View Full Version : Worried I have Motor Neuron Disease

03-09-11, 23:57
About two or three weeks ago I developed a really sore wrist on my left arm. Then my entire arm got sore and felt a bit week. I work at a computer all day, so I wasn't overly worried. Then the following week the finger on my right hand became really sore, soon followed by the same finger on the right hand. At this stage I was worried that I might have rheumatoid arthritis so I went to see a doctor. She did some basic tests (had me try to crush her fingers, push her hands down, resist her pushing down on my arm etc) and concluded that I was merely adopting the wrong posture at work. In the past week, I've gotten a new chair, desk and keyboard at work and am using my laptop computer at home much, much less. My hands feel much better.

However, my left arm still feels quite week, or stiff (although there is no loss of function - I'm typing at 40wpm here). Two days ago in work I noticed a muscle twitching in my face. It happened again later that night. Last night, one of the muscles in my left arm (near the wrist) started twitching and it twitched again when I woke up this morning. The twitching probably only lasted a couple fo minutes either of the times. Of course, then I went and looked up muscle twitching on Google and one of the first results is MND/ ALS, which I already have a terrible fear of as my uncle died from it a couple of years back at only 60.

I know that I suffer from health anxiety. Over the past couple of years I've been convinced that I have brain tumor, bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer, mouth cancer, stomach cancer and leukemia among others. But that still does nothing to reassure me. I am terrified that this is the one I'm not imagining. I don't know what I should do. Should I wait and see if it happens more often? Should I go back to the doctor and feel silly about it? I hate feeling this way as the anxiety destroys the time I should be enjoying with my young children. I'm 34 and male.

04-09-11, 00:07
As a fellow health anxiety person, I do understand.
There are nerves from the neck that go down the arm, and computer keyboarding can really irritate it.
Could be simple muscle spasms from how you hold your hands and arms.
If I isolate movement to just my hands, it bothers my arm up to my neck.
So notice if you have a neck ache, tension, stiff and when you move your head do you feel pulls down your arm to your wrist.
The health fears of what if do rob hours of time with my family too. And I also think of how family memebers have died and then project it onto myself.

04-09-11, 10:29
Agreee with previous post completely, get someone to take a photo of you when you are at the computer and you will see just what an awful position you are working in, never fails!

On the mnd bit - a friends wife had this and believe me pain is not a symptom. She had no pain but just started to fall over, literally lose the use of her arms and choked every time she tried to eat. It was very obvious to her GP that something was seriously wrong and her symptoms progressed very quickly over a few months.

WE all with HA immediatley jump to the worst case scenario rather than the most likely:)- remember that Drs go on signs and symptoms not just symptoms.

04-09-11, 18:30
If you're really worried, go and have a chat with your doctor, when I suffered from HA 2 years ago I started to twitch all over and just like you I asked Dr.google and got the same answer. But it's not MND it's just anxiety or some people suffer from BFS (benign twitches) which personally i think it is all anxiety / stress related. To this day I twitch all over every day, I had all the tests, saw all the neuros and i'm fine and so are you!

04-09-11, 21:02
Hi, i agree with the above posts, health anxiety is a pain in the bum!!! it can cause twitching and pain, and like yourself i am currently thinking i have a l s.
i asked my doc last week and he said it was very unlikely and i didnt seem to have it, but ofcourse i still think i have. i have read some signs to keep an eye out for........if you can jump and land with both feet on your bottom stair and if you can lift a thick book using your thumb and index finger only then youre doing ok, whenever i feel anxious i do those things for reassurance, i get so worried about the pain and twitching that i forget there would actually be weakness :D hope this helps big hugs

05-09-11, 06:13
Thanks all for the responses. They do make me feel somewhat better. I actually felt quite good most of today and didn't worry too much - until now (when my twitching has returned and my hands are sore(ish) again. Alix123 - those two tests sound good and I can do both no problem. I did wonder what qualified as a "thick book" so I took my "History of Time Magazine" - its A4, hardback and about 3 inches thick - could lift no problem with thumb and index fingers of both hands - so I guess I am ok on that score!

Right now my mind is jumping between "its got to be als" and "it really must be rheumatoid arthritis" (as both my index fingers are sore). Of course, the doc already told me I don't have RA. Maybe it really is just nothing - or anxiety symptoms. I suppose time will tell.

05-09-11, 08:06
The fact that changing things made your hands feel better is a huge sign. The twitching is probably just from over use... and actually could be caused by your constant checking for strength/soreness/etc. I've done a lot of really silly stuff that created a health anxiety loop before, and I think that's what this is for you. We all do it. we poke at things until we make them worse. We check for lumps so much that our glands go "STOP POKING ME" and swell... thusly confirming our worst fears. One time I was so convinced I had accidentally poisoned myself by drinking water from a cup I (forgot) a flower had been sitting in and taken out of (it had plant food in it).. that I immediately made myself vomit and pulled a neck muscle. I then drank nearly a gallon of water.. which made me feel quite odd.. and when I googled that I learned people can die from (DUN DUN DUN) water intoxication... etc etc etc.

05-09-11, 08:10
Adding (not to try and trivialize your worries): muscles do all sorts of wacky crap.


You get older, things start changing, things take longer to heal, etc. Try to just tell yourself it's "one of those things". Certainly if something is -really- wrong you will have other CLEAR signs. But more than likely, this will subside and you'll find some other obsessing shortly after. ;)

06-09-11, 05:07
Thanks Mandy - good advice - especially about muscles doing all sorts of wacky crap! In fairness, I've only had this hand trouble a couple of weeks (probably less than three). Yesterday was good, I hardly worried at all... but today was bad. I don't even know what I am really worrying about at this stage. I know there is no real reason to worry about ALS, so I suppose I have reverted to worrying about arthritis, even though I don't really have any symptoms of that either - other than two sore hands - and if I'm honest they're about a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale. I haven't really had any more muscle twitching but now I'm imagining that there is something up with my face (the rational part of me knows this is just in my mind).

I wish I could just move on from this and feel normal again and stop worrying.

10-09-11, 22:43
Oh deer, now I am even more worried about this. For the past week, I've noticed that my legs get very tired whenever I do any kind of exercise. At first I just put it to being out of shape but its more than that. Today I went for a really short walk with my wife and two children and was exhausted at the end of it - I could particularly feel the tiredness in my legs. My wife couldn't believe I was tired after it. My hips also feel slightly tired sometimes. I am going to go to a doctor next week. There is something wrong with me and now its freaking me out.

11-09-11, 14:33
How anxious have you been this past week? If it's alot then that would make you tired too, suffering from HA makes you extremely aware of your body so that the smallest of aches and pains feel 10x worse, and anxiety causes tension in muscles.

I'm not a doctor ofcourse but I have been exactly what you have been through, the twitches, the aches, the pains, the weakness that is there but you can still lift things, the arms and legs feeling odd, kind of stiff feeling, I don't think there is anything wrong with you besides HA, but go and see your doctor and be honest about your fears, you'll be ok :)

11-09-11, 19:25
Thanks Gazman. Am physically sick with worry now. Convinced its something serious this time :-(

16-09-11, 21:22
Ok, so I went to the doc. She's put the pain in my hands down to repetitive strain, but says she is not so sure about my shoulder. She has advised me to exercise and do specific exercises which target the shoulder muscles. If it dosen't improve I'm to go back in 3 weeks to get blood tests for auto immune disorders (i.e. lupus, RA). She did strength and reflex tests on my arms and hands and they were fine.

I started exercising on Monday. I'm doing 25 minutes vigorous cycling on my exercise bike each night and have been able to increase the resistance each time, so I guess that's a good sign. The exercise also makes me feel really good - in fact, my muscles didn't twitch at all yesterday - so I'm less worried about that now. I guess if I had RA or something else immune related it would be bad, but I will try not to worry about it or google it and just concentrate on the exercising and see how it goes.

I did mention to the doctor that I think I have health related anxiety, but she was fairly dismissive - "better stay away from the internet!" I think if I can't get the HA under control myself I might see if I can get access to some CBT through my work employee assistance program.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. It did a lot to reassure me when I was at my lowest. You guys are great.