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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Message Board


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Board Index


I am a 55 year old female - I began having problems in my feet - just VERY sore feet since June 2005. Then Fasciculations in my calves at night or when I'm sitting. Then I developed shoulder pain that has never gone away. My left leg is visibly smaller than my right - but both legs are smaller than they used to be, in the calf. My left leg has a dent or indentation in the calf...and it's spreading up the inside calf muscle. I have indiscriminate pains that feel like someone is poking me hard in weird places - like two inches down from my shoulder...or an inch above my wrist - or in my calf - these pains are NOT in joints. Also if I stroke the outside of my upper arm it feels like it's a burning or sore feeling. After pain episodes I am very tired...fatigued. I also feel like my throat gets tired if I have to raise my voice - like if I'm in a restaurant and I have to talk loud to be heard above the background noise. I have had 2 MRI's, and EMG, and LOTS of bloodwork - everything comes out normal according to my neurologist. My questions are:

1) is there pain like this with ALS
2) is muscle weakness considered getting fatigued, or is there definite "strength" weakness first?

I am worried sick...I go back to the dr. July 11th...he diagnosed me with benign fascics in May...but why do I have to go back? I think he's waiting for more symptoms...or visual atrophy...I have an Aunt with MS and was hoping this was MS (simply because the thought of als is terrifying) - but I don't see any fascics with the symptoms of MS.
Beth,

He had definite weakness. His strength ebbed away. In november, before he was diagnosed, he built a birdhouse that was really heavy and stood on a post that was about 12 feet high. He put it in frozen ground all by himself. He was diagnosed in March of the following year. In may, we went to move his canoe from the yard and he couldn't pick it up. I think he had the fatigue before we noticed the weakness. By mid 96, he was having problems with balance andwould fall flat on his face as he didnt have the strenght to catch hinself. He had the test, I think the EMG, where they use elctrical stimulation, EMG? He said that was painful. I didn't notice any wasting immediately though. The other wierd thing.. when they test your knee for reflexes.. well they did that with him and it looked like something out of a move.. his lower leg came up as if he were going to kick someone, like in an exaggerated manner.. apparently that is common... My friends dtr had lupus and she could hardley walk before they diagnosed her. She had these wierd things on her skin that appeared before your eyes.. Have they tested you for Lupus? That can have strange symptoms. Most things would be better than having a diagnosis of ALS. It isusually diagnosed by ruling out other things. He also had a spinal tap. With MS, the coating around the nerves (myelin sheath) is deteriorating. With ALS itself, the myelin sheath remains in tact but the nerve cells under the myelin sheath die, like broken telephone wires. We were also told that ALS travels in a certain pattern. Unless it is the bulbar type, which affects the breathing/swalllowing first, it will travel down one side of the body and then up the other side. I'm sure it has to be torturous waiting for this diagnosis. Take care Beth.





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