A month ago my grandma began having severe muscle spasms on her left side only. Her limbs seem to have a mind of their own - when her arm spasms it looks like she's making a feeble attempt to swim backstroke. Her shoulder rotates up and backwards, and her arm follows but only extends about halfway. This happens on/off during the day, and even when she sleeps which wakes her up. Certain times it calms down, but once it starts it doesn't stop for a while and the movements occur continually every 1-2sec. She has seen two neurologists but they don't have any ideas.
She recently had a heart valve replaced, but the spasms began about 1.5 weeks before the surgery. One neurologist thought there was a lack of oxygen to her brain due to the bad heart valve, but her new valve is perfect and this problem still persists. They also thought it might be shingles since she had rashes/blotches, but they didn't behave like shingle breakouts would. Her neurologist said she should see a muscle specialist, but there are no openings until June.
She had an MRI and CATscan, but they haven't shown anything. If my mom places her hand on my grandma’s arm while lying down the spasms almost stop completely. Its only a gentle touch, which makes me wonder if signals aren't being sent to her brain and thus the brain is trying to "wake her up”. We have tried putting 1.5lb arm weights on her arm and that helps only slightly.
She was on anxiety meds where an uncommon side effect is muscle twitches, but the side effect only occurred in less than 1% of people, and they weren't as extreme. She is no longer on that medication as of a few weeks ago.
The spasms don’t cause her pain, but they are very inconvenient. She can’t walk or do anything on her own because the arm/leg spasms make her nearly fall over. She has been prescribed Klonopin which calms it down, but it also puts her to sleep. It’s good so she can sleep, but continuously taking Klonopin and sleeping doesn't improve her quality of life.