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KBailey78

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Hi, I am posting about symptoms that I have been seeing in my father over the last 2 years.

He is 73.

He started having trouble swallowing his food about 2 years ago. He seen several doctors, and had a scope done, and it was brushed off as aging. He was told to chew his food better, and take smaller pieces. So he did. It still continues today. More recently he has also developed a metallic taste in his mouth that he says makes him nauseous.

He started tripping and falling about 18 months ago. He also started noticing hand weakness about the same time.

As the months progressed things began to get much worse. The tripping/falling continued. Hand weakness is now almost to the point that he cant open any bottles or even tear open a sugar packet. He has very little use of his hands now, as it seems the muscle between his thumb and forefinger has died. His hands relax into a claw like shape.

He developed a drop foot on his left side. He also lost the ability to use his left leg (no strength). He walks with the aid of a rollator walker, and basically drags his leg. Added to this he had a gun shot wound to his right leg when he was 16. So his right leg doesn't bend at the knee, and he can only walk on this leg with the aid of a brace.

About 3-4 months ago, he started to get fasciculations in his upper torso. The muscles in his arms, chest, abdomen, back, and neck will move voluntarily, and will get worse with increased activity.

He has bouts of sweating through out the day, and seems to get short of breath by simply pulling on his socks.

He has lost a tremendous amount of weight, and he hasn't tried to. If anything he tries to eat more to gain weight. His bones below his shoulders seem to protrude out from his back.

His posture is really bad, and when he stands I find him stretching out to try and straighten up.

Over the last few months I've also noticed a change in his voice. Even to the way his mouth moves when he talks. His speech is now nasally most of the time, and has to clear his throat several times throughout the day. Even the the way he smiles and laughs has changed.

He complains of his neck sometimes. He says it seems stiff and I find he slouches to his right side.

He has been seeing a orthopaedic surgeon, as they thought it was an issue with his hip. He had an MRI in March of this year, which was good, other than what his doctor thinks are pinched nerves. His doctor believes there is something else going on with him, besides a few pinched nerves.

He was recently referred to a neurologist, and we are waiting on an appointment for an EMG.

I'd appreciate any input. I'm almost positive he has ALS, but I guess we will not know for sure until a neurologist sees him and can provide a definite diagnosis.

ty
 

KarenNWendyn

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I’m sorry to hear about your dad’s symptoms. I agree that ALS is a definite possibility given the time course and progression of symptoms. However, there are some mimics of ALS that should be ruled out including malignancies, some autoimmune conditions, and cerebrovascular disease.

I would see if you could get the neuro appointment moved up as soon as possible. It also sounds as if he could use an AFO brace for the foot drop to help keep the foot from dragging. Meanwhile, maintaining (and hopefully gaining) weight is important. Soft foods, possibly with some input from a dietician, would be advisable.

Best of luck and keep us posted.
 

KBailey78

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Joined
May 11, 2018
Messages
3
Reason
Loved one DX
Country
CA
State
NL
Thanks.

He has the ankle brace, and uses it daily.

Its very hard to get the appointment moved up. The Canadian Health Care system is bogged. I call the EMG dept daily. Its frustrating. Thanks for your reply.
 
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