Am I going mad

Hi everyone, i am new to this but I would really appreciate your opinion. I am a 39 year old female.

About a year ago I had a period of time during which I had neck ache, with poor balance,which I would describe as my neck feeling very heavy. I had a neck MRI to check for arthritis which was clear. the heaviness did subside after a couple of months but a residual heaviness continues. I also have a feeling of pressure at the base of my head when lying completely flat along with jaw pressure on both sides.

There have also been other symptoms which my or not be related, ie I drop things easily, I now need to sit down or lean against something to put my shoes on as my balance is not great. I intermittently have cloudy vision. I have an overactive bladder, confirmed with urodynamic testing. 

I almost fall over when I stand up straight with my eyes closed and cannot walk with my eyes closed at all without falling over/into things.

Anyway about three months ago, things got worse with strange sensations in my right leg and forearm. When I lie or sit with my legs straight I am unable to lift my right leg of the floor/bed. Often when I walk, it feels like my leg is attached to a lump of concrete and I have to work really hard to lift it. My right hand is only comfortable when I allow it to curl up and it takes so much effort to straighten it.

I saw my GP who was great. ( I have seen my Gp only twice in last 5 years) He said I had brisk reflexes on the right side and he referred me to a neurologist.

I saw the neurologist yesterday. I was with him for less than 10 minutes. He checked arm relexes x1 and leg reflexes x 1, said he agreed about the weakness, saw I was unable to do the heel to toe walk, and then said it was all nothing to worry about at all and was probably due to my age. He didn't ask me to stand with eyes closed or anything like that. "Just to reassure me" he said he would arrange for a plain MRI of my head but does not want to see me again.

I obviously wanted him to tell me everything was fine, but wanted to feel that he had at least done a thorough examination first.

Am I going mad

Thanks everyone

Hi there,

No, you're not going mad.  His words and his actions don't quite tally.

I can only assume it's a misguided effort not to worry you, which has only left you more confused.

He clearly did find some abnormalities, and is referring you for further investigation, which is all quite correct and proper.

Initial consultations don't usually last very long (in fact, none of my consultations have ever lasted very long, even when I went private).

He does agree with you that there were some objective problems, so no, he's not saying you're mad, because he did find something.

Findings on physical examination are very rarely sufficient to come to any conclusions there and then (and certainly not an MS diagnosis), which is why he's ordered a scan.

I think he's treated your case properly, and it's just unfortunate wording.  If the scan finds anything, he undoubtedly will want to see you again, whether or not he's said so at the moment.  But it's usual they don't make the appointment until you have some results to discuss.

Hope this helps,


First of all, no, of course you're not going mad. However, such an apathetic clinical examination would certainly be a valid reason for being mad - in fact, I'd be furious!


The good news is that you are at least having the MRI done. Although what did the neuro mean by "plain" MRI?


If something shows up on the MRI, then the neuro should recall you no matter what he already said. (Maybe he thought he was being reassuring???)


If I were you I would have the MRI, get a copy of it and then wait for the neuro's letter. If there is anything on the MRI, but the neuro discharges you, I would ask for a second opinion, citing the rushed clinical examination as a reason. If there is nothing on the MRI, then I would discuss next steps with my GP - there are non-neurological causes for your symptoms too. If the neuro wants to see you, then I would make a decision about whether or not to see him based on when the appointment is for, how soon a different neuro could be seen, and whether or not I was feeling forgiving (maybe you caught him on a bad day?). It is usually quicker to stick with one neuro, so please bear that in mind too.


It can be really tricky to find the cause of neurological symptoms, so it can take a while. Try and hang in there!


Karen x

your experience sounds similar to mine, i think they are so busy that all appointments are very brief, which although frustrating i suppose means that we do get seem quicker than if they did longer appointments. He was probably trying to reassure you, my neuro did too, still does each time i see him. I know its frustrating having to wait but im afraid the system is slow, as is diagnosis. It is sometimes worth following things up though. The first time i had a scan they took months to arrange a follow up, but then was told i needed anoter scan and after 4 months I phoned up to ask what was happening and it turned out the hospital had it down that they had done it???? my sister is a doctor so i know how busy they all work at hospitals but they are human and do make mistakes so if you dont hear anything do phone the secretary to just remind them you exist. try not to worry though because in my experience it can make everything much worse.

Hi, 3 weeks is good i had to wait longer than that, for my last mri waited a lot longer they thought they had done it so crossed me off the list!!! anyhow still waiting for dx. About 2 years ago my face started going numb, went to GP she said not to worry (which is correct its very common). but it kept happening and then 9months later my arm started shaking and just feeling odd. then got sent to neuro but that was over a year ago. still waiting for dx, it does seem to go on forever. Hope you get a dx quickly