Seeing a neurologist - what should I ask?

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Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
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   Posted 6/2/2008 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for these questions but here goes - maybe somebody will be able to help me :-) .
 
On June 10th I have an appt to see a neurologist.  I have already been thru the gamut of docs trying to find the root cause of my back pain so the neurologist is my next stop.  I have 3 twisted vertebrae - 1 thoracic and 2 lumbar so this may be the cause of my back pain but no doc has said so.  The thoracic one is the most troublesome at the moment.  It clicks back into place several times a day and my back ends up a painful mess.  My lumbar of course is giving me grief but so far, no one can tell me why. I've already had xrays and MRI with and without contrast.
 
So is there anything else you can recommend I ask the doc (other then the obvious history)?  I don't know if this is arthritis related or just a bad back.  I've already seen a rhuemy and had several blood tests all of which came back negative.
 
Thanks!
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PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/2/2008 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Red,
I'm kind of surprised you haven't seen a neuro before this, what with having had MRI's ordered. But certainly it's a logical step. First, make sure you bring all your films (mostly they're on CD's now) with you. I wouldn't just rely on the MRI reports; if the neuro is worth his/her salt they'll want to look at the actual films themselves. Plus do make sure any medical records have arrived at the neuro's office in advance, or that you have them in hand. Can't say how many times records that are supposed to have gotten somewhere didn't, so your doc doesn't have all the info. while you're sitting there.

I'd make sure you list all your symptoms in your terms - don't rely on them being accurately described in medical records. If you've never seen your medical records, it can be a real eye opener. Things you told your doc that you assume were written down aren't even mentioned sometimes! It really depends on the doc. So you want to make sure you neuro has all your symptoms, and their history (how they've developed, if there was an injury, etc.). And any meds you're taking, treatments you've had and whether those treatments have helped.

Then I'd say make sure you list the questions you want to know. If no one has found a cause of your pain (sounds like there are many possibilities) a neurologist - who specializes in nerves - can look at your tests and try to see if nerve compression or something along those lines is evident. But be prepared for a neuro even to not be able to identify one "cause" of pain. Sometimes they can; sometimes there are multiple possibilities as spines are so complex. But I would try to push for some kind of treatment even if a cause isn't clearly identified - you still have pain that needs treating, even while you may await addition tests, etc.

Hope this helps some!

PaLady

Morgoth
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 6/2/2008 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Listen to the veterans, they know what they're talking about. One thing I'd like to add. Personnaly, I think it might be a good idea to keep a copy of ALL your medical files or either the originals themselves. I know doctors and hospitals are reluctant to release their papers, but you, as the patient, have a right to see them. In some countries they are actually your property. I always keep the originals of all the records made and I pass a copy to all the doctors involved. They have accepted this, after many years and many arguments, as being the best method. As it looks as though your problems are unfortunately not going to be solved overnight, I think you should start a detailed medical file yourself. Take care and good luck.
To stand and be still at the Birkenhead Drill is a mighty bullet to shew.


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23413
   Posted 6/2/2008 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Gramps - I get random shooting electrical type pains down my legs. Sometimes it skips and goes from the buttocks to the ankle with nothing notable in between. A new symptom I just started getting is when I extend my left arm, my pointer finger gets that electrical tingle now too. But it's mostly my back - upper and lower with muscle weakness in my legs. When I ride on the Harley with my hubby, I think my body doesn't like the vibration because even though it doesn't hurt my back, my legs always feel like jello. So yeah, I'm thinking it's nerve related.

PaLady - thanks for the info. I am going to call the hospital for a copy of my MRI CD. And I will most definately not rely on medical records! I've already been down that road! :)
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
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~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
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PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/2/2008 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Red,
You're not going to like to hear this but riding the Harley is IMHO a dangerous thing to do if you've got any problems with your spine! I'd certainly not ride any more until you find out what's going on. Spines are serious business - ask those of us here with failed procedures, failed back surgeries, etc. Once you injure something, or even from degenerative disk disease (which we all have as we get older) it takes very little to make it worse. And it takes A LOT to make it better - and that's if you can make it better. So preventing any further injury should be at the top of your list right now. And I'd let the doc know you ride motorcycles, and let him/her clear you for that activity before proceeding.

Yes, I know you may not want to give this up, and that's your choice, but recognize you may be causing a lot of damage that could turn out to be irreversible. I'm not saying riding was or is the cause or your problem, but I'm pretty sure it could be aggravating it. And I say this as someone who had a motorcyle back in my 20's, and I'd love to ride again but would never dare. It's just simply not worth it.

The hospital should also give you a copy of your films (CD) at little or no charge. When I get them, if they're going to another doc they usually give it to me free, but if it's for me I pay a small fee. In this case, tell them you're taking it to your neuro.

Good luck!

PaLady

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23413
   Posted 6/2/2008 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
PaLady - caution noted :) I called the hospital and they will the copy of the MRI CD available within 10 minutes so I will pick it up probably tomorrow. She didn't mention any charge.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
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straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 6/2/2008 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Red, I don't think I would mention to the drs riding the Harley. If you do, they may make light of your medical situation and basically blow you off. They may decide if you can sit and ride on one, you must not be in as bad as shape as you claim. Isure hope the neuro can give you some relief. Hugs, Susie


ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 6/2/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Red. I hope you get some answers from this doc! How is the accupuncture going? Has he started treatments on your back yet?

Oh, and I was going to say that you should be sure to tell him about your Raynaud's syndrome. Your signature says it is secondary, but do you know that for sure? If you have nerve conduction problems, that could be another symptom maybe...

Best of luck! Let us know how it goes.

Ry

p.s. I completely envy you your Harley!!!!

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23413
   Posted 6/3/2008 4:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks all :) Actually I don't ride the Harley but a few times a year. I choose and pick the times I go depending on how I am feeling. Believe it or not, just rolling over in bed hurts my back more then the Harley.

Ry, no I'm not sure my Raynauds is secondary. The docs just told me and even though I haven't had any proper testing, I know 100% that is what it is - Raynauds, not secondary or primary that is. :) But I will be sure to bring that up to the doc when I see him. And no, no back accup. yet. I go see him again tomorrow and I am going to ask him then if he could start on my back. He is still concentrating on the energy levels in my legs. It has got better but still not where it's supposed to be.


 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
 
 
 
 

 
 

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