I hope that the title really pulled you in because that was what I was trying to do. This story is pretty old, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Back in 2003 the Philadelphia 76’ers had a Canadian Basketball player get injured which lead to his diagnosis of Charcot Marie Tooth Disease. I want you to see that even though in my family where we knew we had it and were diagnosed at a young age that isn’t necessarily how it works. Todd MacCulloch was diagnosed with it and he never knew he even had it.
The crazy thing about this disease is how much it really varies between individuals. One person could be “normal” until they hit their 50’s and it all goes down hill for them from there and then there is the opposite side of things where a baby is diagnosed and that child has to struggle their whole life. The reality of it is that no one knows what it is going to be like for you. You can’t know what it will bring and doctor’s can only speculate and watch as things progress and tell you what they think might happen in the next year or five years based on how things have been for you specifically so far.
I don’t want to scare people into thinking that they have a disability, but there are some things to watch for to see if you have it:
- Poor balance which could include flat feet or really high arches.
- Weak/shaky hands
- Numbness, tingling, burning pain in the hands and feet (if you have these symptoms I suggest you see a neurologist.)
I know that many of these symptoms are ones that also fit for other diseases, but I also want to include two images below. These are what doctors call the typical CMT hands and feet. If your hands and feet look like this it is very likely that you have CMT.