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warhog6g

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Hello all and thank you for the support you provide.

First off a little background on me. I am a male who is about to turn 30. I was a soldier for 8 years. I did deploy overseas to Afghanistan in 08-09. Three weeks after I returned home I found out I was to become a CALS. My father fought for almost exactly three years before succumbing to ALS in 2012. It was devastating on all of us especially my mother.

Recently (within the last 2 weeks) I have noticed my left leg feeling weaker. My left knee popped rather unpleasantly a couple of times just walking around at work and after the second time was quite sore for a couple days. I had a knee surgery to repair a significant meniscus tear on my left knee in 2011. There was a 6 month time gap between the injury and the surgery (long story not relevant here) and the leg atrophied a noticeable amount. Fast forward to today, as stated before I have had what feels to be weakness in my left leg. It feels that it is weak enough to impair my gait although I haven’t really tripped or fallen more than usual. I have been having fasciculation’s in my left calf that have been somewhat persistent not to mention obnoxious. My wife noticed that my left leg is smaller than my right leg (honestly I couldn’t tell you if it is still atrophied since my knee surgery). I know even if I did have ALS the symptoms would not progress this quickly. I know everyone gets fasciculation’s from time to time. I want to think that I just re-injured my knee and that is what is causing all of this, but what if my leg muscles weakened that that’s what caused the knee to pop?

What I am worried about is that all of these are eerily similar to my dad’s symptoms around the time of diagnosis. While I guess it could be something else; the weakness, the fasciculation’s, the impaired gait, and the atrophy just all fit. What I do have going for me is that my father and I were not biologically related so there isn’t a chance that he passed any hereditary gene on to me. I just wish that it didn’t take so darn long to see a neurologist!

I know that was a little long winded and I would like to thank everyone for their time. I know how terrible this disease is and I want all CALS and PALS to keep fighting the good fight and never give up.
 

Atsugi

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I'm sorry to hear you're worried, Warhog. And thanks for serving. (I did, too. We have many vets here.)

You description doesn't make me worry about ALS.

You said you supposed that it could be something else. Yes, in fact, ALS, as you know, is rare. It probably is something else.

It's very common for those of us who have been on the CALS journey to worry about our own health, and worry about ALS symptoms in ourselves. I, myself, worried about ALS for a year after my wife died. Every weakness made me stay up at night. It went away.
 

lgelb

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WH,
First, my condolences on the loss of your dad. I'm glad you were able to be with him and I'm sure he was, too.

As you say, since you were not biologically related, your problems are unlikely to connect with his. And you are very young, though not impossibly so, for ALS.

More to the point, you have a history of prior injury, followed by atrophy and later surgery, to the knee in question. I don't know how much PT you had afterward, but if the knee was not properly rehabbed it could certainly cause problems years later esp. if you are not stretching it enough before daily activity. And in trying to protect your knee, you could certainly cause tension in your calf.

I would see an orthopod, perhaps the one who did your knee if s/he's still around. Meanwhile, you might try a knee sleeve to protect the joint somewhat -- not the cheap pullover kind, but the kind with velcro that you fit snugly.

Best,
Laurie
 

warhog6g

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Thank you for the quick responses.

Atsugi - Good to hear that you don't worry it's ALS, it's just hard to shake that feeling you know?

Laurie - I did some PT but certainly not as much as I should have. I have been active since then though and my knee would more or less feel ok.

I feel I should have elaborated on something. The feeling of weakness in my leg is also accompanied by pain/ache. Not sure this new info makes a difference or not but bottom line I can't rest easy until I know what is going on (hopefully nothing but getting older :) )

It's ironic, I am a therapist and I spend the majority of my day helping people with their problems but at the end of the day it's almost like I can't help myself with my own problems no matter how hard I try. Very frustrating!
 

Atsugi

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"The feeling of weakness in my leg is also accompanied by pain/ache."

Perhaps you need to read the sticky post at the top of this subforum called "New Members..."

You're not describing ALS.
 

Atsugi

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bump to the top
 

warhog6g

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So quick update, the twitching is still around and it is all over my body (back, abdomen, legs, arms, even my jaw) but it is mostly in my legs. I am also having twitches that I can see but not feel in the muscle on the back of my hand between my thumb and forefinger. I still feel weak and worn out all the time.

I finally got in to see a neurologist to see what the heck is going on. He noticed a bit of weakness in my big toe on my right foot, and my reflexes on my left leg were noticeably stronger than my right. He told me to come back next week for an EMG. He was non-commital when I asked him if he thought there was anything wrong. I am hoping the EMG is him being thorough.

What questions should I be asking him with regards to the EMG results and my condition in general?

Thanks in advance.
 

lgelb

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See sticky on getting a dx. In brief, ask what are we considering possible dx/ruling out/how & why? An EMG is used to evaluate many possible conditions, so don't jump back to ALS at this point.
 

warhog6g

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Quick update, had an EMG this morning and I am happy to say it was clean, albeit a bit unpleasant. The Dr said it looked like BFS benign facsiculation syndrome. I had done some research and was really hoping that was the answer and today pretty much confirmed it. Seriously people who think that they have ALS, research BFS and hopefully it can put some of your anxiety to rest. Here is a link to a pretty informative website about BFS and why you don't have ALS. You can't register as they apparently have stopped accepting new accounts but it's an informative resource nonetheless. Thank you to the PALS and CALS on this board for all you do for the support community.

AboutBFS.com ? Index page
 

Atsugi

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Great outcome. Thanks, warhog.
 
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