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1st Neurology appt question

Hi all,

I have my first appointment with the neurologist this Saturday, GP referred me because of eye pain/blurred vision and vertigo.

My question is, will they have access to my GP records or do I need to get together a list of things that have been happening?

My GP said previous symptoms I have had plus current ones could indicate MS so I have been trying to think back to when all it all started but it’s difficult!

Hi Kym

What is likely to happen at your initial neurology appointment is that the doctor will ask you what’s brought you there. They won’t have access to your records, so all they will know is what your GP put in the referral (which could be detailed or quite skimpy, so best to rely on just brief details having been included).

This is where a list of what symptoms you have experienced would be handy. Don’t just include things that you think point to MS, consider all the various things that have happened that could be tied together. Include dates when symptoms began, how long things lasted, whether individual symptoms improved (and how long that took), and whether anything is still hanging about. Writing a list, or a kind of diary is helpful. And if you have it written down, take it out and consult it, don’t just hand it over to the doctor, talk through your experiences.

The neurologist is likely to do a neurological examination. This will include standing, maybe on one leg or with your eyes shut. It should include reflexes and a touch test of your feet with your eyes shut (maybe with a pin prick, tuning fork or sharp pointy thing). Also looking at your eyes, asking you to follow his/her fingers, and touch your nose. There are many other things they could do.

Then they’ll make some interim comments about your history and your exam. They won’t make any kind of judgement, unless they believe all your neurological responses are normal. If they think more tests are warranted, they will refer you for maybe an MRI, lumbar puncture and/or evoked potentials tests.

You can ask what they think, but you may not get a straight answer. (‘Better wait for more test results’, or ‘I don’t think it’s X or Y, lets watch and wait to see if anything else happens’.)

They will write to your GP, and copy you in, with their initial findings and any tests they are referring you for.

It’s a very good idea to take someone with you. Quite often you come out of a neurologists office and say ‘what just happened?’ And ‘what did s/he say happens now?’

Good luck for Saturday.

Sue

Hi Kym,

As usual, Sue has given a very thorough and complete answer. There is nothing I can add.

I will only emphasise the importance of taking your partner or friend along, as you’ll never be able to absorb everything that is said on the day. Even taking notes will improve your experience.

Best wishes,

Anthony

Thanks for replies, I wrote a long reply but it disappeared!

I have had symptoms going back 2 years, do I mention them or is that pointless? They have mostly resolved but come back a few times.

My husband is coming with me, thankfully it’s a Saturday!