Join Date: Jun 2012
Its not always bad news!!
I am a 41 year old Irish guy, tall and fairly fit, I have suffered from health anxiety in the past for sure, and this is my cautionary tale about ALS, or more accurately, imagined ALS. about 4 months ago, i started to notice a strange weakness in my left arm, very episodic, not regular, also I thought i became aware of dropping items with that hand. around the same time a well know sports commentator here in Ireland was diagnosed with ALS and went public with the disease, and that's where the boundaries between reality and my imagination really began to get blurred, i began to develop facciculations in my hand, then my arm and eventually all over my body, these were quite noticeable and in my mind absolutely confirmed my deepest fears. I of course was spending a lot of time online, researching ALS, PLS, etc etc etc, forum after forum, evaluating my hand muscles, looking at my kids hands, checking my arms in the mirror, learning how to perform neuro exams, on myself!!, over the months the symptoms became worse, stiffness in my left shoulder, weakness in my hand, inability to manipulate small objects, eventually every single action of my left hand became the focus of my life, an all day observation on the lookout for ALS symptoms. i became depressed, anxious and was absolutely convinced i was dying of ALS, more research, more symptoms. i finally plucked up the courage to attend you Doctor, who reassured me but also explained that ALS was a terrible diagnosis, he ordered the Neuro exams etc and i attended the local hospital, all through this episode i remained convinced that i was finished, despite his reassurance and that of my wife, this was an all consuming obsession. about a week later i attended the Neurologist, he performed the relevant exams, babinski etc, he thought i had nothing to worry about but said he would perform the full range of tests, CT, MRI, EEG etc, all through these tests i was absolutely terrified, always looking for a negative even on the positives, afterall, i was actually feeling this, and i was terrifed. about a aweek after the tests i was called back to the Neuros office, and i was very scared. he wanted to perform the needle eeg on the muscles on my left side, the ones i had the trouble with, he did the test and then called my wife into the office, at this stage my mouth was dry and i was feeling very worried. he then announced that all my tests were perfectly normal, MRI, CT, needle EEg, exams, muscles, everything, he told me i may have benign facciculation syndrome, made worse by stress, but i certainly did not have ALS, PLS, or any motor neurone disease. i left the office dazed, my wife looked at me in a " i told you so " way, although she was reieved as i was, now here i am sitting here, writing this to you guysout there, that was maybe a month ago, and all my symptoms are completely gone, no waekness, very rarely some twithcing, no problems with dexterity, nothing, i actually havent thought about it untill i sat o write this down, i just really felt i should share this with you, and anyone worrying about ALS, its actually very very rare, and just as the disease can destroy you body, your mind can actually destroy your life if you dont take control of your health anxiety. personally i am now attending a therapist to try to tackle this, I just wanted to share my story, while ALS is a very real and cruel disease, its not always bad news, and more ofetn than not its good news. thanks....