Do doctors make you feel unimportant?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Neurogurl
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 12/14/2006 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Question for patients with MS: How long before you finally got a diagnosis. Were there times when doctors said you were anxious or had a panic disorder only to later find out it was in fact MS. Also, how long do you think is the normal waiting before finally being diagnosed?

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 12/15/2006 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   

It took three months from the time I walked in to a doctor's office to be diagnosed with MS. I likely had symptoms of MS, though, for several years before I finally went to a neuro to be tested. (This was long before MRI's existed. By the time I walked into that office I had all kinds of obvious clinical signs.)  The doctor ran evoked potential testing, did a spinal tap, had me come in repeatedly to test for clinical signs, and finally determined that I had MS.

The problem that you're referring to -- doctors dismissing patients as "unimportant" -- boils down to this: Doctors are scientists by training.  If they can't PROVE something is wrong -- by test results coming back "positive", and consistent clinical signs, they're not going to ASSUME something is wrong, just because a patient says so.  No matter how evident a patient thinks her symptoms are, if a doctor can't "find" them when testing, they're not going to label a patient as having a particular disease or disorder.  That's a harsh reality, but there it is.

And I should add this:  There are lots and lots of disorders that "look alike" from the outside, and which can cause similar problems for a patient.  Neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders, infections, and the list goes on -- can produce similar symptoms.  Since there is no one definitive test for MS, no one test that - -if it comes back "positive" is "absolute proof" that the patient has MS, everything else has to be eliminated, and/or several tests come back "positive" that point to MS as the diagnosis, before the doctor -- a scientist -- will then reach that conclusion.

How long will this take? As long as necessary for enough testing to come back to point specifically to which disease is ailing the patient.  If, say, there are lesions in the brain, AND obvious testable repeatable clinical signs of MS, AND the patient has had 2 or more episodes separated in time and space that point to MS, then the diagnosis can come quickly. Some folks are diagnosed right away because there are obvious "positive" test results.

Other folks don't have those obvious test results, and because of their health histories, there are possiblities of other things going on -- migraine, infection, other disorders. And it takes awhile for all that to be sorted out.  Could be months, could even be years, before there are enough definitive testable repeatable signs and symptoms for a doctor to make a diagnosis.


 


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

Post Edited (uppitycats) : 12/15/2006 8:34:32 AM (GMT-7)


Neurogurl
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 12/20/2006 5:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Uppitycats..(by the way, love the name!!) Thanks for the response. You mentioned migraines. Just wondering if headaches/migraines are a symptom of ms? Common symptom? And also, visual phenomena....is this a common symptom? (thats what the doctors call it for me, a phenomena) I hate that word. Visual snow and palinopsia. Thats what its called and something is causing it. They tend to dismiss me since my brain mri is normal!!! Appreciate you thoughts!!!!

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 12/21/2006 5:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Neurogurl said...
Uppitycats..(by the way, love the name!!) Thanks for the response. You mentioned migraines. Just wondering if headaches/migraines are a symptom of ms? Common symptom? And also, visual phenomena....is this a common symptom? (thats what the doctors call it for me, a phenomena) I hate that word. Visual snow and palinopsia. Thats what its called and something is causing it. They tend to dismiss me since my brain mri is normal!!! Appreciate you thoughts!!!!
Migraines by themselves are not a common symptom of MS, although there is some evidence that people with MS might be more prone to migraines.  But if you walk into a doctor's office with your "major complaint" (doctor talk for "I'm here because I have a problem") being migraines, he's not likely to jump to the conclusion that you have MS.
 
Sometimes spots show up on an MRI and they're there because a patient has a history of migraines -- migraines can cause lesions, or white spots, to appear on the brain.  Generally there is an area of the brain pretty specific to MS, where, if lesions occur there, then they're more likely to be caused by MS than by something else. 
 
"Visual phenomena" -- why do you hate that phrase?  It sort of explains what it is -- visual disturbances that aren't typical under usual conditions, but are there in a patient.  You keep saying "something is causing it". Yes. Did you ever undergo testing for migraines? Migraines can and do cause all sorts of "visual phenomena".  Migraine is a disorder, not a symptom of some OTHER disorder.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, September 25, 2017 12:28 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,872,888 posts in 315,285 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 156768 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, mangoicea.
240 Guest(s), 2 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Meowalons, cilly


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2017 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer