About a month ago, I noticed some weakness and unsteadiness in my legs.
I was working as a cable installer, which at times could get really physical. In fact, just before I noticed the weakness, I had one of the most intense jobs in the year and 4 months I had been working there. I had to haul a 24' extension ladder (about 80 lbs, and I'm a small guy) across a small yard and around the side of the house through 6 ft of mud (they had just refilled a 6ft hole from working on water lines). I probably spent an hour messing with that ladder trying to set it in the mud. I was also up and down a small hatch into the attic around 20 times. While I was hauling the ladder back to my truck, I lost my balance on my right foot and had to catch myself due to the unsteady terrain, but quickly recovered. I didn't notice any pain or other odd sensations at the time.
I tried to ignore the leg weakness for a week; was even able to jog a mile and a half twice that week, but it wasn't improving, and just a few days into the week I noticed the twitching. It started in both the tops of my calves and thighs, but I noticed it mostly in the left leg. Naturally, I became curious and googled my symptoms... and of course the first thing you see on the searches with leg weakness and twitching is ALS.
I paid my GP a visit. He didn't seem too concerned, especially after doing the basic neuro push/pull test, but went ahead with an MRI which came back normal. I must also add about a week prior to this GP visit (just before I noticed the leg weakness) I paid a visit to him for constant dizziness. They tested for potassium, sodium, and wbc. WBC was a little low, everything else normal. The dizziness has completely gone away.
They did the same blood test again, WBC was even lower than last time, but they said they wanted to wait 3 weeks and test it again before referring me to a hematologist.
It has been nearly a month since I noticed the initial weakness, and I have not seen any consistent improvement. There have been a few moments where my strength seemed to be returning, but they're always short lived. All I have to do is stay on my feet for more than 10 minutes or so. The twitching appears everywhere now: feet, thighs, calves, shoulders, butt, back, abs, forearms. Sometimes, and especially if I move my legs a certain way, I can feel a buzzing/vibrating deep in my thighs, but still mostly in the left. It feels exactly like a cell phone vibrating. Last week I was able to walk about a half mile at a music festival and had to sit down because my legs were shaking like crazy. After sitting for about 2 hours, I was able to make the half mile walk back to the car, legs shaking and all.
There has also been some intermittent weakness and heat in my arms and just an over all awkward feeling in my fingers. I haven't noticed it as much lately.
The problem is starting to become most apparent in my left knee. It feels stiff and sometimes pops. There is some pain if I move or twist it a certain way, or press in the right area, but the most prevalent symptom is weakness right above the knee in my thigh. It doesn't take much for it to start shaking. I find myself holding my weight on my right leg while standing, and attempting to walk normally just feels awkward.
I have not fallen (yet), although sometimes I feel off balance and have to put extra effort into holding myself up. I often catch myself reaching for doorways and other objects for support. I think that might just be out of fear. I can wiggle my feet and toes effortlessly, and I can even stand on my toes and briefly hop on one foot on each leg.
From what I've read, it doesn't sound like the classic signs of ALS right now, but I'm afraid I may be in the beginning stages and it's only a matter of time before I lose my left leg, especially since the weakness seems to be getting worse. Then again, I keep telling myself I may have suffered an injury at work without realizing it. But why would that cause weakness? I figure I would be in pain, but not shaking as if I had just leg pressed a thousand pounds. Or maybe I am suffering muscle atrophy in my left leg and it's putting more strain on my knee, so my knee is hurting as a result? Or is the low WBC related to an autoimmune problem causing the weakness?
Does anyone know of something else that could be causing these symptoms? I'm otherwise a very healthy 28 yr old male. The only family history of medical problems include depression, rls, and non diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
I'm forcing myself to continue just living my life best I can. What else can ya do? I'll be returning to the GP on monday hopefully with a referral to the proper specialist. I love to go jogging, and I can't right now. Sometimes I feel like I never will again. I hate to be so dark, but it's tough when just doing things around the house is a challenge.