I have received confirmation of my Neurologist appointment, it is November 6. I have complied a list of all the symptoms I have had over the last several years which I am going to take alone to the appointment.
I last posted on 10/09/06, this was an over view of my symptoms and issues in the past.
I would really like any suggestions as to what questions I should be asking the Neurologist during this appointment. I really want an answer and what to be sure I cover all my bases during this appointment.
I thank you all for your suggestions and wil keep you posted.
Here are some suggestions:
1) List your symptoms in order of importance, and in order of those symptoms that most severely affect your ability to care for yourself: gait (mobility, walking); dress, feed, yourself; toilet yourself; bathe yourself; those sorts of things that doctors call "Activities of Daily Living". Try to be brief and succinct. Don't go into lots of editorializing, like: "...I told a doctor about this and he brushed it off", or "my family doesn't believe me when I tell them"..
Just list it, try to note when it first started happening, whether it's gotten worse or better over time (or has come and gone and come back again).
Be prepared to be interrupted when you get to the sensory stuff (numbness, tingling, that sort of thing.) Although those are very real symptoms, if the doctor can't test for them, he's not likely to be real interested. And given the rather lengthy list of symptoms you're presenting, you want to be sure to get to the really challenging ones first, in case time runs out.
2) Try to avoid "bashing" other doctors. Don't talk about doctors that might have brushed you off, or doctors you didn't like for whatever reason. Simply state that you've taken your concerns to other doctors over the years, tests were done, but nothing was ever diagnosed. If you have those old test results -- or have the names/phone numbers of the doctor who have them -- take that list with you as well. It's likely this new doctor will want to repeat those tests, but he may want to see the old ones as some sort of comparison.
3) Be prepared for a wait. Don't expect that you're going to walk out of the doctor's office with an answer to what ails you, and meds to fix it. Neurological problems...and some metabolic problems, can take a very long time to diagnose, as many many things (yes, including migraine, anxiety disorders, inner ear disorders, etc.) look alike to the outside observer, "present" with many of the same symptoms, and can be notoriously hard to diagnose, and then treat. And if he decides to re-do any of the tests, you'll not have any chance of an answer until that is done, and he's had time to review the results.
4) You said you were going alone. I'd really urge you to reconsider, and take someone with you. If you're not comfortable taking your husband (or he can't go with you, for some reason), then see if you can find a girlfriend or family member to go. The doctor is apt to ask a ton of questions, and throw out all sorts of comments and suggestions. Many of us get intimidated by doctors anyway, and you're going to want to ask all those questions...taking someone with you (particularly since you acknowledged you have some cognitive difficulties) is really important.
5) If he gets done with his office exam and still is ready to dismiss you with no answers -- stand firm. Say politely but firmly: "OK, then, if you can't find anything definite wrong, and I still have these symptoms, where do I go from here? What other specialist do I need to be seeing? There clearly is something wrong, and if it is not neurological in nature, which doctor should I be seeing?"
And good luck to you.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....