JimK's Story

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JimK's Story

Postby JimK on September 15th, 2002, 3:53 am

I'm a 41 year old male, 200 lbs, lift weights 3 to 6 days a week, no drugs since I was 18 (pretty heavy as a teen ager though), no more drinking (I'm an alchoholic & just can't touch the stuff) & quit smoking 7 years ago.

I've also suffered from panic attacks since I was in my teens. Tried Paxil about 7 years ago & again 2 years ago, but that stuff gave me every side effect possible. I've just learned to deal with my anxiety issues without medication.

November of 1999 I went to turn a key in my front door & the keys just fell out of my hands. I couldn't so much as flip a coin. Freaked me out.
I thought maybe I had a stroke. Went to my Family Practitioner & he was clueless. Thought maybe a pinched nerve. Immediately I started having numbness everywhere, weak legs, twitches all over. Had to pee every 15 minutes.

After reading some medical books I was sure I had MS. I went to a Neuro in December 1999 who scheduled me for an MRI. The MRI came back clean except for unidentified white matter on the brain. They were not concerned at all with that & said I was fine.

I called my neuro days later with buzzing & electrical sensations along with the twitches. He started me on Paxil, which made my face feel numb & really felt weird, so he switched me to Buspar, which I also couldn't tolerate. Finally prescribed Ativan which was a life saver. Although it seemed to have made my twitching worse, it had an amazing calming effect on me without turning me into a zombie. After almost two years I finally weeded myself off the Ativan, which I was only taking one at night for the last year.

I couldn't sleep, work or focus on anything but my symptoms. By the way, I've owned my own heating & air conditioning company since 1990 & had been under a tremendous amount of stress at the time. I'm also a slight hypochondriac.

Anyway, I kept going back to the neuro with new & worsening symptoms. I was reading everything I could on MS & was sure I had it. Meantime my thumb strength slowly came back (they think it was probably a pinched nerve). They did another more thourough MRI which only showed unidentified white matter. They weren't too concerned about that.

5 months had passed since my first symptoms & I was in Hawaii on vacation, just kicking back on the beach when I noticed the instep of my right foot was just slithering around like a bunch of worms under my skin. Well, that tripped me out also. The slithering in the feet (both feet now) has been going on for 3 years now & there looks like some atrophy in the feet. But I can still do heavy calve raises in the gym so I doubt I'm actually loosing strength. Maybe I've always had skinny, boney feet but just now scrutinizing them.

I went to a foot doctor who said he'd never seen this before. I went to another neuro who says I'm fine. My Family doctor is still clueless.

I have not been to a doctor for a year now. The twitching throughout the body has calmed down & very random now except for the foot insteps & calves. I'm actually ignoring the symptoms (also, my lower legs always feel numb, hands & arms go completly numb frequently at night, etc) & am just enjoying everyday that I'm healthy.

I took up drinking again for a while, thinking what the heck, I'm dying or going to be cripple soon anyway, but decided that's no way for me to go through life. I can deal with this stuff better sober anyway.

Well, I could go on & on about this & I didn't really describe the hell I went through the first year or two, but it was BAD. I worried myself sick. I think how much my two boys, 7 & 5, would be hurt by my passing away from ALS or anything else for that matter.

Since I discovered the possibility of ALS, MS doesn't worry me at all. I would learn to deal with that.

Maybe if we all communicate we can find a common denominator causing these problems.

Thanks
JimK
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Postby Nigel555 on September 24th, 2002, 7:41 am

Hi Jim

just read your story and I'm self empolyed to, and dare to say it a hypochondriac as well who is always full of anxiety and stress and I do really think that this is the cause of most of our problems, its amazing how bad they can make us feel in our mind and bodies

well keep smiling Jim

best wishes Nigel :lol:
cheers Nigel
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Location: Cardiff. UK

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