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I have real weakness - please help

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mathilda32

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I haven’t been here in a while. Busy having kids and all that. I had a baby six months ago and have not really been paying attention to myself. I have noticed thought that I am unable to lift things with my right arm when it is extended I’m a certain way. I became curious so I tried lifting weights. When my arms is extended I can only lift a one pound weight with my right hand. With my left, I can lift the five pound weight no problems. I am right hand dominant. My right hand works fine as far as I can tell, but the upper arm (between the shoulder and elbow) has weakness. My doctor is away until the end of the month but I will make an appt for as soon as possible. I am just terrified with this symptom. I feel that a muscle in my upper arm must have stopped working, leading to my difficulty. I know that distal onset is a lot more common, but proximal onset isn’t unheard of.
I am just beside myself with worry. I am 39 years old with four little girls.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

ShiftKicker

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Past thread here: https://www.alsforums.com/forum/do-i-have-als-als/17656-question-about-localized-twitching.html

Mathilda, have a read here: https://www.alsforums.com/forum/do-i-have-als-als/26591-read-before-posting-answers-common-concerns-about-possible-symptoms.html It was added 4 years after you last posted in 2011. It contains a fair amount of information you may not have been aware of at the time of your last post, 8 years ago. It's the forum's official stance on twitching and perceived weakness. It also lists a variety of things that cause twitching, etc- none of which are ALS.

I understand you lost a loved one to ALS, which can be traumatizing. However, if you'd had any symptoms of ALS when you posted last, you would have been severely impaired by now.

A visit with your doctor is a good idea, but ALS would not seem to be the culprit here. Setting a kid on your hip day and day out can cause some serious misalignment and nerve pinching. Not eating properly can cause issues (I basically ate my kid's leftovers and snacked for 6 years- I get it). Fatigue, stress, lack of proper exercise, sleep issues, etc, can all contribute to issues. You may need to have a look at that before jumping to a terminal disease.

Best wishes
 

mathilda32

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Thank you so much for replying. I agree my personal care has gone downhill. But in reading all the posts in here most people only have perceived weakness. I am worried because my weakness is real. I can’t lift heavy weight like I use to with my right arm. It’s so scary.
 

Bestfriends14

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Not being able to life as heavy a weight as you did before is not what is meant by weakness with ALS. With ALS it is an inability to do something you could once do, such as stand on your heels or toes, walk up a step or steps, button your shirt, do a zipper up or clip your finger nails. That's what is meant by initial clinical weakness with ALS.

After so many years of worrying about this disease, if you truly had it, you would be severely compromised by now. I'm sorry you lost a loved one to this disease, but you don't have ALS and that's a wonderful thing. Please focus on your little ones and not on ALS. Please also remember to focus on you by ensuring you eat well, get sleep and try your best to keep stress at a minimum.

Good luck to you.
 

mathilda32

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Thank you kindly for taking the time to respond. Just to clarify, I have not been worrying about the disease for all these years. I let is go shortly after my first post. I only became worried again when I noticed the loss of muscle strength in my upper arm. Your explanation on weakness is very clear, and I don’t mean to challenge you, but I have read on here about people who felt their muscle getting weaker before not being able to move it. An example is needing to fill the kettle only half way to accommodate a weakened hand. This is what I am worrying about. My muscle still works I think, in that I can raise something light, but I am. Or able to lift something heavy.
 

KarenNWendyn

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You said, “I have read on here about people who felt their muscle getting weaker before not being able to move it.“

No Mathilda, that’s not how ALS works. If you read the sticky that says “read before posting”, then you’d know that ALS is about failing, not feeling.

You are apparently not believing us. You have our opinion. There’s really nothing more we can say to reassure you.

I urge you to go back and reread all the answers people here have given you and to reread the sticky.

After that, it’s best if you leave this forum and seek help for your health anxiety.
 

mathilda32

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Yes I see what you mean. I will take your advise and only come back if there are problems following my appts.
Thank you ��
 

mathilda32

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I was able to reach the doctor on call. I explained my symptoms and he told me to come in today as he felt this needed immediate attention :(
I will update after my appt. I am in the waiting room right now.
Has anyone had clinical weakness and not end up having als?
 

ShiftKicker

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Yes I see what you mean. I will take your advise and only come back if there are problems following my appts.
Thank you ��
Please let us know how it goes- I am sure you will be reassured.

Best
 

Bestfriends14

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You do not have ALS; of that I am certain. I do hope you will believe the neuro when he tells you and not find ways in which to argue the point of you possibly having it. That would be a poor expenditure of energy down the wrong path.
 

mathilda32

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I’m a mess. The doctor is worried and said I have pretty bsignificant weakness in my upper right arm. He’s sending me for an urgent neurological referral. I am devastated. I don’t n me what to don
 

Nikki J

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There are many many many reasons for arm weakness and ALS is at the bottom of the list of possibilities. You need to take a deep breath, step back and consider that it is probably both a localized issue and a fixable one. Please don’t assume the worst
 

lgelb

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Again, you might have reduced strength in that upper arm, but there are many more common explanations (like the ones ShiftKicker mentioned) for that apart from ALS. Try not to worry.

Best,
Laurie
 

mathilda32

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I know I’m being selfish becUse many if you have been diagnosed or deal with this. But I’m thinking of my kids especially my 6 month old daughter. I’m crying in my car.
 

Bestfriends14

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You do not have anything that points to ALS so getting yourself in a lather like this does you no good. I have severe weakness in my upper left arm and shoulder from a damaged nerve in my shoulder. I cannot hold groceries in that arm, cannot walk my dog on that side and cannot hold anything out with my arm raised for more than a few seconds. I know, though, that I do not have this disease. Initially in ALS, your limbs are affected distally, i.e. fingers in a pinch grasp or grip, for instance; not proximaly, such as upper arm.

May I ask how you knew the person who passed away from ALS? If you knew the person well, rationally you should be telling yourself that your symptoms do not add up to ALS as you would have seen this first hand. My apologies, I just saw that it was bulbar so my answer really did you no good. In ALS, if it does not affect the bulbar region, it will affect the limbs in a distal manner such as foot drop or inability to pinch things (buttons, zippers, nail clippers). I hope this has given you peace of mind.
 
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