Scared.

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eastcoastgrrl

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on Monday evening when holding my phone with just my left hand I noticed that my hand was shaking a bit. Freaked me out. Since then I have been paying extra attention to my left hand. Holding the phone again to see if my hand will shake again. So far it has not. In paying extra attention to my left hand I have noticed just today weakness in my left pinky finger when typing. And honestly, now I'm wondering if I even used to use my left pinky when typing, but it feels weak when i type. Of course I'm now overthinking my typing even as I type this! I do have a history of health anxiety and had a full blown panic attack the other night. Should I reach out to my PCP after the holiday weekend? Am I overreacting? It's kind of like when I press the shift key with my left pinky it feels weak and a little shaky. I will say when not typing I don't seem to notice it. And it's not with every key stroke/use of my pinky on the keyboard. And this was something i really noticed today.

Background on me: 43 yr old female. Decent health. Definitely history of health anxiety (to be honest). I think it just feels sometimes like ALS is everywhere- possibly partly due to my social media feed over the past month.

Thank you.
 

Nikki J

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Hi
first read this Important - READ BEFORE POSTING! Answers to common concerns about possible symptoms

second if you have a health concern go see a doctor

third pretty much everyone has a weak pinky unless you happen to be a pianist or someone who exercises it a lot.

fourth shaking slightly once should not have led you here. Since it did and you have known health anxiety it sounds like you need to address it ( again if you have been treated in the past). I know of no one whose ALS started that way.

I am sorry you are worried but please do not hang out here. This is a very dangerous place for someone prone to health anxiety. Good luck
 

ShiftKicker

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Hello-

It sounds like you have a pretty good understanding of your existing health anxiety and you may be experiencing a glitch in your ability to keep it under control right now.

We do ask that people read here: Read Before Posting first to make sure the questions they are asking have not already been answered. The first thing we always recommend is that people visit with their doctor if they have health concerns. However, having said that, your hyperfocus on your pinky function speaks of anxiety, so you might be better off addressing the anxiety. ALS is about failure. You don't report that.

Take care
 

eastcoastgrrl

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Hi Nikki. You are correct. I'm breaking my own rules after 10+ years of therapy (no online!). I started to google and stopped myself but then landed here. The pinky weakness just really freaked me out.

I have reached out to my therapist and scheduled an appointment for next week to address my anxiety. I guess it's always just this fear of what if this is the one time the bad thing happens.

I truly appreciate the response.
 

wishmobbing

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Kudos to you for already 10 years of not feeding your health anxiety online and contacting your therapist. Let this be a short relapse, much strength and farwell!
 

eastcoastgrrl

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Things seemed better. I tried not to think about stuff and my typing improved (after I took a weekend off to try to calm down). And no more hand shaking. A week and a half went by and I felt normal. Though I did notice a leg twitch and an arm twitch at bedtime. Then yesterday I was leaning on the counter with my left hand and it shook again. Just a few seconds. And typing today my pinky felt weak again and shook when I held it down on the shift key with it for an extended period of time. And I feel like there have been muscle twitches. Then I felt like I stumbled over a few words when speaking over the past 24 hours. Though no one else said anything even when I asked. Can things accelerate this fast? From not noticing anything 3 weeks ago to now this?

I called my PCP and my therapist yesterday. Had a virtual PCP visit and went over what happened. She had me run through some strength tests which went well. She offered to refer me for "scans" to alleviate my worry. But said she saw no reason for concern. Had a major panic attack last night. And now after the pinky incident about an hour ago, when I rest my face in my left hand, my lefth and feels weak and shaky. It hadn't felt like that before.

Is it too "early" to have this all checked out.

Having difficulty knowing what's real and what is anxiety. I'm so embarrassed and so scared. I promise I haven't been reading these boards and scaring myself. And I am sorry if this is inappropriate.
 

affected

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No things do not progress this fast, nor in this way and it was definitely not too early to be checked.
You MUST discuss all this with your doctor. Even if you are embarrassed, bringing it here to the terminally ill is truly not an appropriate way to receive the help only a doctor can give you.

I truly wish you all the best.
 

Nikki J

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I am sorry you are scaring yourself occasional issues like you describe ( and now you worry about speech) really are not how ALS presents. Should you pursue this? Your pcp said she thought you were ok but it did not reassure you. Would tests or another opinion reassure you ? Please consider this and discuss with your therapist what would be best for you. I can tell you that others in a similar situation do not seem to find comfort in spite of multiple tests and exams.
 

eastcoastgrrl

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Very fair points both of you. I am so sorry. I had my health anxiety under control for so long. I don't know why I'm failing at it right now. Like I said before, I am breaking my own rules again and again right now. I guess it's hard to see the line between something being really wrong and anxiety. I had gotten better at that.

Would a scan reassure me? Maybe. But the very idea of it terrifies me. I hear the logic in what you are saying and am calmer now. But that is obviously not your responsibility to calm me down. My guess is at least some of the subsequent things I have noticed could be attributed to anxiety as they seem to subside when I do some deep breathing and attempt to calm down or really focus on being calm. For instance, holding up my head/face with my left hand now feels pretty much normal as opposed to how weak and shaky it felt 15-20 minutes ago.

Thank you for responding.
 
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