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May 5, 2006
Hi everyone, I hope this is the right place to post this.

I am an 18 year old female. Around December, I started feeling a strange weakness in my legs and arms, but I ignored it thinking it would go away. Well, it hasn't, and maybe 2 months ago I started having these weird twitches everywhere (like a small pulsation that lasts a couple seconds and then disappears), such as hands, legs, face, stomach. Soon after I felt like I was having trouble gripping my pencil in class. A couple days ago I noticed that my tongue feels kind of thick and I feel like I'm having trouble forming words.
I finally looked up all these symptoms and they all seem to point to ALS. I have been to my doctor about it, and she immediately wrote it off to anxiety. I insisted on a neuro appointment, which is in two weeks, but I'm driving myself insane over worry about this. Can anyone tell me if my fears are rational?

Hi Megan. The odds of an 18 year old having ALS are pretty slim. Most people with it are in their late 40 to mid fifties. That does not mean the chance is not there but it is statistically very high that you don't have it. There are a lot of other diseases that can present with similar symptoms. Wait for the Neurologist to test you bafore you freak yourself out. I know it sounds hollow but try not to worry. It doesn't help. The odds say you don't have ALS so try to stay calm and wait for the tests. We are here for support if you need it. Take care. Al.
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Thank you for responding so quickly. I know that what you say is true, that the odds are very low for me having it, but it's hard to think positively when everything I am feeling corresponds to the disease in question. I honestly have not seen much else in my searches that encompass all of the symptoms I am having.

I appreciate you saying that you are here for support, it does make me feel somewhat better.

Well, I've calmed down a lot from before when I posted the first time, so I think I should do a proper introduction. My first post was a little rude and I apologize for that, I think I worried myself into a frenzy :? .

My name is Megan, I'm 18 years old and I live in Connecticut. I've always had slight hypochondria, so any new symptoms tend to make me more upset than they should. Around November the psychiatrist put me on Celexa for anxiety, but the medication did not react well and I spent a week throwing up. It was soon after that that I had pain in all of my muscles...and when the pain subsided I was extremely weak all over. That weakness has never gone away and seems to just be getting worse and worse. The muscle twitching began over Spring vacation, and that hasn't gone away either. One more recent symptom (say over the last week) is difficulty feels like when I swallow, the food/drink doesn't go anywhere. And now this dry mouth/thick tongue over the past couple of days...

I will post back here after the neuro appointment on the 18th, but I don't know how much will be made clear after just one appointment. Still, it is good to know that there is a community out there for people going through such issues. Talk to ya'll,

Hello Megan,

I am sorry that you are going through all of these issues. I would have to say that Al is correct and I too doubt that ALS is what is causing these symptons.

You know something you said about this medication that you were taking in your second post would be something that I would have the doctor look into. It is possible that this medication caused this. Just cause you are not taking a medication any longer it does not mean that it is out of your blood stream. Talk to the doctor about that... I would also say that many of the things you have mentioned are things that can come with stress, anxiety, and many other disorders. The fact that you have been looking on the internet and worried that it could be something of this nature could be bringing on some of these sympotons. Trust me I know that I work myself into a frenzy all the time. I will have a panic attack and I wake up my hubby and tell him I am having a heart attack we have to go to the ER. I know what you are feeling is real and I am sure you are scared. However, it is important to stay calm, wait for the doctor to see you, and STOP searching the net... Come to this place and talk to others and we will do our best in helping you through this time.... You said you are from CT, I live in NY.... No to far.... I hope that you have family and or friends that can talk you through this time... What doctor are you going to see?


I only took 2 Celexa pills, and it's been several months. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't still be in my system/making my symptoms worse. I had been on Paxil prior to that for 4 years, and it only took one or two months for that to completely leave my system. I was drug free for a year before Celexa. But my anxiety has never been bad enough to actually _give_ me such long-lasting symptoms.

I am seeing Dr. O'Connell, he's a neurologist in Massachusetts.

Thank you for telling me about your anxiety. I guess it's just hard to believe that I could be making myself feel these symptoms.

Hi Megan. Al again. Just a shot in the dark here but are you a senior in high school just about ready to finish and maybe have to think about moving away for college. It was a long time ago but I do remember the anxiety I felt at 18 having to move away from my family. I was lucky enough to have a brother come with me. Like I said it's just a guess due to your age. I could be way way out to lunch here and maybe you might think I'm goofy for thinking that but I'm trying to think of other reasons you might be having problems and they are easier to fix than ALS. As Jennifer said try to stay off medical websites until you see the doctor. Try to stay calm. Think about kittens or puppies or the seashore or something that you really like when you start to think the things that get you worried. Try it, it might work.
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Hi Al,

No, I was a freshman in college this year, about to be home for the summer in 2 weeks.

Kittens and puppies...:lol:

That's good. Being at home in familiar surroundings with family and friends usually helps in difficult times.

Hello Megan,

Please, Please, Please, stay off the webstite. As you mentioned you thought you were a bit of a hypochondriac. If this is true, you can not read the internet in the right frame of mind. you will find every symptom and connect your self to it. It is a mind game your body plays on you when you are anxiou and have health anxiety. Your mind is a very strong organ, and it will play tricks on you. Wait to see what your doctors says and don't diagnose yourself. Weakness and muscle twitching is all symptoms of anxiety too. But if you are a worry wart you will hone in on the worst possible scenario and believe it.

Are you taking any antianxiety or antidepressant medicines now? You may need to get on something to calm your nerves and put you into the right frame of mind.

Hope this helps. NO INTERNET!

Terri (spud)
Now this forum is part of the internet too so you can still keep in touch just don't read anything about peoples symptoms. Read the happy topics. LOL. take care.
Hello Megan,

I was just thinking about ya today and wanted to see how you were doing? Hope you were able to think happy thoughts has Al advised:)

HMMMM so your 18 and you are going to a doc in Mass. This has to mean that you are close to so many interesting places.... Go and do things that you love and see if those symptons that have brought you to us have not gone away... Unti you dwell on them of course.... Start a journal and I bet you will start to see as you distract yourself that certain things will just fade and be nothing but a memory.... Before you know it your appoitment with the doc will be upon you. Go to the appt and then you deal with whatever it is that you need to deal with... WE will all still be here.

I do have 2 rules for you to follow:

1. No internet

2. If you choose to go see a baseball game you better not cheer for BOSTON :)

Terri--That is SO TRUE about the internet. What a blessing and a curse sometimes.:(

Hey all you Canadians--so sorry about the Expos:cry: , but we here in DC are so happy about having them here as the Nationals! :-D So Megan--root for the Nats if you're rooting for anyone! You too Jen!

i think

i think you should go have your tests. we here can not diagnosis you and you could possible have something going on or you could not i have only read about 4 peple around your age with als but i am no doctor. so you do what will give you piece of mind and don`t let people blow you off as a anxiety case so many doctors dothat now rather then look to see if something is going on. god luck:)

best wishes
Hey everyone, I took your advice and stayed off of this website until I had my neuro appointment. Now that I've had it, I thought I would report back.

Basically, all he did were strength tests and said that I was fine and that if things got worse, to come back. Obviously he was not very thorough about it. It seems like the swallowing has gotten worse, and now my whole leg will twitch intead of just the little tics I was having everywhere. Also, I feel like I'm having trouble comprehending some things and my memory is worse than it used to be. I guess I will just have to live with this because nobody seems to think that there's anything wrong with me.

Thank you all who responded while I was gone, I appreciate it :-D
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