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Author Topic: ALS fears are back  (Read 133 times)

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Offline dcmullets1

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ALS fears are back
« on: June 25, 2014, 02:29:06 PM »
Hi folks,
I kind of have been in a funk for a few months.  I have always had what I thought minor worry about contracting a disease that would be life altering or deadly.  I am a 38 year old male that lives a relatively healthy life. 

About a year and a half ago my dad died from a degenerative disease called MSA (multiple system atrophy).  At the time my oldest daughter was one and since then my wife and I had our second daughter 11 months ago.  When my dad passed the worry ramped up big time.  I started freaking out about death and getting a degenerative disease.  I was told by the doctors that treated my dad that MSA is not hereditary and just "awful luck".

Fast forward to the past 6 months.  I am worried that I have ALS.  I have had a few knee surgeries and still play many sports at a great pace.  I have had issues with my foot, calf muscles extremely tight, dorsi-flexion has been weaker.  That seems to have gotten a little bit better.

My left arm now feels weak, wrist feels tight, and I feel like I don't have the flexibility in my fingers of my left hand. (I am right handed)  I feel like I used my left hand "better" when I was younger.  I am constantly rolling my wrists checking strength to see if things feel correct. 

Is it possible for anxiety to make my arm feel this way?  Weaker, less flexibility?  Could I hyper focus on my limb to make it feel odd?

Thanks and I feel embarrassed and frustrated.
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Offline PandaNinja

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Re: ALS fears are back
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 03:26:19 PM »
I don't mean to downplay your fears at all, but I feel like by constantly rolling your wrist and checking, you could be feeding into an anxiety that is causing you Somatic symptoms. And the more you feed into that anxiety by checking, the more your brain says, "Hey, he's checking this all the time so this must be important", thus somatic symptoms and hyper-awareness of your body.

"The earliest symptoms of ALS are typically obvious weakness and/or muscle atrophy. Other presenting symptoms include trouble swallowing, cramping, or stiffness of affected muscles; muscle weakness affecting an arm or a leg; and/or slurred and nasal speech".

Now when they talk about weakness, they talk about clinical weakness. Too weak to stand, too weak to lift a glass of water, or too weak to lift your child. That kinda thing. Believe me, if you had the onset of this, you wouldn't be asking us. You'd be pounding on your doctors door. Also if you don't have any slurred speech or nasally speech, then I'd say that you're really in the clear. Try for a full day, not rolling your wrist and just going about your day as if nothing is going on. Your thoughts create your reality, so tell yourself "I am fine and am of perfect health" and repeat this affirmation throughout the day. Chances are if you get through that day without any symptoms, you are just fine. :)

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"Be on the watch, the Gods will offer you chances, know them and take them. You can't beat death, but you can beat death in life. Sometimes the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be. You are marvelous, and the gods wait to delight in you." - Charles Bukowski, The Laughing Heart

Online ShawnW

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Re: ALS fears are back
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 04:23:36 PM »
Yes, anxiety can produce all those symptoms.  You need a good neuro exam.  If it's normal put it to rest.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Offline Nk904

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Re: ALS fears are back
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 05:30:43 PM »
Shawn. Mind looking at my post/pictures?
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Offline thenomnomnomicon

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Re: ALS fears are back
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 05:59:18 PM »
Yes, anxiety can produce all those symptoms.  You need a good neuro exam.  If it's normal put it to rest.

Agreed.

Also, try to recognize how rare this disease actually is. Especially in someone your age; it isn't unheard-of, but exceedingly uncommon nonetheless.
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh

Offline madmexican808

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Re: ALS fears are back
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 06:39:08 PM »
let me add on to that, stay away from the A** forums or any support groups. sounds like common sense but many people end up going there asking about their problems.
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Offline sixpack

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Re: ALS fears are back
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 06:50:35 PM »
I don't mean to downplay your fears at all, but I feel like by constantly rolling your wrist and checking, you could be feeding into an anxiety that is causing you Somatic symptoms. And the more you feed into that anxiety by checking, the more your brain says, "Hey, he's checking this all the time so this must be important", thus somatic symptoms and hyper-awareness of your body.

"The earliest symptoms of ALS are typically obvious weakness and/or muscle atrophy. Other presenting symptoms include trouble swallowing, cramping, or stiffness of affected muscles; muscle weakness affecting an arm or a leg; and/or slurred and nasal speech".

Now when they talk about weakness, they talk about clinical weakness. Too weak to stand, too weak to lift a glass of water, or too weak to lift your child. That kinda thing. Believe me, if you had the onset of this, you wouldn't be asking us. You'd be pounding on your doctors door. Also if you don't have any slurred speech or nasally speech, then I'd say that you're really in the clear. Try for a full day, not rolling your wrist and just going about your day as if nothing is going on. Your thoughts create your reality, so tell yourself "I am fine and am of perfect health" and repeat this affirmation throughout the day. Chances are if you get through that day without any symptoms, you are just fine. :)


EXACTLY


There are so many people who come on this forum who fear ALS.  In the five years I have been a member  ZERO have had it.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state. 

Offline thenomnomnomicon

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Re: ALS fears are back
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 06:59:39 PM »
let me add on to that, stay away from the A** forums or any support groups. sounds like common sense but many people end up going there asking about their problems.

They're a waste of time ultimately. The information you end up with is really barely different than the information widely available. Of course you'll first scare the sh*t out of yourself before arriving at that conclusion.
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh

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