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Being Tested for MS...What should I ask Neuro?

Hello. Thank you for reading this, as I am very scared but also need to know exactly what I may be in for during testing and what to ask the Neurologist to be proactive.

I am 47 years old and have been having numbness in my right arm/hand that comes and goes for about 2 months now. Since I had lower lumbar surgery in 2015, my primary care physician has ordered an MRI of my back for this Wednesday. I don’t feel like this is a back issue, but will go to rule that out. He stated that if the MRI doesn’t show anything he wants me to schedule an appt with a Neurologist for an EMG, which I already have scheduled for April and am on a waiting list if someone cancels.

I have been noticing other symptoms, such as issues with memory, attention span (starting to struggle some days at work), legs will give out for no reason and my walking gate is not always spot on (I’ve always blamed this on the back), and as the day goes on major fatigue…to the point I just feel like I’m going to drop.

I don’t know what to expect at the Neurologist, am scared because of the uncertainty and the fact that I am the breadwinner in the family, but know something different is going on with my body and it is time to find out.

Any advice and insight would be greatly appreciated.

Hi welcome to the site A neurologist first visit is all about your life, problems that you have illnesses that you have, a list of your medications, then they will do physical tests pushing their hand pulling balance baby steps, to many to list. It would help if you have a list ready of all your symptoms and medications that you take. If you have had any tests that were booked a head of time, eg MRI lumber puncture blood tests he may talk about them if you haven’t had any then if they think that it needs looking at they will give you an appointment to have them. The lumber puncture is not to painful but it’s a good idea to stay laying down for a few days drinking things that have caffeine in as that helps to prevent you getting a headache. I know that is not always possible. You will have to lay down in the hospital for an hour before you can leave. It may take a while for the results come through you may get a letter explaining what the neurologist found or not. A neurologist is the only person who can tell you that you have MS. It was a very good idea to place you on a cancellation list as the doctor is very busy I had a quick appointment first but in December they booked me one for April, not long now a few weeks, (thank God) I hope this answers a few questions this is a good site to be on because there is always someone who may be able to answer your questions. Good luck. Kay

Thank you so much for your insight!!!

Hello

I’m confused. When you say you have an appointment with a neurologist for an EMG, do you mean you have an appointment with a neurologist, or an appointment for an EMG? The two are not the same thing (usually).

If the appointment is for an EMG, this is about recording the stimulus to your muscles. It can be used as part of a neurological diagnosis, but isn’t usually done at the same time as an appointment with a neurologist.

If however, your appointment is with a neurologist, it’s likely that you would talk through your medical history and current symptoms, then would have a physical examination before the neurologist decides which tests might be most appropriate for you. This might include an EMG, a further brain and / or spinal MRI, perhaps with contrast dye (to show more detail and indicate current inflammation), nerve conduction studies, evoked potential tests and possibly a lumbar puncture (or many more tests, dependent on your symptoms and physical examination.

Obviously, if your EMG and spinal MRI highlights anything neurological, you would expect to have an appointment with a neurologist soon after (depending on the need to urgency plus the availability of appointments in your area).

Hopefully your MRI has gone well and you’re now just waiting a few weeks for the next test.

Good luck, let us know what happens.

Sue