18 and a little anxious

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18 and a little anxious

Postby BennyBoy on February 23rd, 2005, 8:56 pm

Hi there!

I'm an 18 year old guy and currently a freshman in college. I first noticed a twitch in my right forearm about 2-3 months ago. I thought nothing of it at first, but as it continued to twitch, I got concerned. I looked up "muscle twitch" online only to find thousands of links with iformation practically promising me I had ALS. Needless to say, I was concerned. The anxiety subsided after a few weeks and the twitching more or less stopped. I went home for the winter break, and lo and behold, I noticed a very brief twitch in my left hand. All of the sudden my legs were exploding with several twitches a day. One twitch stayed in my shoulder for several minutes and another stayed in my foot for three days! I spent the rest of my break paralyzed with fear, more or less sure I was going to die. My break came to a close and I headed to NYC with a few friends before returning to school. For about a week or two I noticed almost no twitches! Unfortunately though, the twitiches returned, mostly in my calves and thighs. I have seen two nurse practitioners and my GP. My GP pretty much dismissed my fear. The NPs were much nicer. Both performed VERY thorough clinical strength tests, and one ran blood work. I passed the tests with flying colors and the bloodwork was normal. Despite all of this I am still concerned. I should mention that I am very anxiety prone and tend to bottle up stress. Also, my twitches are actually more pops, some quite violent, than sustained twitches. Are these actually fasics or something else? Sorry about the length of this one, but I appreciate all of your time and thought!! Best of luck to all of you.

Ben
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Postby garym on February 23rd, 2005, 11:21 pm

Ben,

First, stay off sites dealing with als. They will only bring you harm, no comfort. Second, what you are describing doesn't sound like als, it fits with BFS. Weakness precedes twitching in als virtually everytime when a person comes down with als. Your twitches sound like every other member of this board. So relax. This should be the best time of your life, don't let health anxiety bring you down. So what if you twitch, heck there are far worse things that could happen to you, like not passing english lit. next semester (your parents would be *beep*!). I would love to be able to go back to college and live that life again, though i probably lived enough for two lifetimes the first time around 8).

Forget about als, get some help with the anxiety issues, and enjoy the heck out of college. Soon enough, you will be joining the rest of us in this responsibility packed real world.

Take care,

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Thanks

Postby BennyBoy on February 23rd, 2005, 11:28 pm

Thanks Gary! I'm happy for the reassurance. But still, I 'm wondering if what i'm experiencing are actually fasciculations or something else. I smoke occasionally, and I drink, naturally, some at college. I've read that withdrawl from having a few beers on the weekend and the smoking can cause twitches. Anybody have any thoughts?

P.S. Gary-My dad actually is an English lit. prof. So you're right, we would flip :wink:
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Postby garym on February 24th, 2005, 12:57 am

Ben,

There is no real way to tell if you are actually having fasciculations other than an emg (that I'm aware of). It really doesn't matter if they are true fascics or not, either way it can still be benign. The bit about drinking/smoking causing fascics is probably right. I know that my neuro's (all three) asked me if i drank a lot of caffeine, said that could cause fascics, so nicotene would make sense as a possibility.


Take care,


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Postby Johnny on February 24th, 2005, 11:36 am

Benny,

Welcome to the board. With the reading you've done on ALS you probably know by now how exceedingly, exceptionally rare it would be for a person to develop ALS at your age. Not saying it can't happen, but so, so rare. As Gary said, most descriptions of twitches with regard to ALS say that weakness precedes twitching, at the very least accompanies twitching. So the fact you've been at it for 2-3 months now and not describing weakness (in fact, passing strength tests at the doctor's office) has to be another very reassuring factor for you.

You were decribing your twitches as "pops". By that do you mean your muscle pops a few times then it goes away? Like, the muscle just jumps? I'm curious because that's how my twitches tend to behave also. And mine started in my forearm too and moved on from there.

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Postby DeeDee on February 24th, 2005, 12:44 pm

I would advise a second opinion from a qualified neurologist (who is aware of BFS) I do not advise this because I disagree with your NP's or GP, I simply think it will ease your mind. When you can be given an actual diagnosis from a professional who is knowledgeable regarding these conditions, your mind will stop considering all of the other possibilities. Atleast maybe for a little while. It helped me accept that this was benign and not life threatening. That is relief in its self.

Good luck!!
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Postby Ava on February 24th, 2005, 10:17 pm

Ben,

I am a big supporter of getting the emg for piece of mind, but in your case, even I have to agree that you fine. You are young and experiencing symptoms of BFS. My neuro said the large twitches are benign. I'm certain that most people your age dealing with the general stresses of youth, lots of caffine and partying induced dehydration etc. are probably twitching. Don't worry.

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Postby eric on March 2nd, 2005, 10:52 pm

check for lyme disease as you are in the ny state and that is what happens with lyme disease in our area, you get bfs and anxiety problems...
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Postby Roger G. on March 3rd, 2005, 10:43 pm

Unfortunatly you are expierencing the same thing the rest of us are,LIFE,and one way or the other you will find a way to deal with it.And you will do this because you MUST :wink:
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