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Advice for attending a first appointment

I’ve got an appointment with a neurologist in a couple of weeks, it’s my first one and I’ve not had a diagnosis or anything. I was just wondering if there’s anything I should be aware of or if there’s any questions I should particularly be asking? Thanks

Hello

First of all, start by writing yourself a little timeline with what symptoms have happened to you and when. Note how long things have lasted and whether they have improved over weeks of months or have never improved. You could also keep notes of questions that occur to you. There might have been things that happened to you in the past that could be related.

The neurologist will start by talking to you about your history and what has brought you to see him/her. This is the point at which your list of symptoms will be invaluable. So take it with you and refer to it. You don’t want to leave the appointment and think, ‘oh, I forgot X and that was important!’ Equally, remember to refer to your questions.

The next thing the neurologist will do is a physical exam, things like reflexes and standing with your eyes shut, walking heel to toe, following his/her finger with your eyes.

Then s/he will discuss what they think and will possibly refer you for tests, usually including an MRI scan, also a lumbar puncture, maybe Evoked Potentials and/or Nerve Conduction tests.

It is always a good idea to take someone with you to the appointment. Apart from anything, they will help you remember what is said by the neurologist. It’s common to leave the appointment and think ‘what did s/he say happens next?’

Meanwhile, don’t get too stressed about the appointment, and don’t convince yourself it’s definitely MS. There are lots of other diagnoses that resemble MS, so it could be something different. Oh, and don’t do too much googling of symptoms. You’ll only worry yourself.

Good luck, you can keep coming back here if you think of questions you could do with airing.

Sue

Hi Sue,

Thanks that’s all really helpful :slight_smile:

Be brave enough to tell them all your symptoms. I wrote all mine down but didn’t say them all because I felt stupid reeling off all these different things. Now my “symptom” on my MRI referral is just memory loss. So I kind of feel I didn’t give him the full picture which I hugely regret!

That’s really good advice Kym. It’s one of the reasons I keep telling people to write their symptoms down and to refer to the list during the appointment. I think many of us do what you’ve done and not mentioned things we regret later.

What you could do to redress things is to write to the doctor, explain that you were nervous and didn’t say everything that you should have. Then explain the things you missed out.

Sue