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Kristin01

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First off, I have really tried to get ALS off my mind lately. In November I saw the ALS specialist at Cedars Sinai and she did a clinical exam and found everything to be normal except some asymmetry in my tongue. She scheduled me to have an EMG two months later for my piece of mind. I had that EMG last week. She did not do another clinical exam or check my reflexes because she had done a thorough exam two months prior. The EMG was of my back, right arm, left leg, and tongue. The EMG was negative. I was completely relieved. However, two days ago, I went to go open a jar of spaghetti sauce and I couldn't open it no matter how hard I tried. I didn't think too much of it and I had my husband open it for me. Then today, I went to go open another jar and I couldn't do it again. Now I am freaking out. I know that many times ALS starts with hand weakness and I'm worried because this time the ALS specialist didn't even look at my hands and the EMG was not performed on my hand. Should I request a hand EMG? Would this concern you?
 

Kristin01

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I did have an EMG of my right hand 6 months ago to test for carpal tunnel because my hand was going numb at night, but the EMG was negative.
 

rose

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Kristin, your normal emg and normal reflexes, exam, etc, along with the experience and training your doctor has are key reasons to put fear of ALS behind you. There are tons of reasons why you could have trouble opening a jar. Everyone strains to from time to time, as some jar lids sometimes are tighter than others to open, and this is one of the reasons we have men in our homes, is to do these things, you know, open jars, lift heavy things, and kiss us goodnight :)

If you feel your weakness continues to progress where it enters into everyday activities that don't entail using extra strength, then go back for another evaluation. Something going on with the discs in your back, would be a primary suspect, NOT any form of motor neuron disease. Your hand going numb at night would also perhaps point to a problematic disc in the cervical spine.

Don't let unfounded fears intrude and lessen the quality of your life, and of the lives of those who love you.
 

BethU

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Hi, Kristin ... Not being able to open a jar wouldn't worry me .... there have been jars I can't open all my life. I have a whole routine: If it's a metal cap on glass jar, run the cap under real hot water (metal expands, glass doesn't). If that doesn't work, bang the side of the cap hard on the counter. If that doesn't work, bang harder. If that doesn't work and the jar is still intact, get a rubber "grabber" mat with a rough texture to try to twist it off. If that doesn't work, and your marriage and the jar are still intact, call husband.
 

ktmj

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Well we all know Beth is feeling chipper again.

"bang harder"

I've alway been one to think I can fix anything with a bigger hammer.

Priceless.:lol:
 

rose

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ktmj, yes, and if you're building something, the nice heavy decking hammer can make all kinds of things fit into designated space :smile:
 

planningguy

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Kristen - I have been the official family "jar opener" going on 11 years. Peanut butter and spaghetti sauce jars tend to be bears (Peanut butter jars mainly becuase we buy family size, and my wife has small hands.). My wife reciprocates by making sure I buttoned my shirt properly, that my collar is straight, I don't have boogers in my nose, and no ice-cream in my beard. I also stink at accounting, so she is the queen of finances.

I've found when I try to compare soreness and fatigue to weakness with things that require significant strength is difficult, because we tend not to want to force things once discomfort occurs (for me this can even be subconscious). I think Rose pointed out a great possibility and strategy.

Ktmj - My family always teases me because once as a young pup I was switching out a wiper blade, when I couldn't get it to move, I went to go get a file. Thankfully, someone caught me before i did too much damage, and popped it off by pushing the opposite direction. I still get teased by some family members every once in a while if I wrestling with something and they ask, "need a file?"

Beth - Good to see you post. I hope everything went well.

Take care,

Robert
 

Kristin01

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Thank you. I was just concerned because it happened twice in a row and I can normally always open spaghetti sauce jars.
 

brendapals

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Kristen,
Sounds like the jars were just extra-sealed this time, or two times. Certainly not something you need to think is ALS.
Enjoy your weekend, and if it continues to be a bother, make an appt with your dr.
I'm sure you'll be fine,
take good care,
-b
 
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