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vmd

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I am new to these boards. I am a 55 year-old male and I have been advised by my doctor that I may have ALS. The main symptom, of course, is muscular weakness, which has progressed very rapidly during the last 2 months. I lift weights and I estimate I have lost about 5% strength during that time. In addition, I have lost about 30% strength on my right arm. Since I lift weights, I keep an account of the amount of weight I lift as well as the number of repetitions I perform.

Last month, I had complained to my family doctor about strange sensations on the top of my head. While my head did not hurt, the right side of my scalp felt tender even though I had not injured myself. He suggested an MRI. The MRI came back with some "spots," which he described as common and that they might not mean anything. His diagnosis at that time was neuralgia. However, he also mentioned MS as a possibility. This last time when I informed him of my general and asymmetrical loss of strength, he also mentioned ALS. I have been referred to a neurologist, so I have to play the waiting game. I have no other sensory changes that would indicate MS. Although I know that fasciculations without loss of strength can mean anything, I have suffered from such twitches for years. Perhaps, the loss of stength has been gradual over time, but I was not able to measure it until now. Since I have no other explanations for the loss of strength, I fear the worst. Thank you for reading this and please let me know what I should look for during the neurological exam or the type of questions I need to ask. I live in a small town, so I will not be seeing an ALS specialist.
 

Al

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Hi vmd. Welcome. I wouldn't be too quick to jump on a diagnosis of MS or ALS until you see the Neuro. There are a lot of different conditions that could explain your symptoms. It's hard but you have to wait to see the Neuro. If he tells you it's ALS then I'd go for a second opinion at an ALS Clinic. There are postings here today in a thread expelling what to expect at a neuro exam.
AL.
 

vmd

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thanks

Al:

Thank you for your reply. I suppose there could be other explanations for my condition and gut feelings aren't always correct. We'll see what God has in store for me. I'll look up the other thread you suggested.

I have an 11 year-old daughter and I am quite worried about her, if it turns out I do have a motor neuron disease. As it is, her mother is currently being treated for breast cancer, so the situation for my daughter has not been the most pleasant recently. I keep praying.
 

vmd

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Annmarie:

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. My ex-wife is curently receiving chemotherapy. That is a hard process and she is having problems with the side effects of the powerful medications she is receiving. She is considered a triple-negative, which does not have a good prognosis. I worry about my daughter being left without parents. I am madly calling different places to find out about benefits for my daughter in case the worst happens. Since I live alone, I am also worried about what to do when the physical challenges become too great. I will be looking into various sources of information in order to plan ahead. Plan for the worst and pray for the best.

Actually, my MRI was not completely normal. So, I'm not certain what will happen.
 

CindyM

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Hi VMD. These are scary times for you, I can see. I am so sorry and wish there were easy answers. Hopefully you have parents or siblings nearby? These times are too stressful for you to be without support. We here on the fourm can help as well with advice, encouragement, and information. Pleae let us know how things are going for you! Cindy
 
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