I will start by saying I have an extensive history of anxiety and depression in my family. Both my mother and father have it. And my mother and her mother have nondiabetic peripheral neuropathy. So much of what I have been experiencing may very well be the product of one or both of these things. Other than that, there have been no other family history of illness.
For the past week I've been having weakness in my legs causing me to feel off balance. I haven't fallen over or had to catch on to something (yet), but I feel like I have to put significantly more effort into holding myself up. At times, I can even feel my thigh muscles contracting more than usual while I'm standing. There have been several occasions where I've bumped into a door frame or against a counter top. I usually write that off as sheer clumsiness, because it has happened a lot and not only just recently. But with these new symptoms it's causing the alarms to go off. It almost feels as if I'm losing control of some of the muscles in my legs and the other ones are having to compensate. My thighs just feel tired, sore off and on, and just recently, full of twitches.
Just before the symptoms began, I had a pretty rough day at work, and my job can be physically demanding at times. I had to haul an 80 pound extension ladder over my shoulder across a front yard and around the side of the house through some really squishy mud. A plumber had just recently dug up about 6 feet of earth to fix a water leak and simply filled the mud back in. It was a nightmare trying to set that ladder. They also had a little hatch in the hallway for the attic access which I must have climbed into about 20 times (no exaggerating) trying to fish a cable down a wall. On top of all this I don't exercise regularly or do any lifting, other than the usual walking from truck to and around the customer's house and into attics. I also almost NEVER carry that damn ladder. It was extremely heavy for me.
So the very next day I noticed a mild sense of weakness in my legs. I knew I had worked myself to death the day before, so I just ignored it. I managed to make it through the next several days doing my normal every day tasks, mostly ignoring the weakness. It didn't really start bothering me until I had given it a few days and not noticed any improvement. I suppose it didn't help much that I ran a mile and a half and walked another mile just 2 days later.
The weakness doesn't seem to be getting worse, but it also doesn't seem to be improving either (it has been just over a week now). I just started to notice the twitching a few days ago, and it hasn't stopped. I mostly feel it in my left thigh and calf, but I also at times feel it in my right leg, sometimes my biceps and fingers, and most seldom, parts of my face. Sometimes I get a sensation of a tight band around my forehead. I never notice it during activity and I can't recall any twitching immediately after running. It only shows up while I'm sitting or standing idle.
I've also had some weakness in my arms which seems to have subsided, and my fingers don't feel as "fluid" as normal. I'm currently typing this thread pretty quickly with very little trouble, but sometimes it's hard to maneuver an individual finger a particular way. My hands and fingers just feel "tight" and somewhat "apprehended" in a way. I have a pretty consistent strong grip though. I haven't been dropping things, although my glass mug feels pretty heavy. I have had intermittent sensations of difficulty swallowing and speaking. Sometimes while I'm talking my neck muscles get tired, and my voice feels like it's going horse. It doesn't seem to be very consistent, and from what I've read about als, once the muscles are gone, they're gone.
Oddly enough I've been able to run a mile and a half two times this week. I ran on Sunday (which was just a couple of days after that tough day at work) and again yesterday. I don't notice any sense of feeling off balance while I'm running. I really only notice it while I'm standing still or walking. I can lift myself from a complete squat without much trouble, but I always have a fear every time I'm getting up because I don't want to be reminded that my legs feel weak. I was also able to knock out about 30 pushups in less than a minute the other day, and my arms didn't feel like jelly or burned out, but sometimes simply lifting my toothbrush creates a sensation of heaviness in my arm. I can't make sense of it.
My first trip to the gp was about 2 weeks ago for feelings of dizziness and depersonalization, before the leg fatigue came about. We did the basic strength tests, vertigo tests, and blood work. They tested for sodium, sugar, and a few other things which all came back normal, except for my white blood cell count which was "a little low". Those feelings pretty much just went away after a few days. I attributed it to anxiety/depression. I used to get them all the time.
My visit today consisted of the same strength tests. I stressed to the dr that I was terrified I had als or ms. He seemed pretty matter of fact about it due to my blood and strength tests but ordered an mri anyway.
MRI came back clean and white blood cell count is even lower than last time. They reassured me I could wipe als and ms from my mind, and they want me to come back one more time in 3 weeks to see if it's still decreasing and then turn it over to a hematologist.
I'm still concerned, because I've read that als doesn't show up on an mri, and my leg symptoms are really starting to seem consistent with the symptoms I've read about. (muscle weakness and twitching, specifically in one area. And right now I feel most of it in my left leg) I don't mean to undermine the dr, but he just seemed to unconcerned with it even being a possibility. And it's Friday. And he even tried to suggest that my white blood cell count might be the result of him telling me to start back on my antidepressant, which I haven't taken even since the first dr visit, and he just told me that TODAY. Oh, and he asked me the same question twice during the checkup "Do you ever feel like you're about to pass out?" And he asked it like he completely forgot he had just asked me 5 minutes prior. It didn't sound like a reassurance question. Maybe an honest mistake. I don't know. But I just got an overall feeling of unconcern this visit, which is disappointing, because he seemed so much more attentive during the first visit.
I want to stop browsing the internet because I know it's not helping me. I've seen a medical professional and gotten my answer, but why isn't it enough? Why do I feel like no matter how nice and seemingly attentive they are, they're being careless in some way? Or I forgot to mention one or two symptoms that would have been a determining factor? And why do they seem so matter of fact about the white blood cell count thing? It points to an autoimmune problem, and I'm having other symptoms of an autoimmune problem, but they just say "come back in three weeks and we'll see if it goes up." This is the second visit and it is down even more. I figure that's enough to warrant action. But I'm not a dr.
I'm just getting fed up with being consumed in worry, and fed up with these freakin twitches. They are driving me crazy! I'm forcing myself to go out with friends tonight. If I trip and fall, so be it. It seems anxiety and BFS can cause all of these symptoms.
In this unnecessarily long thread all I'm really wondering is: Can als be picked up in an MRI? Do I need to wipe it from my mind regardless of my symptoms?