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The Quack Neuro is actually a Genius

The new Neurologist that I saw on Thursday and I thought was a quack is actually a genius.  He is right about one dx that all of my other doctors have missed.  

His handling of my initial office visit is why I thought he was a quack but it was just that method that allows him to be a genius.  I'll provide the details because anyone may want to use this approach on their next appointment.

Dr:  Good to meet you.... tell me why you are here.

Me:  My PCP referred me to you.  My neurosurgeon Dr. H says hi.  My neursurgeon says I have a 50/50 chance of having MS and won't operate at this time because if it is MS then the operation may not solve any of the symptoms.

Dr:  Tell me more .....

Me:  Where to begin, here is my timeline .....

Dr:  Wow this is long .... general talk .... some quick exam/nerve reflex tests ....

Dr:  I want you to tell me your number one complaint today. ... If you could solve one and only one problem today which would it be ....

Me:  I have multiple critical problems .... I can't decide on just one ....

Dr:  I will only work with one

Me:  (Thinking to myself ... geesh is this guy a jerk  .... this is like asking a parent to say what child is their favorite ... how can I possibly decide...)  I have to give three ....

Dr:  I will only take one ....

Me:  (Thinking to myself ... geesh .... lazy dr .... but ok,  top priorities (1) my legs don't work (2) my arms don't work (3) I'm so tired I can't do anything.   Legs aren't as bad as they have been so knock those out of consideration.  Arms don't work - can't hold the remote control or change channels, typing is hard, can't pick up small items, etc.  Fatigue - so tired I can't even work the reduced schedule of 25 hours a week.  That is not enough money for my monthly bills.  I am single with no other source of income.  I'm too tired to leave the house .... my legs don't work to carry me from the bedroom floor of my townhouse to the kitchen floor but what does that matter when I'm only alert for 2-3 hours at a time.)   So I announce FATIGUE

Dr:  Great, tell me about the FATIGUE

Me:  Give him the play by play (that will be another posting)

Dr:  Well, your fatigue is not caused by MS.  You have Narcolepsy and Cataplexy.

Me:  What?
(Geesh ... this guy is a quack ... its like being in a donut shop and trying to decide between a plain glazed donut or a chocolate glazed donut and have the clerk tell you all they have is "liver and onions".  Where the hell did that dx come from!!!!!)

Dr:  ... scheduled more tests ... here are samples of Provigil

Me:  Thank you (well at least I got Provigil out of this)

Later that day (Thursday):  See my recent postings for the play by play

Today:  Geesh, the doctor is right I do have Narcolepsy with cataplexy.  (I also have MS but only the neurosurgeon is willing to give that dx right now.)

Why this visit was successful and a key for everyone else:

Only allowing me to work with one symptom worked.  Removing the fatigue from all of my other symptoms allowed this to be properly diagnosed.  Gosh what a surprise.  

Try focusing on only one symptom.  The one that if fixed would provide the best quality of life improvement.

(Of course now that I have the energy to do something, it is more evident than ever that my arms and legs are not working!)  But gosh, I've checked out the sleep disorder books from my library (dewey decimal 616.8498) and googled this multiple times.  Wow.  I never would have guessed.  My other doctors never guessed.  Several of the falls on my time line are likely caused by cataplexy.  Of course the balance, times when I couldn't walk for several days, numbness for several days, etc is most likely MS but wow a dx to work with.)  

So the quack neuro is a genius and I will keep my next appt!
5 Responses
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539156 tn?1281818356
OMG!!  ONe can have narcolepsy and really not know it?!? Far out...!  I am waiting for my narcolepsy panel to come back and was sure it would be negative.  Fatigue is my biggest complaint.  So happy you are feeling better and the med is working for you.  Can I have some too?  LOL  
Mary Kay
Helpful - 0
627818 tn?1271777026
I just talked to a young lady at church today who said she has just been diagnosed with (some long complicated name) which is sort of a pre-narcolepsy. She was told to ingest large amounts of caffeine, since the meds give her a bad reaction! She says she is major fatigued. Sleeps 12 hours and feels like she hasn't slept at all. How interesting!
Helpful - 0
572651 tn?1530999357
So happy to hear you have forgiven your neuro and actually appreciate the diagnostic skills.... Focusing on one symptom at a time makes so much sense if you have an unclear picture of whats going on.  I think we tend to focus so much on MS that we want to lump everything into that dx and forget we can be hosting other viruses/germs/diseases as well.
Glad to hear you are happier!
Lulu
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I loved reading your post . . . great sense of humor!

My Neuro #1 was not able to dx. me with anything other than the Fibro I knew about, (not that he tried very hard) but hey ...... I was thrilled that he introduced me to PROVIGIL.  To his credit, he believed in my fatigue ..... and did not try to blame it on anxiety and depression.

Fatigue has always been my #1 complaint ...... and your right, the Provigil at least enables us to be up and about .... some days/weeks I am more productive than others .... although I'm often a clumsy, numb, stumbling, buzzing, walking zombie who sounds like she's trying to learn a new language, "English!"

Anyway, thanks for sharing ...... btw, are there tests they can do for Narcolepsy? or is it purely a clinical diagnosis?

Thanks,
Julia
Helpful - 0
293157 tn?1285873439
I liked the way you posted this... and its good info to hear others experiences with their Drs..etc...

I never thought of which symptoms would be the one I would bring up mostly... ummm

thanks for sharing this... I'll have to remember this for my next appt..incase a Dr asked which is worse etc...

take care
wobbly
undx
Helpful - 0
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