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Chikid

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Hello All, I would first like to thank you for your time and any responses I may get. I'm honored and humbled to be here. I'd like to preface this post with a disclaimer; I am a well documented hypochondriac. Although this disease is not nearly as traumatic as some of you with motor neuron disease, I suffer every day from mental anguish and it has affected every inch of my life. That was a bit deep, sorry for the gloom and doom.

I'm a 26 year old male with severe anxiety and panic disorder. 10 weeks ago I started having some symptoms that started in my right hand but have since moved around. My initial symptom was pain in the elbow, I mean bad pain. A few weeks later I had a tremor in my right thumb. It would move as if to a rhythm, non stop all day. Of course my search for answers led me to Parkinson's disease which I was convinced I had. (Hypochondria).

3 weeks later my thumb stopped tremoring and I was ready to move on. Then the first fasiculation was felt in my shoulder. It made the whole muscle move. I brushed it off but for the next 2 days it continued. Then my arms twitched. My bicep and triceps. Then my back, my legs and toes, my eyelids and forehead and cheeks - and yes even my butt (sorry I'm just trying to explain).. these twitches last a second. They 'pop' and move the muscle and then go away. One second in my arm, one second in my leg, then my back. Literally all day, ALL over.

I went to doc and did bloodwork and she cleared me of any electrolyte issues and laughed at me and told me to relax and go home. (She knows I'm a hypochondriac), and then a week ago I noticed my right ring finger does not lift up as high as the rest of my fingers. It gets 'stuck' and wont lift any higher. It gets about 3/4 of the way and then stops. I broke that hand twice boxing, but I only sprained that finger, and broke my pinky twice. Not sure if this couldve damaged my hand as it happened 8 years ago. After countless hours of reading this site and Google, I'm convinced I have ALS. I don't want to offend anyone here and I'm trying to be as respectful as possible.

I am a competitive weightlifter. I am I'm the gym lifting 6 days a week and also do cardio 6 days a week. I have not noticed any weakness at all, nor any slurring or swallowing issues. I have been relentlessly checking and doing strength tests of all kinds for 10 weeks waiting for weakness.

Despite my efforts to reassure myself that I am not any weaker I am convinced I have this terrible disease. My friends father is a neurologist and I briefly asked him about it and without any exam he scoffed at me and said I would not be able to lift weights if I had ALS.. and would see changes in 10 weeks and advised me to get in anxiety medicine for the "Fasciculations" and I'm fine.

I don't dont feel fine, I am suffering greatly and have not worked in 3 weeks. My life is falling apart. I am convinced this is ALS fasciculations and a dropped finger.

Any advice or insight is highly appreciated.
Please forgive me if I have offended anyone.
Thank you
 
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lgelb

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Chicago, get some help for your anxiety, like counseling and/or drugs. You need help to work, live and love, and to not suffer. You have a level of health that most here would give a great deal to have.

Asked and answered -- you do not have ALS, you have benign fascics and your finger issue may or may not relate to the previous injury. Go to a hand therapist, to whom your PCP can refer you, if it does not improve.

Best,
Laurie
 

Chikid

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Hello Igelb,
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am very grateful and feel terrible that I'm complaining about my symptoms when others are actually fighting for their lives. To me, this is real. It's irrational and to some, comical... But in my head I am always dying. I'm 100% convinced of it. It's terrible. I feel better knowing a moderator doesn't think this is cause for concern. Thank you again. Interested in what others have to say
 

Nikki J

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Agree with Laurie, your doctor and the neurologist friend. You urgently need help for your admitted health anxiety. You say you are suffering terribly. That is very sad. Health anxiety can ruin your life. I am told the best chance for effective treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. You need to address this. Even if you get past this ALS concern it is extremely likely you will move on to another illness. Good luck
 

Chikid

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Hi Nikki, thank you very much for your warm message. Yes, I am in bad shape. Without going into detail I completely agree and sadly know all too well how much mental anguish this disease can place upon me and others like myself.

I have thought I'm dying from *many* diseases in the past. Leading to endless research, body checks, doctors bills, failed relationships and a severely limited lifestyle. I have fears of everything. I'm very ashamed to admit this but want to be honest. I know this is not an anxiety forum. Thank you for your kindness & input.

After reading the 'read before posting' (I originally didn't see it Im sorry) I feel much better about my situation. As hard as my mind tries to fabricate this disease I just simply would not be able to do the things I do in the gym if I had this terrible disease. Until that changes I feel I can take a deep breath.
 

Nikki J

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Please please get help for your anxiety. If you have tried before try again. Find a cbt therapist. Commit to getting better. Spend your money on that rather than chasing diseases you do not have. My sister lived with ALS for almost 5 years, much of that time paralyzed and unable to speak. She got a lot of enjoyment out of life in spite of that. Do not waste what you have been given - good physical health
 

Chikid

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Nikki, I'm sorry about your sister. Isn't it ironic, I'm the 240 pound weightlifter and she is a girl in a wheelchair.. but she's the lion, and I'm the kitten. God bless her.
 

Chikid

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Today I woke up for the first time in 10 weeks and did not dread being awake. Today I feel that I am healthy, and even if it may only last for a short time, it's worth its weight in gold. Thank you to the moderators that commented promptly and kindly.
 
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Chikid

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Hello All,
Unfortunately I am back and have some updates that I need help with. My all over body twitching is still giving me issues but it has gotten better, instead of constant pops everywhere it is more localized to arms, back and legs instead of face and lips and everywhere else. Once a minute or so, not constant.

My hand that has the finger issue isn't getting better but isn't getting worst. Many days I feel like my thumb is now getting tired and feels weird but I have to remind myself that it's not a 'feeling' process it's a doing process. I have no grip weakness at all.

New symptoms:

I have some issues when drinking liquids in the morning. This has been going on for 6 months and I never thought about it. The liquid doesn't affect my throat though, I feel it In my chest. I have to pause for a second or two to let the water fully go down as it seems to be 'tight' there. This is not every time I drink, and never any issues with food. Is this the start of dysphagia?

The newest symptom and perhaps the most frightening is when I go to sleep at night I always 'jerk'. I have not done this in the past. My arms will shoot up or my body will jerk just before falling to sleep. Maybe once or twice as I doze off. It's like a full body jerk and it's very pronounced. What could this be? Stress or something more sinister?


I'm still working out 6 days a week with my heavy lifting and getting stronger. I'm sprinting and running as well without issues with any muscles. But the swallowing is really concerning me. It's not an inability to swallow but I have to pause the first couple gulps and then it's fine.

Please forgive me if this sounds insane and nothing like NMD but I am convinced this is the onset because of my severe hypochondria. I have also recentlt been medicated for my anxiety but it takes time. Thank you all.
 
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WendyWooG

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Chikid,

It's really doesn't sound like anything to do with ALS, well done for starting treatment for your anxiety.

I wish you lots of luck for the future.

Wendy x
 

ShiftKicker

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Many drugs can cause the symptoms you are describing. Anti anxiety meds have side effects such as myoclonic jerks, peripheral nerve sensitivity and the like. I think you know that you are in the wrong place already. Strength does not improve when it comes to MND.

While your symptoms must be deeply troubling for you, Motor Neuron Disease is not what you have. Please don't ask terminally ill people and their care givers to provide you emotional support as you search for answers. That is inappropriate. Your best source of help is your family doctor.
 

Chikid

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Thank you both for your responses. I have been dealing with the issues for roughly 3 months and have only been on anti anxiety medicine for 2 days. I apologize for using this community as a sounding board for my mental issues. Please forgive me. Thank you
 

bigmark1954

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Thank you both for your responses. I have been dealing with the issues for roughly 3 months and have only been on anti anxiety medicine for 2 days. I apologize for using this community as a sounding board for my mental issues. Please forgive me. Thank you
Why don't you just go to a neurologist and get screened. If that neuro thinks your symptoms are likely MND, he or she will refer you to a local ALS clinic.

This isn't rocket science, if you are that uptight about your symptoms you need to address the situation properly. Expecting us to diagnose you just ain't gunna happen.

Have a happy holiday........................................
 

Chikid

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HI Bigmark64. I am no longer working and have been to a wide variety of doctors and specialists, including the ER countless times for other diseases I was deeply convinced I had due to my hypochondria.. It has nearly bankrupted me. I decided I'm not going again until I have a real reason to go. That's when I decided to reach out here and get advice from people who have first hand knowledge on this.


If I had gone to ER for twitching it would've easily been $10k for EMG, MRI, etc. Thank you everyone for your help. I will refrain from posting unless I have a real reason to. What I have learned here keeps ringing in my head, if I can continue to be a competitive weightlifter there is no way I have this disease. And it's not a feeling process, (feel weak, numb, sore,) it's a doing process (CANT lift things, CANT grip, CANT walk) this eases my anxiety.
 
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