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Hi, name's Bill and I'm a 26 year old male from just outside Philadelphia, PA.

I'm sorry for what's probably going to turn into a somewhat long post, but I'm scared, and I'm desperately looking for help. So to whoever is reading this, thank you if for nothing else other than just taking an interest in my post.

Maybe if I keep this to a timeline it'll tell my story a little better.

August 2014: My right arm (upper and lower, not shoulder or hand) begins to feel strange. It's not painful or numb or tingly. The best way I can describe it is as when a body part is "waking up" from being asleep. The moments right when blood is flowing back into that body part, that's how it felt. It was near constant.
It is also at this time that I notice some pea-sized lumps on my right bicep.

December 25, 2014: for the first time in 4 months the strange sensation turns into pain, a very deep, sharp pain that's again, in the upper and lower part of my right arm. My bicep and forearm muscle hurt especially.

January 6, 2015: The pain now goes into my right shoulder, neck, and left arm. The pain is intermittent with some numbness and tingling. I also begin to get sharp, stabbing pains at the base of my throat and in my left shoulder. I go to the Doctor who thinks it's a pinched nerve. They send me for a CT scan of my neck and an ultrasound of those pea-sized lumps on my right bicep.

January 13, 2015: I go back to the doctor who tells me my neck shows no sign of vertebrae or disc damage and no arthritis. She also tells me the ultrasound of those lumps shows no cancerous masses and the lumps are likely muscle tissue that's just not smooth. She sends me to physical therapy, assuming it's still a pinched nerve in my neck and my pain is radicular.

January 17, 2015: The pain and numbness and tingling moves into both hands, and oftentimes fingers. Later the same day it spreads into both legs, especially with cramping in the right calf and ankle muscle that helps you lift up your foot while walking. I also begin to twitch ALL over my body.

At this point, my anxiety skyrockets because I'm pretty sure a pinched nerve in the neck does not cause lower extremity pain or weakness.

January 21, 2015: I got to the physical therapist who does an initial evaluation of me. My reflexes were practically nonexistent, and my strength is good but only in explosive bursts. I have no durability or endurance. She confirms my thoughts that it's not a pinched nerve and tells me I must go back to my Dr. ASAP and request an MRI and EMG.

Later the same day I go to the Doctor and explain everything that you just read. I also explain that I haven't been able to eat or sleep for weeks, even before my anxiety skyrocketed, but I didn't think much of it other than I was just having a rough couple weeks. I ask her about the possibility of ALS or MS. She dismisses MS fairly quickly and says ALS is a teeny tiny possibility but the odds are extremely low. She sends me for blood work.

January 23, 2015: I get the results of my blood work, which are all good except for a low protein level and a high red blood cell count.

Now, I know this post is already a novel and for anyone still reading, thank you, thank you, thank you! I just have to ask a few things to feel at peace with myself that I got everything off my chest.

1. Does this sound like a kind of neuropathy?

2. Does a high RBC mean I lack oxygen? (I have felt a recent difficulty getting good deep breaths. They feel too shallow, although my anxiety has also been high)

3. Does low protein mean my muscles are wasting?

4. Any other info or random thoughts?

Thank you so much in advance. I've been scared out of my mind that it's ALS since she didn't rule it out. But, after doing lengthy research online, I came across the term 'Peripheral Neuropathy' and it sounded like I may have it, especially as it seems to be a fairly common disease. Not that that makes it any easier...





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