ALS, CTE, and Other Acronyms

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Some time ago Dr H suggested that I keep a log of events related to my injury. I started making entries into a document called “Accident Log.” This has proved to be a very useful project especially as it pertains to ALS, CTE, and other acronyms.

Back in the summer I noted that I was experiencing a “flutter” in the area of atrophy on my left cheek. I do not know how to describe this event other than as a “flutter.” It is if the skin and muscle suddenly ripples, or convulses. It is a transient experience. It is there one second and gone the next. I try and reach my hand up when the flutter occurs as I want to see if the skin actually moves as I experience it moving. But I have not yet made this hand movement in sufficient time to get a feel for what is taking place. I have also not been able to get to a mirror to see if the skin actually moves.

The “flutter” event was recorded in my accident log. After noting this initial event I began to pay more attention to the signals given by my body. I began to notice that I was having regular episodes of muscle pain and similar events. Within the past month I have noticed an increased frequency of these events.

A search of Wikipedia lead me to think that these flutters may be due to ALS. ALS is a degenerative nerve disease that gradually progresses and leads to death within three to five years. At my last meeting with Dr H we discussed my findings. It turns out that there is a similar degenerative nerve disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. The Wikipedia entry is found here:
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy

What I am experiencing appears to meet the definitions found in the Wikipedia CTE article. I did undergo an extreme and sudden acceleration. The article suggests CTE mostly afflicts people who play sports and are subject to repeated head impacts. But is also states that the actual causes are not yet fully understood. I know that I experienced a number of head impacts while in the Coast Guard. And I have been in some bicycle crashes where I hit my head (was wearing a bike helmet). But I did not experience anything similar to these flutters until after the March 06th accident.

Not very comfortable writing this due to the possible implications.