Neurologist Yesterday, MRI Tomorrow

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/7/2009 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I wanted to let everyone know that my neurologist appointment went quite well. He is a very caring and perceptive person from what I can tell, and we got along really well. I had scheduled my appointment myself, without a referral, which is somewhat risky if one doesn't have medical experience themselves, but my Doctor said I had made a good choice in seeking out a neurologist given my specific symptoms.

He did a long series of tests, which I had never done before - Things like touching me certain places, pricking me with short needles on my foot, asking for my perceived temperature of certain objects. Although I made a fool of myself when he asked me to stretch my leg forward as hard as possible in an odd way and actually teared up as the pain was so bad at that point. He also had me walk down the hall for him. He immediately said he noticed a stiffness not normal to a 22 year old.

I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow, though, and am quite excited to finally get a good imaging procedure done that will be able to detect any soft tissue damage. The most likely thing causing my pain, that my Neurologist mentioned, was the possibility of a bulging disc. This slight bulge or degeneration will only be visible in the magnetic resonance detected from the molecules that make up the soft tissue.

However, I forgot to mention that I am slightly claustraphobic. I've never had an MRI done before, and don't really know what it's like, but know that you are inserted into a small tube and machines buzz around you for a long period of time. Has anyone else here had to take an MRI while being somewhat claustraphobic? Is it scary or am I just making it look worse in my mind?

I also need to sign up for another appointment with my PCP. I am just a little apprehensive -- The reason I hadn't gone to him after the last visit with him was because he never got back to me about a medication he prescribed me. I had some detrimental side effects from it (which were labelled as "Call Your Physician Immediately if you Have any of these Side Effects"), so I called his office. No answer. I called again a couple hours later, no answer. I called again the next day and got a nurse, who "wrote down" my request for information. I told her I just wanted to stop taking the medication and wondered if that was OK, as it didn't really help with my pain at all. She said she didn't know. It was a week since that phone call and still I hadn't received a call back, so I call again. Same situation, no doctor. So I call another doctor entirely and ask for advice. This doctor was very kind but immediately told me that, because he wasn't my PCP, he couldn't know what was best for me. I explained the situation though, and he said I could definitely stop taking the medication, as it was a class of drug with very little withdrawal effects.

So, I guess my question is this: Should I go back and see my PCP that I dislike and view as incompetent/uncaring? Or should I seek out another PCP? I have been with this one ever since I became an adult patient, so I would feel bad, but I don't want to be treated like that.

Well, sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for all of your consideration. I'm feeling better mentally at this point, but the pain persists strong as ever. Sigh, let's just hope I'll know what's wrong with me within a week or two.
Web development, programming, camping, chess, go, painting

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9607
   Posted 7/7/2009 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
sounds like your neurologist appointment went well, so that was good..
when they call to schedule the MRI, let them know up front that your claustraphobic, (I am too!) and they'll
give you a mild sediative for the MRI, so try not to let it scare you, also ask for ear plugs and a cover for
your eye's as that helps!
Why not make an appointment with the PCP that you reached by phone, when you could not reach yours???
More well wishes to you, good luck with the MRI and post back when you can...
lots and lots of soft hugz...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 7/7/2009 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Spacebutler, I agree with Char. Do not feel that you have to stay with a doctor just because you have been with him for several years. As you deal with more health issues, it is important to trust your doctor and feel comfortable with them. We had a thread on here several months ago about relationships with our doctors. It was interesting to hear some people had doctors that were not very strong on compassion but they had a trust with them that made the difference.
As per the MRI. I have had more than I can count. The machines are similar as they lay you on a table that is connected to the tube. You can have ear plugs (I have had earphones before with music) as well as eye covers. The noise is like a pounding sound. I usually close my eyes and think of other things. Definitely let them know that you don't like small places. They also give you a panic button that you can press at any time and have them take you out of the tube. I know people who have had to interupt the MRI and had to go back another day to try it again. If you are on pain meds, I encourage you to take one shortly before the MRI. For some of us, laying on our backs is not something that is very comfortable. I actually went to sleep one time as I was so tired from not sleeping for several nights. They woke me up when it was finished. I will keep you in my prayers tomorrow.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13366
   Posted 7/8/2009 12:16 AM (GMT -6)   


So glad to hear the appt went well with the neurologist, thats so encouraging. I am claustrophobic (?) and have to be sedated for an MRI. But, your dr has to write orders for the facility to give medication, but most of the time the dr will write a script for a couple of pills to take before the MRI. Also, you will need a driver if you are sedated for it.

I always listen to music and I get a small towel to put over my eyes, this is even with the open MRi's they do now. I can do an open MRI w/o sedation. I have had several of them done and the noise is crazy. You hear a clicking, then knocks its just goofy lol.

Having to lay perfectly still on that table is the very worst when you are in pain to begin with. It can take 30/45 minutes to do an MRI.

Yes, you really do need a new PCP. Its time to move on in that direction and because this dr has treated you for so long is no reason to stay. You need someone competent and someone that returns calls. The very least, your dr should have told the nurse the info and at least had her call you back. What he did was inexcusable. None of us like switching drs but if we are not getting the care and attention we need, then you need someone that has the time for you.

Take care and let us know how things go.





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Moderator Chronic Pain
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Swveral other health issues just not enough roo to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

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