early onset ALS?

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early onset ALS?

Postby thescream on September 29th, 2002, 6:03 am


I am so glad that I found this site. I am 22 years old and I developed twitching, literally, overnight in my left leg about 1 month ago. It then spread to my entire body within 2 days. Being a hypochondriac, this is probably the worst thing that could have ever happened to me because as most of you know, when you search on the internet for fasciculations, nothing nice comes up.

I was so depressed about it that I could not function. Ironically, I have not been able to study for my upcomming MCAT exam. I have not been able to interact with my friends or family (typical depression). My fiancee got so fed up with it she somehow got me an appt. with a neuro immediatly. He gave me an an exam and EMG and said that I had no chance of any neurological disease and the my fasciculations were benign.

As I search the internet for answers (hours on end).. I cannot find a discreet distribution chart for the ages that people develop ALS. I figured it would help me cope with my anxiety using probabilities.

My question is, at 22, a negative EMG, and having similar twitching symptoms as the rest of you... am I in the clear?

Thanks for you comments and thank you for this site. I have never been this depressed before in my entire life and this site has given me hope.

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Postby david1234 on September 29th, 2002, 9:51 am

I am sorry to hear about your situation...

I developed these twitches, like you, all of a sudden, a couple months ago and lost just about my entire summer due to depression. I'm 28, work in New York City and was a very happy individual until July this year when everything happened to me.

Dealing with the twitches is one thing...and dealing with anxiety/depression is another. There's not a whole lot to say about the depression except that you WILL snap out of it and you WILL get better from the twitches (even if they take some time to diminish). I am clearly not through my periodic episodes where my mood changes from good to poor but I'm getting better and so WILL you. I don't think benign twitches CAUSE ALS or anything else for that matter...and from what I understand, the EMG test is very good and if that comes up clear then you are most likely fine.

My fiance has been very supportive through this although at times it definitely stresses her out. It is VERY important that you get your fiance to support you...you need support during this time.

STUDY for those MCATs....because as soon as you get over your depression/anxiety/whatever you want to call it, you will want to get back to zooming along in life. I know it's hard...BELIEVE ME, I know. I could barely function for weeks and even now, I'm not one to talk... Do you have trouble sleeping? I know I do. Do you exercise regularly?

There's no 2 ways about it...the situation completely stinks. You have a wedding to plan, MCATs to take and who needs this stuff getting in the way??? HOWEVER, as I said before, you WILL get through it. A psychologist might be able to help a bit...I never dreamed of seeing one in my whole life and now I have seen one a few times.

Best of luck.


wake up and gasp

Postby thescream on September 29th, 2002, 1:28 pm

Thanks for the reply,

My fiancee has been wonderful with dealing with me and I am very grateful for that. She pretty much took over our wedding planning for the last month. She would make me get in the car and ride around with her yet I wasn't much help as I sat in the passenger side and contemplated my impending death. It's hard to plan a wedding when you are 100% sure you will be dead within 5 years because of ALS.

Now that I have found this site and been checked out by my doctor I am doing a little better. I still wake up in the morning and gasp for air because I am so anxious about it though. My fear seems to diminish if I get myself out of bed and push on with the day. Yet, I still am constantly thinking about my physical symptoms.. trying to measure if my muscles are weak.. that kind of stuff which I am sure you know what I am talking about.

I have thought about seeing a therapist or psychologist because this is not the first time a physical symptom has put me over the edge. I have always been a hypochondriac. It's very unlucky for someone like me to develop a disease that doctors cannot explain and might be the first signs of something really horrible

I would like to try and stay off as many drugs as I can though and I'm assuming that is what a psychologist would give to me if I went and saw him.

Thanks for the reply.
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Postby Twitchy Georgy on September 30th, 2002, 2:01 pm

thescream, in reading your posts, I could swear that I'm reading my own life! I too am a:

1. hypochondriac in my twenties
2. engaged to be married
3. suffering the exact same symptoms
4. trying to plan a wedding and while believing that I will be dead in about five years

Fortunately, I think you have more to be relieved about since you have a clean EMG (i'm getting one done in about 3 weeks, so I have to endure until then)...A clean EMG will always indicate no ALS... Period. Arron, can back me up on this (he knows A LOT about this subject)..

My suggestion is just to consult a psychiatrist/psychologist depending on how eager you are to be put on meds....I'm currently doing it the hard way (seeing a psychologist with no meds) since I had a very freaky experience when I was put on Celexa a few months ago. Also, I sometimes find that occupying your mind with the marriage planning seems to calm me somewhat... Granted it should be causing some stress, but compared to thinking about ALS and having the fate of Lou Gherig, it's definitely a stress-reducer...
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Postby Jen on October 4th, 2002, 6:56 pm

Thescream, don't assume that a psychologist will automatically put you on meds. I thought the same thing when I first consulted one years ago. One of my therapist's first questions to me were, "Do you want to do this with or without medication?". She gave me the pros and cons, and I was very happy to go without the meds. I made great progress because I didn't have any meds in me to mask my emotions. I am so glad that I took that first step, and my therapist was fantastic. She was a very good match for me. I had consulted a couple of therapists before settling with this one.
Good luck to you!!
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