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Early possible symptoms

Hi I’m just after a little bit of advice really. Over the last 12 months I’ve had a few mild changes. For example, I have become clumsy, unable to complete sentences, tingling and sometimes shaking in my right arm, floaters, fuzzy heads etc. So last year I was sent for an MRI which luckily came back clear. Since then symptoms have remained but within the last few months my children and husband have noticed im shaking my heading from side to side when watching tv(nknown to myself) . My most frusyrating symptom is I am having involuntary laughing fits. These can happen in the most embarrassing places and are becoming more frequent. For example during a game of bingo when it’s silent or in a cafe. It’s not even bought on by anything really funny. I went to my doctor and he referred me to see a neurologist. I understand the NHS are under a lot of stress and have many patients to see and also my symptoms are not urgent compared to others bit I have now been told I will need to wait 30 weeks to see a neurologist. I’m really concerned and worried as I do not want this to affect my work or social life. I am already finding it hard to go out and about in case I have a laughing fit due to embarrassment. Is there anyone with the same symptoms? And how long is a neurology referral normally?

Hello

It sounds like you may have something called emotional lability or pseudobulbar affect. There are many causes for this, but to be diagnosed you do need to see a neurologist. I’m surprised that you have to wait so long to see a neurologist though.

Is there anyway you could afford to see a neurologist privately for an initial appointment? You could then hopefully swap over to the NHS with a faster appointment time if the private neuro thinks there is something that requires more urgency. That way, any expensive tests would be done on the NHS while you’d have peace of mind, or at least feel that your concerns are being treated seriously.

Or you could see your GP again and ask him/her to re-classify your referral to be ‘urgent’. This might move things on a bit.

I can imagine that living with uncontrollable laughter is awkward and rather embarrassing. I imagine you’ve suffered quite a lot of embarrassment in otherwise serious or social situations.

As you had an MRI last year that was clear, hopefully there’s no serious cause for this symptom, but it would be sensible to at least get a neurologists view of your various symptoms sooner rather than later.

Best of luck.

Sue

Thank you for your time to respond. I do get embarrassed and it does stress me out but I don’t like being a burden or making anyone think I’m a hyperchondriac. I have wondered about going private for initial appointment but not sure how I go about it or how much it would cost. My worry is I work in a school and the last thing I want is to have an episode in front of the children or staff. Although my children think it’s quite funny they also see how upset and breathless I can become from having one. Thanks again

You can find a private neurologist by looking at your local NHS hospital, finding a consultant in Neurology who also has a private practice (they usually include this sort of thing in their bio details). You could phone whichever hospital they work at privately and ask how much an appointment would cost. (Probably a couple of hundred pounds - but be aware that private costs for tests are really high - any tests required you should get done on the NHS.) Chances are you’d need to be referred by your GP.

Best of luck.

Sue

Thank you again for you help. I will take a look and see if I can at least arrange an initial appointment. Your advice has been brilliant. I’m going to see if anyone else are experiencing these strange laughing episodes too so I can find out how they deal with them. Thanks again