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DoxieMoxie last won the day on October 17

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  1. Sciatica Issues

    I'm a walker, and love it, so still do it anyway. I just find that I have to add more stuff to it. If anything good came out of HA, it has made me try new forms of exercise, and that part has been quite enjoyable.
  2. How many MRI's have you had?

  3. How many MRI's have you had?

    I have had 3 MRIs in my lifetime (2 brain and one hand/forearm). All were with contrast. Had absolutely no side effects from contrast, and as Liv explained, no radiation. Serious side effects from contrast are rare.
  4. All my ALS worriers, I need advice

    Glad to have helped!! We all need to share little nuggets to keep each other on track
  5. Not really sure, and my advice is to not pay much attention to it. This is exactly the type of thing us HA worriers latch on to and will then spend days analyzing. As long as the food/drink goes down, don't worry about it
  6. Sciatica Issues

    Mocha, First, if you have it, sciatica is a MUCH BETTER diagnosis to have, so that is something!! Second, if you think you have sciatica, have it evaluated and get treatment. Contrary to what you read on the sciatica forums, in most cases it is totally treatable and manageable. A lot of the people on the sciatica forums have a whole lot of other issues going on as well, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibro, and various somatic complaints. I don't mean to discount their complaints; they have real issues/disorders to contend with, but that is not necessarily the typical sciatica patient. Third, if your sciatica is worsened with impact exercise, like running, you may have to find another substitute. I love walking, but find that even when I power walk, I don't get enough out of that to counteract anxiety. Like you, I find exercise to be a huge component in combating anxiety. Swimming would be something to consider, and yoga is excellent.
  7. All my ALS worriers, I need advice

    It's interesting; I agree and disagree with you at the same time. ALS has been very difficult for me to subjectively get over, because it is such a devastating disease with little hope. When I was going through the neurological evaluation process, I remember thinking (I know this sounds strange, but....) I hope I have MS, because although some forms of it are disabling, it is generally much more treatable and lots of people live full lives. If we set aside the HA/irrationality, though, MS is actually a slightly harder differential diagnosis to put aside. At bottom, none of us here have true ALS symptoms. But, as even my neurologist said to me, I actually do display some MS-type symptoms (although I do not experience them in the characteristic neurological patterns and do not actually have MS). If you take a step back, a lot of the anxiety symptoms we experience are sensory in nature, and mimic MS a lot more than ALS. ALS is generally a disease of painless, non-sensory progressive clinical weakness, and when you truly have it, you KNOW you have it. MS can be a little more tricky in that regard.
  8. All my ALS worriers, I need advice

    Holls, sorry I'm only responding now, but haven't been on the forum very regularly. Liv did a beautiful job of explaining it all. Atrophy caused by ALS medically cannot precede weakness, because it only results because of the weakness (inability to use the muscle, because the muscle no longer gets the signal to move). That's why it is pointless to examine your body for atrophy as a sign of ALS; you would first notice ALS in the form of clinical weakness (i.e., inability/failure to do something). [Side break here: ALS worriers like ourselves tend to use the words atrophy and clinical weakness almost synonymously with ALS. While those are symptoms of ALS, they are also symptoms of tons of other conditions, including various spinal conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, neuropathies, etc. E.g., if you had bad carpal tunnel, it would lead to weakness in the arm, hand, and the first three fingers, which can ultimately result in atrophy if untreated. So even if you had symptoms of clinical weakness and atrophy, it does not mean you have ALS. It means you need further investigation. I just think it is important to keep that in perspective too.] Somewhere down the threat someone mentioned onset of twitching vs. weakness. I too have reviewed the few anecdotal accounts where people claimed to have started twitching before they detected clinical weakness. Here are a few reasons why I don't give those accounts significant weight: 1. I view all Internet anecdotal accounts with some skepticism, because we are seldom given all the facts/circumstances and often get an inaccurate report without the benefit of the scientific method and medical oversight. I don't believe that people make these reports are dishonest, but think conclusions may be inaccurately drawn (see point 3 below). 2. The concensus of ALS experts is that ALS typically presents with weakness first, and twitching comes later. This makes sense medically, given that twitching due to ALS only happens once the nerves are dying, thus you would logically notice weakness (inability to use the associated muscles) first. Even if there are extreme outlier cases where it does not present like this, you again find yourself hypothesizing an extremely rare onset of an already extremely rare disease vs. a much more benign explanation (see point 3 below). 3. Twitching is a very generic symptom that can be caused by all sorts of conditions, e.g. dehydration, exercise, electrolyte imbalance, medications and/or withdrawals, nerve impingements, benign fasciculation syndrome (BFS) and of course ANXIETY, to name a few. Moreover, ALS patients often do not even notice or feel their twitches until the doctor finds it. Therefore, whenever I read the accounts of people have supposedly twitched for months before the onset of weakness, I always suspect that, in at least a lot of those cases, the twitching was unrelated to the later onset of ALS. Bottom line, twitching is not diagnostic of ALS, and if you've been twitching for a few months, I think it is almost certainly not related to ALS.
  9. Still Freaking Out

    Agree with the great advice given by Holls. And yes, ALS experts will tell you that a clinical neuro exam is the gold standard. A patient with ALS will display abnormalities there requiring confirmation with an EMG. But if your clinical was normal, you're good. My neuro said they only investigate further with EMG if something was abnormal on the clinical. And yes, any competent PCP can perform a basic clinical neuro exam. You don't have ALS. You have anxiety about ALS.
  10. Signing Off

    Best of luck to you. You will be missed. Please drop in in the future; we would love to know how you are doing!
  11. Burping fear

    Although I cannot speak for David, I feel confident that he did. But as you know, us HA sufferers tend to latch on to exceptions to the exceptions and worst case scenarios, so I think he only focused on the one negative bit in your post. FWIW, I think you and I are essentially saying the same thing, perhaps with some differences in semantics.
  12. ALS fears, con't

    Enid, I don't think you have ALS, but my comment isn't just based on the rarity of the disease. To be sure, it factors into the analysis, because although some people obviously get it, it is still extremely unlikely. Just because you are diagnosed with a less serious, rare disease does not make you statistically more likely to now get another extremely rare disease. I don't mean to discount your thinking; I totally understand how you feel, but it just isn't rooted in fact. The main reason I don't think you have ALS is that you don't present the real symptoms. Tremors are not a symptom of ALS. The twitching you describe is all over your body and not accompanied by any true clinical weakness. What daily activities are you truly unable to do? ALS is primarily a disease of true, clinical, failing weakness --- it is not accompanied by pain (not until more advanced stages), sensory symptoms, tremors, etc. I've also had lots of tremors (sometimes my fingers, my whole hand, and a weird mouth tremor where my teeth would chatter when I placed the upper and lower jaw together), but they have come and gone; the most common cause for this myriad of symptoms in HA sufferers like ourselves is anxiety. I cannot remember if you've already done it, but if not, ask your neuro/PCP to perform a neuro exam in the office. If you pass those tests, i.e. have a clean clinical exam, you can rest assured. I don't recommend you do this because I think you have ALS; just reassurance.
  13. Burping fear

    I stand by my comment that burping is not a symptom of cancer. What bin_tenn alludes to is a different syndrome (burping along with lots of other prominent symptoms). I'm not going to describe what they are, because then you will start experiencing them. But you would be aware of them and you would complain about them. Burping by itself is not a symptom of cancer.
  14. Advice for medical tests

    Waiting for test results is just unpleasant. I have yet to discover anything that takes the adrenaline/expectation away completely. What has helped is a nice hot bath/shower, and doing things that distract your mind. For me, a good novel works quite well.
  15. Burping fear

    Burping is not a symptom of cancer. Just put that one out of your head An increase in gas is likely due to a change in diet, which you describe. If you've been on a vegan diet for a while, adjusting to other food will take some time. Make sure you eat a balanced diet, and avoid fast food and too much preservatives. You can also Google (for this limited purpose only ) the types of food that tend to increase gas if you want. However, based on your history, I think it is unlikely due to eating specific foods (like beans, broccoli, etc.) and more based on your general diet change. Your body will adjust in time. It is nothing to be greatly anxious about.