Calming words from doctors needed!

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Calming words from doctors needed!

Postby speg on July 12th, 2004, 10:46 am

I am very nervous about my neuro appointment next week. Would some of you be willing to share your GP/neuro stories with me to calm my fears? I seem to keep coming across these scare stories -- like a woman on Brain Talk whose GP told her she had MS or ALS just because her calf twitched! (She went to a neuro after that who said she was totally fine.)

Thanks!

Peg

(left calf and right eyelid twitcher for 7 weeks)
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Postby thetwitchkid on July 12th, 2004, 1:21 pm

Peg:

Hi.
My first neuro appointment was great.
The neuro was a seasoned veteran, about 65 years old, who invited me into his office to discuss why I was there. I indicated my twitching for no apparent reason and belief that I had a terrible undiagnosed disease.
He said OK, and took me into the examination room where he asked me do a series of tests, walk on my heals, toes,close my eyes and extend my arms, touch my nose etc. He tested my reflexes with a rubber hammer,looked at my tongue. slapped my muscles. He seemed very focused and thorough.

He then said get dressed and come back to his office. So I did, expecting to get the bad news. He looked across the table from me and said in a very comforting grandfather way "You are perfectly fine." I can see no signs of any disease" I suspect this is stress related"

I ,of course, did not initally believe him and upon my follow-up appointment, he ordered a Brain MRI, and EMG/ NCS because he knew I was not going away until we did some tests.

I am sure you will have a similar experience. It's been about 15 months and I am alive and well !! Good luck
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Postby seeking_calm on July 15th, 2004, 9:55 am

Hi Peg

I had my first Neuro appointment last Thursday. First, you tell them why you came and what your symptoms are. The neuro will ask questions and take down notes. Next up is the basic "neuro exam" of reflex, strength and balance checking. I don't need to go into test details since it has been described numerous times before at this forum.

My neuro also ran the Nerve Conduction test on my left leg. I wasn't expecting that test but it was pretty harmless. Basically she ran small jolts of electricity through my leg to measure the time it took for my foot to jerk in response. All tests were normal. The word "EMG" never even came up in conversation and she concluded a blood test was unecessary since I just had one during my last physical. The only other test she recommend I get was a brain MRI. My GP was originally the one who requested the MRI(to rule out MS) so I think the neuro was just following up on that.

So all in all not a bad visit. I'm still twitching and buzzing as ever, but at least I feel better knowing I saw a specialist. Good luck with your appointment!
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Postby speg on July 15th, 2004, 10:10 am

I don't understand why they are so concerned about MS. You passed your neuro exam, and your symptoms don't sound any different form anyone else here.

Do these tests take into account some of us might be weaker cause we are out of shape, or we might be naturally uncoordinated? I guess I am worried cause I am not athletic and couldn't walk on a balance beam to save my life.
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Postby seeking_calm on July 15th, 2004, 12:45 pm

I don't understand the MS angle either. As I said before, it was my GP who brought the whole thing up after I mentioned pins and needles. I think he wrote down "neuritis?", "MS?" on my neuro referral form. I'm assuming he added the question marks because he was only guessing. That's why the neuro ran the NCV test...to determine if I had peripheral neuropathy(neuritis) in my leg. Since that test came out negative, she said an MRI was the next logical step to see if the nerves in my brain were OK. I didn't get any impression she was even concerned, just being methodical.

As a side note...I would change my current GP in a heartbeat if there wasn't a shortage of family physicians here. My last GP was excellent, but she moved to Australia. :(

Peg, don't worry about being "out of shape" for the tests. I passed the tests even though I have bad muscle tone, poor flexibility and little stamina(I'm talking really out of shape). As for balance...if you can walk in a straight line heel-to-toe(one foot in front of the other) you should be fine.
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Postby speg on July 15th, 2004, 1:47 pm

Peg, don't worry about being "out of shape" for the tests. I passed the tests even though I have bad muscle tone, poor flexibility and little stamina(I'm talking really out of shape). As for balance...if you can walk in a straight line heel-to-toe(one foot in front of the other) you should be fine.

You don't know how much better this made me feel. I am ditto on all of the above, although when the physical therapist tested my strength, I almost kicked her in the face. And my muscles shake when I do things that are a stretch for them. But I assume this is normal, since weightlifters shake, etc.

I think your GP is off on this one. Pins and needles can be a symptom of anxiety!!! I have a friend whose tongue went numb, and they told her it was anxiety -- no MRI.

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Postby speg on July 15th, 2004, 1:49 pm

That's why the neuro ran the NCV test...to determine if I had peripheral neuropathy(neuritis) in my leg.

I am going to assume she never even gave ALS a thought, huh?
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Postby seeking_calm on July 15th, 2004, 8:37 pm

No mention of ALS whatsoever and believe me I went over my entire laundry list of symptoms with her. She did ask me questions like ...Do you have weakness?...can you describe exactly how your twitches feel?....and how long have you had this? There was nothing in my answers or test results that rang any alarm bells for her.

edited July 18--- today the hospital called and I asked them to cancel my MRI appointment. I've been feeling a lot better lately and I agree that an MRI just doesn't feel necessary anymore. If my symptoms dramatically worsen then I will reconsider.
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Postby speg on July 26th, 2004, 1:40 pm

My new shrink was fairly educated on the topic and told me that ALS is very rare, and for every person with ALS there are 10,000 twitchers who don't have ALS . . . he said without weakness, he wouldn't give it a second thought.
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