Thank ya'll so much. I have really been going "down hill " the last month or so. So many different things are coming up, but the aspect of not being as mobile as I am use to is really eating at me. I have 3 children 2 under 5 and the idea of having to pick up a cane or worse is more that I can handle right now. Does anyone have any pointers for my visit with the neuro.
All of us are nervous when we get in front of a doctor, so the best thing to do is to write down everything that is happening with you.
Try to start at the beginning. When did you first have symptoms; what where they. Did they go away and come back, or did they stay with you. Can you see any pattern as to when they might come -- like, when you're overheated, over tired, in the spring, in the fall, any sort of consistency to them that you can determine?
Then go back through your narrative and try to shorten everything down to as succinct and brief a statement as possible. Eliminate all but the basic statements, dates.
Then go back and re-list those things, starting with the symptoms that bother you MOST (like right now, maybe your difficulty walking is your worst.)
Make a copy, and give a copy to the doctor to put into your file. And then when he asks, you have a copy in front of you and won't forget important stuff.
That way, if you don't have a lot of time with the doctor (and doctor visits are shorter and shorter these days!) at least your WORST symptoms will be at the top of your list, moving down to the less troublesome.
Don't worry about "naming symptoms", or self-diagnosing. It is better to simply describe your symptoms, like you did when you asked about "foot drop", than to actually NAME it. Let the doctor do the naming. And doctors these days are particularly put off by people who come in and say something like, "..I've researched this on the internet and I'm SURE I have (name a disease or disorder here)." Even if you are RIGHT...THEY like to be the ones to come up with it..not the patient. So even if you're pretty sure you know what's going on and have a name for it, it's better to just describe what's going on and let the doctor go from there.
Also go back through any medical records you have and make a list of any illnesses you've had -- at least those that were serious enough to seek medical attention (not every cold or flu, for example, but those things that you went to the doctor, got medicine, were treated for). People sometimes forget important things like "Oh yeah, I had mono in high school." or "..there was that bout of meningitis..." or " I get bronchitis every year...", or....
So if there are any illnesses you've had, any surgeries, anything like that -- list them, in chronological order. And give the list to the doctor.
Take with you any medications you might already be taking. And be prepared to tell him about any vitamins, herbal supplements, over-the-counter medications or supplements or herbal teas or anything else that you're taking.
If you've seen other doctors over the years, make a list of their names and contact information (phone, office address). This is particularly important if you've seen any other doctor(s) for what is now ailing you, and if they've done any testing (and have the test results in their records). Sometimes seeing the old results and comparing them with new ones will help the doctor towards a diagnosis.
If you can, take someone with you. Sometimes a spouse is good, other times someone who isn't quite as close and who will be able to be more objective and doesn't get rattled. The doctor is likely to tell you A LOT of information in a brief time, and if you've got someone with you (a girlfriend, for example), she can take notes and help you remember all that he said when you get away from the office. She can also help you keep track of your list of ailments, and make sure you get out the most troubling things.
That's all I can think of right now. I hope this helps!
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....