BejeweledMexican

Hand Weakness! Carpal Tunnel? 'A'??

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I just don't know anymore. 

My hand hasn't twitched in days but it feels so weak. I haven't dropped much but I occasionally drop papers and fumble with my pen and things like that. I'm still typing well, so I can still have a job (thank goodness) but now I'm starting to get twitching in my legs and even in my shoulders and back. 

I looked up how it all could be a result of a magnesium deficiency but after reading more I don't think that's the problem. I woke up and immediately felt the weakness in my hand. I yelled at myself over and over, 'Your anxiety is lying to you' but then I would yell right back 'But what if it isn't?' People with anxiety still get diseases and people with anxiety can still develop and die from ALS. It's just the painful truth. 

 

But I don't want to believe it but the tingling and weakness in my left hand tells me otherwise. I try and pass it off as carpel tunnel but the more I try and tell if it's that my brain yells back at me 'ALS ALS ALS'. Carpel tunnel would make more sense but ALS makes more sense with my symptoms. I just don't know anymore guys. Please help! 

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Tingling and feeling weak is not als symptoms. 

Anxiety and maybe carpal tunnel . The mind is a powerful thing.. especially since you read an article about als then develpoed twitches etc.. als doesn't start this way so move on from the als worry. 

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8 minutes ago, Holls said:

Tingling and feeling weak is not als symptoms. 

Anxiety and maybe carpal tunnel . The mind is a powerful thing.. especially since you read an article about als then develpoed twitches etc.. als doesn't start this way so move on from the als worry. 

Wow Holls, how do you do it? I want to have the confidence like you! Have you noticed that something helps you think this way? I try and tell myself to have that kind of confidence daily but then my symptoms always shut it down. 

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2 minutes ago, BejeweledMexican said:

Wow Holls, how do you do it? I want to have the confidence like you! Have you noticed that something helps you think this way? I try and tell myself to have that kind of confidence daily but then my symptoms always shut it down. 

It took me forever lol. The als anxiety almost broke me..it was pure hell and I don't want to see anyone else go down that road. I can see perfectly that you do not have als but with anxiety that gets so cloudy. Hugs. Please please don't go down the als rabbit hole. You will feel twitches and feel weak until your body settles from this worry so don't get upset if tomorrow you wake with twitches. And at your age.. you def don't need to worry. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning twice. 

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7 minutes ago, Holls said:

It took me forever lol. The als anxiety almost broke me..it was pure hell and I don't want to see anyone else go down that road. I can see perfectly that you do not have als but with anxiety that gets so cloudy. Hugs. Please please don't go down the als rabbit hole. You will feel twitches and feel weak until your body settles from this worry so don't get upset if tomorrow you wake with twitches. And at your age.. you def don't need to worry. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning twice. 

I tell myself the same things you do but then the weakness hits and my fear shoots through the roof, especially after I read that Cosmopolitan article about the 25 year old girl with ALS, it showed me that it's a lot more common (and possible) than I first thought. I just have such a problem shaking it. Then I'll feel really good for a while and then stand up and my legs feel week or I'll feel good and then go to type and my hand feels all wonky. I just, I want to think like you do!!! 

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5 minutes ago, BejeweledMexican said:

I tell myself the same things you do but then the weakness hits and my fear shoots through the roof, especially after I read that Cosmopolitan article about the 25 year old girl with ALS, it showed me that it's a lot more common (and possible) than I first thought. I just have such a problem shaking it. Then I'll feel really good for a while and then stand up and my legs feel week or I'll feel good and then go to type and my hand feels all wonky. I just, I want to think like you do!!! 

It's not common..it's not even common for people older than 25..it's actually very rare. 

Feeling weak is not als. That's where people with anxiety get it so so wrong. Also is clinical weakness meaning failing. Big big difference. 

Just take off the cloudy glasses and see als for what it really is and not what anxiety is telling you. 

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Well that's the thing, it's not just feeling weak but it is weak, like dropping pens and feeling all flimsy and stuff. And now my legs feel it too. It's mostly just my left arm/hand (actually going up into my shoulder almost) but now it's in my right just barely. Ugh.

Okay so let's talk practical. What are some things that you do to help you believe what you're already telling yourself (that it's anxiety and not ALS or something else?) I feel like there has to be more than just telling yourself something. 

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24 minutes ago, BejeweledMexican said:

Well that's the thing, it's not just feeling weak but it is weak, like dropping pens and feeling all flimsy and stuff. And now my legs feel it too. It's mostly just my left arm/hand (actually going up into my shoulder almost) but now it's in my right just barely. Ugh.

Okay so let's talk practical. What are some things that you do to help you believe what you're already telling yourself (that it's anxiety and not ALS or something else?) I feel like there has to be more than just telling yourself something. 

Carpel Tunnel can cause you to drop stuff. My mom has it and drops stuff all the time. ALS is extremely rare. I knew someone with ALS and had none of the symptoms you described

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If you had limb onset als you would not feel it in your hands and your legs and your finger and your arms all in the span of a few weeks or maybe even a few months. Windsor Pilates girl went two years with thumbs that just stopped working before it spread. Two. Years. And her thumbs just did not work. And I think she’s also in her 60’s maybe? It would be that you lose function completely, in maybe a finger or two, or a toe, then maybe 6 months later your ankle, or forearm/hand.  This is a disease that while it moves “fast” your whole body doesn’t go out in a day. 

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Also - you would not “feel” it. You would feel fine! Normal. Your finger just wouldn’t work. You couldn’t lift it. 

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Guys my whole arm and hand are so wonky and almost numb feeling!!!! I'm freaking out! I don't know what to do. I can still type but I'm super clumsy. I keep freaking out and then calming myself down and then freaking out again and then calming myself down and the cycle is bitter. 

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To start, numbness can very much be a symptom of carpal tunnel! And if you spend a lot of time on a keyboard, then you're a prime candidate for carpal tunnel.

One thing I've learned when it comes to physical sensations and health anxiety, is that the more I focus on that sensation, the more it seems to "exist." It becomes sort of like an itchy tag on a shirt: you notice it, and then you can't stop noticing it, and something that was initially only mildly irritating suddenly becomes all-consuming.

The anxiety is what's causing you to feel weak and wonky. Consider the following: have you been sleeping well? Or eating well? I know when I'm especially anxious, those are the first two things that go! And beyond even that, anxiety takes a physical toll. Folks on this forum will often mention "x can be caused by anxiety", and I think it's one of those things our brains struggle to accept, because anxiety is mental, and surely something physical must be causing these symptoms; but, anxiety and stress cause the muscles to tense, and I think health anxiety sufferers are experts at staying tense and alert all the time, so we're especially prone to muscle soreness and fatigue; we're basically constantly isometrically exercising ourselves. Which can cause weak feeling, and tingling, and all sorts of things!

I'll admit, I'm on this forum right now because I've been nervous about ALS myself. When I was cleaning up soda cans, I noticed that when I crushed them with my left hand, it was more difficult, and my thumb felt a bit strained and weak.  Occasionally, it twitches and spasms. It's something I've noticed in the past as well, and I'm trying to be logical and sensible about it: if my hand is on a flat surface, I can lift up my left thumb independently. If I press my thumbs together like I'm thumb wrestling myself, my left thumb doesn't "give." I can do buttons, and tie shoelaces.

Somewhere else on this forum, in one of the other ALS topics, someone posted: ALS is not about feeling, it's about failing.

Everyone occasionally fumbles papers and drops pens, and anxious individuals are going to be more prone to making those fumbles, because your muscles are already tight, and your brain is in overdrive. You're also hyperaware of those mistakes when they happen, because you're expecting them to happen, because you're expecting your hand to fail, because you expect that you have ALS. It's very likely there are a number of things you're doing just fine throughout the day (to use my own example, maybe doing buttons, or tying shoelaces), but because they're so second-nature, you're not as aware of them. Dropping papers or pens when you expect to do so is much more noticeable to an anxious brain than succeeding at something your brain expects to succeed at: or, again, you're so hyperaware of the things that are going wrong, you're not as aware of the things that are going right.

I'm not sure how helpful any of this is, because I know when I'm especially worried about something, it's hard to find anything that helps. The best suggestion I can make is to find a distraction. Try to get your brain focused on something else. When I'm having an episode, lately I've been using quiz sites and trying to name states or European countries. I find they keep your brain focused in a way that books or movies just can't really do! I also often find that when I'm suitably distracted, the perceived weakness -- or whatever physical sensation is bothering me -- mysteriously vanishes, only to reappear when I'm no longer distracted, because my brain has the leeway to latch right back on to my latest hyperfixation.

Keeping yourself occupied and busy genuinely does wonders for your mental state, even outside of using it as a distraction.

Also, about the Cosmopolitan article. What you took from that is that the disease is more common than you first thought, but the very proof that it isn't is the fact that there's a Cosmopolitan article at all. Rare diseases are sensations. Cosmopolitan isn't going to run an article about a girl who had the flu or broke her arm, but they'll absolutely run an article about a super rare disease, because it's going to get clicks or buyers. ALS is also more in the public consciousness these days! The ice bucket challenge wasn't that long ago after all, so people are still aware of it, and that also contributes to Cosmopolitan choosing to run that story. The girl's age adds even more to the sensation, since an already-rare disease is even rarer at that age.

I'm sorry; I know this is really long! I hope anything in here can be of some comfort to you, or help you in some way!

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11 hours ago, i87 said:

To start, numbness can very much be a symptom of carpal tunnel! And if you spend a lot of time on a keyboard, then you're a prime candidate for carpal tunnel.

One thing I've learned when it comes to physical sensations and health anxiety, is that the more I focus on that sensation, the more it seems to "exist." It becomes sort of like an itchy tag on a shirt: you notice it, and then you can't stop noticing it, and something that was initially only mildly irritating suddenly becomes all-consuming.

The anxiety is what's causing you to feel weak and wonky. Consider the following: have you been sleeping well? Or eating well? I know when I'm especially anxious, those are the first two things that go! And beyond even that, anxiety takes a physical toll. Folks on this forum will often mention "x can be caused by anxiety", and I think it's one of those things our brains struggle to accept, because anxiety is mental, and surely something physical must be causing these symptoms; but, anxiety and stress cause the muscles to tense, and I think health anxiety sufferers are experts at staying tense and alert all the time, so we're especially prone to muscle soreness and fatigue; we're basically constantly isometrically exercising ourselves. Which can cause weak feeling, and tingling, and all sorts of things!

I'll admit, I'm on this forum right now because I've been nervous about ALS myself. When I was cleaning up soda cans, I noticed that when I crushed them with my left hand, it was more difficult, and my thumb felt a bit strained and weak.  Occasionally, it twitches and spasms. It's something I've noticed in the past as well, and I'm trying to be logical and sensible about it: if my hand is on a flat surface, I can lift up my left thumb independently. If I press my thumbs together like I'm thumb wrestling myself, my left thumb doesn't "give." I can do buttons, and tie shoelaces.

Somewhere else on this forum, in one of the other ALS topics, someone posted: ALS is not about feeling, it's about failing.

Everyone occasionally fumbles papers and drops pens, and anxious individuals are going to be more prone to making those fumbles, because your muscles are already tight, and your brain is in overdrive. You're also hyperaware of those mistakes when they happen, because you're expecting them to happen, because you're expecting your hand to fail, because you expect that you have ALS. It's very likely there are a number of things you're doing just fine throughout the day (to use my own example, maybe doing buttons, or tying shoelaces), but because they're so second-nature, you're not as aware of them. Dropping papers or pens when you expect to do so is much more noticeable to an anxious brain than succeeding at something your brain expects to succeed at: or, again, you're so hyperaware of the things that are going wrong, you're not as aware of the things that are going right.

I'm not sure how helpful any of this is, because I know when I'm especially worried about something, it's hard to find anything that helps. The best suggestion I can make is to find a distraction. Try to get your brain focused on something else. When I'm having an episode, lately I've been using quiz sites and trying to name states or European countries. I find they keep your brain focused in a way that books or movies just can't really do! I also often find that when I'm suitably distracted, the perceived weakness -- or whatever physical sensation is bothering me -- mysteriously vanishes, only to reappear when I'm no longer distracted, because my brain has the leeway to latch right back on to my latest hyperfixation.

Keeping yourself occupied and busy genuinely does wonders for your mental state, even outside of using it as a distraction.

Also, about the Cosmopolitan article. What you took from that is that the disease is more common than you first thought, but the very proof that it isn't is the fact that there's a Cosmopolitan article at all. Rare diseases are sensations. Cosmopolitan isn't going to run an article about a girl who had the flu or broke her arm, but they'll absolutely run an article about a super rare disease, because it's going to get clicks or buyers. ALS is also more in the public consciousness these days! The ice bucket challenge wasn't that long ago after all, so people are still aware of it, and that also contributes to Cosmopolitan choosing to run that story. The girl's age adds even more to the sensation, since an already-rare disease is even rarer at that age.

I'm sorry; I know this is really long! I hope anything in here can be of some comfort to you, or help you in some way!

Wow this was amazing! Can you please, please, please be my counselor??? I've been trying to focus on other things all day and while it works most of the time I still get anxious. I ended up buying a wrist brace, just to see if it helped, and it has helped however I still feel weak in my legs and my hands but honestly the weirdest feeling of all is feeling shaky and wobly everywhere in my body. Have I been focusing on the wrong thing the whole time, maybe not ALS but something like a brain tumor? 4 years ago I was terrified of a brain tumor, I really dont' want to go back down that hole but I don't know how else to explain how I feel. 

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On 1/10/2019 at 11:47 AM, Spazmom said:

Also - you would not “feel” it. You would feel fine! Normal. Your finger just wouldn’t work. You couldn’t lift it. 

Exactly right.  On the ALS forums they often used to count how many times someone said "feel" in a post.  The reason for that is that ALS patients do not feel weak or weird or tingly or numb; the muscle just doesn't work, because the nerve serving it has died.  

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On 1/10/2019 at 9:58 AM, utrocket09 said:

Carpel Tunnel can cause you to drop stuff. My mom has it and drops stuff all the time. ALS is extremely rare. I knew someone with ALS and had none of the symptoms you described

Not to mention that we all drop stuff or fumble from time to time.  

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28 minutes ago, DoxieMoxie said:

Exactly right.  On the ALS forums they often used to count how many times someone said "feel" in a post.  The reason for that is that ALS patients do not feel weak or weird or tingly or numb; the muscle just doesn't work, because the nerve serving it has died.  

This make a lot of sense and has brought comfort to my mind. I'm dealing with bone cancer fear now but I think you have helped me control my ALS fears and they are on the mend, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! You have no idea how much you guys have helped with my fears about this horrible disease. Now to fight off the bone cancer fear! 

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2 hours ago, BejeweledMexican said:

Wow this was amazing! Can you please, please, please be my counselor??? I've been trying to focus on other things all day and while it works most of the time I still get anxious. I ended up buying a wrist brace, just to see if it helped, and it has helped however I still feel weak in my legs and my hands but honestly the weirdest feeling of all is feeling shaky and wobly everywhere in my body. Have I been focusing on the wrong thing the whole time, maybe not ALS but something like a brain tumor? 4 years ago I was terrified of a brain tumor, I really dont' want to go back down that hole but I don't know how else to explain how I feel. 

You still get anxious because you're still anxious. Anxiety, and the stress and adrenaline it creates, don't leave the body immediately. That's also why you're still feeling weak and wobbly, I promise. It may not seem like it, but if this has been bothering you for at least a couple of days, you've put your body through it. You've been tense and anxious for a prolonged period of time, and your body needs time to recover.

I mentioned we're "constantly isometrically exercising ourselves", but I want to bring that point up again. Have you ever done a plank? A plank is a difficult isometric exercise. It's deceptively easy: hold yourself in a pushup position, and squeeze all the muscles in your abdomen. It seems so simple, yet most beginners struggle to hold that position for even 30 seconds. You've been tense for days, squeezing your muscles and wearing them out.

This might sound really silly, but one thing I would recommend for you, if you can find the energy to do it, is a post-workout yoga routine. I recommend this one by Yoga With Adrienne! Your body needs to begin to relax and recover.

You're still anxious, which is why your mind is leaping now to brain tumors and bone cancer. I do the same thing! I often only get over one scare because a different one has taken its place. The physical symptoms are still there, so I think, "Well even if it wasn't x, what if it was y?"

Try to think of it this way: you feel weak and clumsy and kind of wobbly. Think of how you feel after watching a scary movie, or getting off a rollercoaster. Heck, have you ever been on an escalator that stopped? Even something as simple as that can cause a sudden surge of adrenaline, and the aftermath of adrenaline often leaves you feeling weak and clumsy and kind of wobbly. Anxiety is often a surge of adrenaline, but like I've mentioned, we keep ourselves in that anxious state for a prolonged period of time, further wearing ourselves out.

Also, I want to edit and add, give the brace some time! It's helping your wrist to recover, but it'll take a couple of days. You only bought it today, right? Give it a chance to do the work.

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11 minutes ago, i87 said:

You still get anxious because you're still anxious. Anxiety, and the stress and adrenaline it creates, don't leave the body immediately. That's also why you're still feeling weak and wobbly, I promise. It may not seem like it, but if this has been bothering you for at least a couple of days, you've put your body through it. You've been tense and anxious for a prolonged period of time, and your body needs time to recover.

I mentioned we're "constantly isometrically exercising ourselves", but I want to bring that point up again. Have you ever done a plank? A plank is a difficult isometric exercise. It's deceptively easy: hold yourself in a pushup position, and squeeze all the muscles in your abdomen. It seems so simple, yet most beginners struggle to hold that position for even 30 seconds. You've been tense for days, squeezing your muscles and wearing them out.

This might sound really silly, but one thing I would recommend for you, if you can find the energy to do it, is a post-workout yoga routine. I recommend this one by Yoga With Adrienne! Your body needs to begin to relax and recover.

You're still anxious, which is why your mind is leaping now to brain tumors and bone cancer. I do the same thing! I often only get over one scare because a different one has taken its place. The physical symptoms are still there, so I think, "Well even if it wasn't x, what if it was y?"

Try to think of it this way: you feel weak and clumsy and kind of wobbly. Think of how you feel after watching a scary movie, or getting off a rollercoaster. Heck, have you ever been on an escalator that stopped? Even something as simple as that can cause a sudden surge of adrenaline, and the aftermath of adrenaline often leaves you feeling weak and clumsy and kind of wobbly. Anxiety is often a surge of adrenaline, but like I've mentioned, we keep ourselves in that anxious state for a prolonged period of time, further wearing ourselves out.

Also, I want to edit and add, give the brace some time! It's helping your wrist to recover, but it'll take a couple of days. You only bought it today, right? Give it a chance to do the work.

Again, wow. Counselor. Go to school. Get my number. Counsel me. I mean you have touched on everything and in such an understanding and firm way. I'm going to go home right after work and try that yoga routine! If it doesn't work right away, that's okay, I want to give my body time to heal. I understand about the tense muscles. I remember one time in college I was anxious, like super anxious, for like a week and then my body felt like it had been in a train wreck afterwards. It's incredible how sometimes we don't even see it ourselves. I need to relax, get in my zone, and push forward. You are an incredible human being, whoever you are, thank you so much! I'll be back, I'm a diagnosed hypochondriac, of course I will be lol but hopefully further and farther between each visit thanks to you! 

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Aha, trust me, I'm way too anxious myself to be a counselor, but I'm glad I could help you at all. ❤️ Just try to give yourself some time to rest and recover! I really hope you're able to start feeling at least a little better, and please don't push yourself too hard too fast.

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