When you're ready for your thread to disappear, just let me know.
 
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