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Everything posted by DoxieMoxie

  1. Zoloft is a SSRI. While SSRIs are really quite good for long-term anxiety treatment, they do increase anxiety in the short term. I'm very surprised that your dr didn't explain it to you. Drs will often give a short-term prescription for a benzo (like Ativan) to get a person over the initial 2-3 weeks of increased anxiety. SSRIs are also not really effective for many people until 6-8 weeks of use. Perhaps reconsider the use of medication with a trusted PCP who can help you get over the initial rough weeks.
  2. DoxieMoxie

    MS fears

    As others on here know, I actually have MS so have learned quite a bit about the disease. Let me make a couple of observations regarding the things you and Concerned PA mention. MS can present in lots of different ways and the symptoms are pretty diverse. Some of those symptoms overlap a lot with symptoms of other diseases, including anxiety. For example, tingling can be caused by so so many things. That is why HA sufferers quickly jump to MS. HOWEVER: 1. A clear brain MRI is very good evidence of no MS. Yes, lesions can show up later, but so can cancer. That's part of life. Yes, there are a few exceptional cases where it only first shows up on a spinal MRI. I was one of those. But please note point no. 2. 2. Although MS can present with a variety of symptoms, the symptoms do appear in certain patterns that neurologists know to recognize. I'm not going to explain this in a lot of detail, because your anxious minds will start to develop the symptoms or imagine the patterns. In my case, although my brain MRI was negative, the specific presentation of my symptoms quickly lead my neuro to order a spine MRI. The way you guys describe your symptoms does not sound like MS to me at all. Neuros know how to distinguish between anxiety symptoms and MS symptoms only too well. 3. It does sometimes take a while to diagnose MS because of the strict criteria, but that doesn't mean that a neuro doesn't know to strongly suspect it or dismiss it. After my spine MRI, the neuro could not formally diagnose MS until I also developed an issue in a separate area (brief eye problems). But she made very clear what she thought early on. So don't confuse time for formal diagnosis with time to figure out that MS is not responsible.
  3. I completely understand how you feel. It is a miserable, lonely, fearful place to be. And I think Zencube gets that too -- he was trying in his way to shake you and get you back to reality. I strongly stand by my earlier comment; nothing you describe even remotely is a symptom of ALS. By all means, if the shaking persists, work with your doctor to figure out what is causing it, but you need not fear ALS.
  4. Legs shaking when you lift them up is not how ALS presents. If you were completely unable to lift or were dragging one of your legs, I'd recommend seeing a dr. Even if that were the case, there are so many other more likely causes that would have to be ruled out. But both legs shaking when you lift them? Don't know what it is, and could be purely anxiety, but definitely not ALS.
  5. You can add all these symptoms, but it still doesn't sound like anything other than an acute injury. You will have some weakness with an acute injury. You would do well to give it some rest, because if you are engaging in strength testing, it could worsen the injury.
  6. Your symptoms sound very vague and all over the place. Not how MS typically presents. If you're really worried, go see your PCP, have him/her do a basic neuro exam, and discuss your symptoms. I'm very confident you will be reassured.
  7. I completely understand that line of thinking, but it has everything to do with your HA and not reality. For people with HA who fear ALS, if you mention the word weakness, they immediately jump to it. But the reality is that weakness occurs in so so many medical conditions, such as e.g. a back injury. On top of that, even without a medical condition, our bodies are not symmetrically strong. You are really, really grasping at straws here
  8. Your brain MRI was clear, and thus almost certainly rules out MS. The way you describe your symptoms (locations, patterns) just don't sound like MS either. Your leg symptom and back spasms don't sound remotely like ALS, so please put that out of your mind. Your sensory symptoms also totally point away from this. Honestly sounds like some disc compression issues, very much magnified by anxiety.
  9. Benzos are really not clinically indicated for long-term use, and are now largely recommended for short-term use (7-14 days) to get over a period of intense anxiety (such as when starting a new SSRI drug) or as periodically needed as a rescue dose for a panic attack. The problem is that they used to be prescribed somewhat freely for long-term use, so you are not the only ones who have been on them for many years. The biggest problem with long-term use is not serious cognitive decline, but addiction and tolerance. After a while, the dose you take no longer works well, and you have to take more to get the same effect. I highly recommend the Ashton Manual as well, but absolutely work with your doctor on whether it is a good idea to taper, and if so, how to do it correctly.
  10. Absolutely be honest with your dr, tell him your symptoms, and that you have HA and fear ALS. You might as well put it all on the table so your dr has the whole picture and can do his best to reassure you. Just don't expect him to order a bunch of ALS tests for you; if he's not concerned, you shouldn't be either. On the other hand, if he does order some tests, consider that he may well do it for your peace of mind, more than medical necessity. Good luck!
  11. I really cannot say it more emphatically; ALS does not cause sensory symptoms. It is a motor neuron disease. The presence of your type of symptoms points away from ALS. Let me put it this way. If you came to the doctor with actual weakness in your hand (which I'm not even saying you have, this is just a hypothetical), one of the things the doctor will ask is, do you have any pain or paresthesias (i.e. tingling, shocks, electrical feelings, burning, prickling, etc.)? If some of those are present, i.e. there is both a motor and sensory component, it virtually eliminates things like MND and point towards some type of nerve impingement (whether in the neck, carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel etc.) or a neuropathy (which of course can have many causes). Doctors only even think about ALS (as well as many other possibilities) when a patient presents with true clinical weakness unaccompanied by any pain or sensory symptoms. Also, the fact that your sensory symptoms have now spread to your ankles and calves also completely points away from ALS, because ALS does not spread that quickly. BTW, why do you think a pinched nerve would go away so quickly or come back only with certain activities? It all depends on what is causing the entrapment and the degree of irritation. Symptoms can be quite severe even without actual impingement if there is a lot of inflammation around a nerve or nerve root and can last weeks or months. Others are lucky and it goes away more quickly.
  12. I'm going to be pedantic here, but will point out that no sensory symptoms are caused by ALS, whether they happen periodically or all the time.
  13. Yes, because these are sensory symptoms which cannot be caused by a motor neuron disease like ALS.
  14. Twitching means nothing, normal people twitch all the time. But anxiety can certainly cause it and flare it even more, especially if you noticed it, Googled, and now fear it. Twitching can go on for months or even years. The key is not to pay it any attention. I still twitch from time to time, especially when stress is high.
  15. Tingling is a sensory symptom, and very common with nerve entrapment (and anxiety of course). It is NOT a symptom of ALS. The fact that you don't have pain means nothing. Pain is just one of many sensory symptoms. Only us HA sufferers would be upset that we don't have pain Also, lots of things can cause weakness, including pinched nerves (and that is if your weakness is not perceived weakness caused by anxiety).
  16. Anxietyprince, of course I cannot be sure that it is all anxiety (although I suspect it is), but there is a chance you could have physical issue. There is always a chance of compression somewhere in your arm (carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel syndrome) or in your neck (cervical radiculopathy). However, I am extremely confident it is not ALS. Why? Because you describe no actual weakness (feeling weak doesn't count) and you describe a lot of sensory symptoms, which strongly point away from ALS. Twitches mean nothing; it can be caused by anxiety, an irritated nerve (such as in a compression syndrome) or for no reason at all. If you want to rule out a pinched nerve, by all means see your PCP. But you have no cause to worry about ALS.
  17. Vismonkey, I was exactly where you were 2 years or so ago. It is a horrible place to be. But I am very confident you don't have ALS, which just doesn't present the way you describe AT ALL (going all over, that fast, shortly after you read about the symptoms). Indeed, many of your symptoms (vibrations, tingling, aches, etc.) are sensory and point away from ALS. Twitching is common and meaningless diagnostically; many normal people twitch and don't notice it, and once you are anxious, it just drives the twitches way up. You cannot test your reflexes, and even if you could, brisk reflexes can be caused by many things, including anxiety, and can occur in normal non-anxious people too. Also, unless other people have noticed and commented about your speech, you don't have slurred speech. One cause that accounts for all of your symptoms and the way they present: anxiety. You have a very real and serious disease, which can cripple your life if you don't get appropriate treatment. But it is not ALS.
  18. You describe a lot of symptoms that have nothing to do with ALS or are so generic as to be useless diagnostically. Because you perceive so many different symptoms in so many different places, anxiety is almost certainly behind it. You did well, and then a "scary symptom" popped up which caused a major flare of anxiety, and it doesn't take long to take hold. It is very typical for us anxiety sufferers. You know what you have to do now: stop Googling, stop symptom checking, stop self-testing, practice acceptance/don't react to the symptoms/feelings, etc. As for nasal regurgitation, if you were to post that on the ALS boards, I can tell you what the veterans there would tell you... (Hint: you don't belong there).
  19. As I expected. BTW, you mention brisk reflexes. Lots of normal people have brisk reflexes. It means nothing.
  20. To be sure, you've listed SOME of the symptoms of MS, but they are also symptoms of many other, more likely causes. More importantly, these symptoms in MS tend to present in very specific ways, because of the location of lesions. The way you describe your symptoms makes me think it is very unlikely that they are attributable to MS. I'm not going to go into more detail here, because if I do, your mind will cause the symptoms to develop. That's what HA does. Your MRI will definitively rule it out, but I don't think MS is in the cards for you.
  21. My dear, you need some very tough love. You have had a clean EMG. You do not have ALS. Why are you still here? You do not have atrophy. How do I know this? First, you don't know what to look for, and are judging every little dent and asymmetrical occurrence (which is totally normal and occurs in everyone) as atrophy. Second, you're not telling us that you are unable to do something (have true clinical weakness). Without that, you cannot have atrophy, which results from disuse. You need to MOVE ON NOW and start living your life.
  22. Nothing you mention even remotely suggests ALS, so I don't even know why you thought about it. You describe a lot of pain and sensory symptoms which totally point away from ALS. While MS causes sensory symptoms and pain, so do so many other more likely things. Also, without going into detail here, the way you describe your sensory symptoms makes me strongly think that MS is extremely low on the differential diagnosis list. You've already got an MRI scheduled, so go ahead with that now, but once it's clear, move on from MS.
  23. I would not jump at self diagnosis. If it persists for a while, go see your PCP and by all means, run some blood tests. There are so many things that can cause this, including anxiety.
  24. You've had a clean MRI and have seen a neurologist. You do not have MS. Burning is an incredibly common anxiety symptom, and it can go on for a long time until you get your anxiety under control. Best of luck.