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Bcat24

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Hello -

First off, I apologize for the novel. I am just a very detailed person and want to outline exactly what I am experiencing and why I am starting to worry.

I have been reading this forum for the past 2 months as I originally began having 24/7 twitches in both my calves. This was also accompanied by muscle fatigue in both my triceps. I have read the many discussions on the fact that there is no need to worry about muscle twitching if it isn't accompanied by another other symptoms. I have seen the posts regarding perceived weakness vs clinical weakness. I have also read the sticky post numerous times.

My dad has been diagnosed with ALS for 2 years and is nearing the end of his valiant battle. I have had many conversations with him about his disease and progression. I haven't said a word to him about my current symptoms as he doesn't need any more stress in his life right now.

I hesitate to post but I would like to see what input I may get back. To start, I am 34. I went in to see my PCP in late December where he observed my constant calf twitches. He was no help as I told him that my dad currently has ALS and his response was "SHIT!" I left his office and applied for additional life insurance and I am currently waiting for that policy to get approved before I can explore this any further with a health professional so I haven't been checked by a Neurologist yet.

Over the past three weeks I have been experiencing muscle stiffness and soreness in my thighs (both legs) and arms (both arms/triceps and shoulders). I also tire out very easily and my muscle begin to get sore immediately after any exertion. If I do a couple push-ups they immediately get sore and achy. I normally can bust out 20+ push-up per rep and do about 100+ per session. The odd thing is my calves don't really feel sore and those are the muscles that twitch non-stop.

My muscles also twitch sporadically (both in my arms and legs) but mainly only after I exert any energy. Also, if I flex my triceps or thighs, they almost immediately start twitching. The twitching in my arms/legs are more defined and noticeable whereas the ones in my calves are less noticeable and have more of the crawling feeling. I have had extreme soreness in both my arms, thighs any my butt over the past three weeks and I haven't done any real exercise. I have done ice/heat on the muscles and they get a bit better but then with any additional minimal exercise they get bad again.

When I go to sleep my body feels very weird. It is almost like a minor dull stinging feeling in my arms and legs. When I wake up in the morning my body is extremely sore. Not a sore like I used to get when I did a big workout but an odd soreness I find it hard to explain. My fingers are also stiff when I wake up and stay somewhat stiff all day.

I don't feel like I am experiencing any clinical weakness at the point. I have noticed I drop some things here there but everyone does. I do feel like I am experiencing progressive weakness of some kind. What scares me the most is I have read a few things on two very reputable websites (ALS Association and MDA.org) that worry me regarding what I see as progressive weakness.

ALS Association:
"Gradual onset, generally painless, progressive muscle weakness is the most common initial symptom in ALS. Other early symptoms vary but can include tripping, dropping things, abnormal fatigue of the arms and/or legs, slurred speech, muscle cramps and twitches, and/or uncontrollable periods of laughing or crying."

MDA.org:
"Muscles may be weak and soft or stiff, tight and spastic. Muscle cramping and twitching (fasciculations) occurs, as does loss of muscle bulk (atrophy).
Symptoms may be limited to a single body region or mild symptoms may affect more than one region."

The combination of the twitching, extreme fatigue/soreness and tightness in my muscles are what I am worried about. What doesn't make sense to me is how it has basically hit my legs and arms on both sides of my body almost at the same time. It seems like it wouldn't affect basically my entire body all at once.

I know I need to get checked out by a neuro to get any real answers I am just wondering if my symptoms point to something else that I may not even been thinking about. Obviously, with my dad having ALS that is my biggest fear. He didnt have the hereditary gene though so my chances should be the same as anyone elses.
 

Atsugi

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Nope.

Frankly, Bcat24, it sounds like a normal shitty period of life, actually. Stress , snoring, overweight, nutrition, depression, etc. But ALS, no, I don't see that.

Your post focused on how your muscles feel. Sore and tired. Then they get better. Then worse. That could be a lot of things, but not THE DESTRUCTION OF MOTOR NERVES IN THE BRAIN, which is what ALS is.

I would be concerned if, one day, you stood up out of bed and noticed that the toes on your right foot no longer could lift up. It wouldn't have any feeling to explain it. Not sore, not tired, not weird, nothing unusual. Just one day, you can't lift your toes off the floor, no matter what you do. It doesn't get better. You can't "think it" or "will it" to move. It just doesn't go. The toes lay there, useless. THAT would concern me. Getting sore and tired easily, that's something else entirely.
 

lgelb

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No, I don't see ALS, either. Very sorry to hear about your dad. As you point out, since he has a sporadic form, your chances have changed only fractionally and your age would make it very rare to begin with. And the four-limb onset, etc. doesn't support it at all.

I would consider your sleep, stress, exercise, nutrition and fluid balance very carefully, and grab a massage and/or walk in the woods. You have a lot to ruminate about and it's not unusual for your muscles to ruminate along with you. Let us know if we can support you as a caregiver in any way.

Best,
Laurie
 

Bcat24

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Thank you, Mike and Laurie, for your quick response back. I appreciate all the advice you give throughout this board. It is very helpful.

My body and mind are definitely going through a lot right now. I am definitely not overweight but most of the other things you guys mentioned fit the bill. I mainly became worried because of the way I saw my dad's onset. His tongue and arms were affected first so I saw his speech deteriorate pretty quickly. However, he was able to do a lot with his arms before he was unable to lift them so it wasn't a case to where one day he just couldn't lift something. It was a pretty gradual decline. In fact, we went out deep sea fishing a few months after his diagnosis and he was able to reel in a 40 lb fish on his own. He has also experienced a ton of soreness along the way so that is what triggered my anxiety.

Obviously, being a son to someone who has ALS give me some sense of PTSD. I have stayed as grounded as possible. It is just nerve wracking to experience a few similar symptoms that my father did during the early stage of his battle. There are 100x more differences than similarities to his onset from what I am experiencing and I know I am only focusing on the few similarities. I never discussed all the specifics of everything he was experiencing so I am not saying I am going down the same path as him. I know I only know part of his story. I am sure I have some similarities to those who have had other major diseases like heart disease and what not and I am not worried I have one of those diseases.

I am not trying to convince myself or talk myself into thinking I have something bad. It is obviously reassuring to have those who have dealt, or had close loved ones who have dealt, with this horrible disease give me positive feedback. My initial instinctive fears just lead to curiosity if there was anyone on here who has experienced the same things.

--Jon
 
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