On Anxiety and Hope

Tomorrow I am going to have an EMG. Of all the appointments and testing I have subjected myself to in the last several weeks, this is by far the most nerve-wracking. The truth is there is a very good chance that my muscle twitches (technical term: fasiculations) are completely benign. Nothing more than an annoyance that flares up at particularly stressful times. (The fact that I have had twitches before that have passed without any other symptoms, and the fact that my hand twitches are currently down to 0-2 per day bode well for this outcome). It could be nerve irritation caused by something else, like an autoimmune disease or mechanical nerve impingement. But it could be ALS, and that terrifies me because ALS has no cure, and is only just beginning to find some possible treatments to slow the progression of the disease.

I am hopeful, given my low risk (I don’t have a family history, I’m under 40, I’m female) and the low incidence of ALS, that it is not that. Lots of people get muscle twitches for lots of reasons and most of them are really no big deal. Still, there is that needling thought of “might be…” because it wasn’t me that really said it, the source of it was not my own anxiety, the source of “might be…” was the neurologist. A trained medical professional was the one who said we need to do these tests because it “might be” something serious. It “might be” ALS.

So hopefully by tomorrow evening I will have some firmer answers. Until then I wait, anxiously hopeful…


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