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First neuro appointment; what to expect?

Hello,

I have my first neuro appointment on Tuesday and I have no idea what to expect… What sort of examination (if any) do they do? What sort of info should I take with me? I have a long history and I don’t want to overwhelm them, I’m going to make it clear I’m going with three symptoms specifically! I just don’t know how I’m going to start. I tend to freeze when a doctor goes “right, how can I help?” I don’t want certain issues I have to show, I want them to take me seriously.

My main fear, and what I want to know is how the examination goes? Like what things do they test? I’m not sure if it’s ms I have, but it’s suspected, also, do we wear a gown or are you fully clothes when they do the examination? I get very anxious with doctors and I just want to know what happens. What are your experiences at your first appointment?

I hope I’m not asking too many questions, I thought I’d be alright but as it gets nearer I find myself thinking and worrying.

I hope your day is letting you cope as best as is possible, Dante.

I’m sorry but I can relate only my experience. I know I’v read answers to questions like this so I hope you’ve found some in old posts but the search has never been good on these forums (at leat since I’ve been reading them). I found using Google with mssoc included in the search terms was best.

I remember the advice given was to take a simple list of the main symptoms to keep you focused and make sure you don’t forget to mention something.

I haven’t heard of people wearing gowns and was wearing summer clothes (T shirt and jeans) when I was examined by a neuro. When my reflxes were tested and my eye movement checked. For exam by a neuro-physio I was asked to remove my shoes and asked about any loss of sensation of touch in my feet. I guess if they want to check your touch sensations a gownn would be better than jeans.

Best wishes!

Hello, I had my first neuro appointment a few weeks ago. He examined me in the clothes I was wearing (jeans, T-shirt). My reflexes were checked - for example he asked me to stand up close my eyes and touch my nose with left index then right index finger then try doing it as fast as I can etc. Simple things. Eye movements were checked too and he used a very bright light for that. He took my medical history asked lots of questions which sounded like he was going through the symptoms of MS. Then I was referred to have an MRI test without having to ask for it.

If you suspect MS, do not leave without an MRI referral. Insist if neuro doesn’t want to send you.

I haven’t seen the neuro yet ( day after tomorrow ) but did have reflexes, balance and skin prick tests done by a specialist neuro physio a few weeks ago. She made me remove my trousers and shoes for tests on legs and feet and then put them back on but remove my t-shirt for tests on top half of body - I think this was all because of the skin prick tests. Good luck - it is horrid being nervous and stressed by medical examinations - but at least they don’t do anything very physically invasive, I hope!

Thank you everyone, this helps,

I just so badly want to be heard, all my symptoms have gone on long enough. I have printed off a chronology of my health for checking and accuracy and a piece of paper with my main symptoms to refer to also, not that I’d forget but I freeze easily.

Thank you for those who have replied, I appreciate it and have taken on board what you have said. I wish you all luck with your appointments etc, take care,

Dante.

I was going to advise taking some notes about your symptoms: when they started, if they’ve gone away when that was, if they’ve changed in any way, any obvious triggers that you’ve noticed. The neuro may also ask about bits of you that you don’t mention - mine seemed to have a mental checklist and when I’d finished describing my symptoms he asked if I’d had any problems with this or that.

The tests did not require me to take off anything more than my shoes. He hit my knees with his hammer, ran the handle up the sole of my foot, had me walk across the room and then try to walk heel to toe (I can’t do that one any more!). There may have been other tests, I can’t remember now, but certainly there was no need to change clothes.

I take my husband with me to my appointments with my neuro, my neuro doesn’t mind and two heads are better than one for taking in what is said. Is there someone who you trust to go with you, sit quietly and just listen? Despite having my husband there, there was also a nurse in the room and when my neuro asked me to go into the examination room adjoining the consulting room, the nurse came with us and my husband stayed where he was.

Good luck.

Thank you mitzi!

It went okay, I saw the registrar. I had a hard time explains difficulty with bladder which was a biggie, but he did a history; then an examination which my mum observed and she said his whole face changed, I had a positive babinski on my eft side which happened at my GP appointment, and I couldn’t feel the vibration thing he was using on my left leg, he was very rough with my leg though which has been hard to bend at the knee for a few months. He caught me off guard when he forcibly bent it, it’s like it gave in, I shouted because it was very painful I tried not to sound angry afterwards. He then made me stand with my eyes closed and before I knew it; I hit the examination bed which I landed in such force, it was a shock a I didn’t feel the falling, just the bed whacking my back and opening my eyes. So at the end of the session I had a painful leg and a painful back!

However, he decided he neede to talk with the consultant, who’s ordering a full spinal MRI and will be seeing me in two-three months, I was a bit disappointed that I’m not getting any form of treatment but I suppose at least they’re treating me seriously.

Thanks everyone, good luck with any upcoming appointments! Take care,

Dante.

Goodness! It is unusual to need body armour and a crash helmet for a consultation. The Registrar wasn’t called ‘M Tyson’ by any chance, was he? I’m no expert, but I think that they are supposed to be standing by to catch patients who are likely to fall over when standing with eyes shut/on one leg or whatever. (Note to self: choose a neurologist with fast reflexes.) Ah well. They did, as you say, take you seriously, and that is the main thing. I hope that the MRI takes you closer to finding out what is the matter.

Alison

I had my first neuro appointment too and the consultant was pretty well convinced it is MS after taking my history and the combined results of the physical exam and a previous examination by a neuro physio, just have to have an MRI to see if any lesions show up,before they can give an official diagnosis. Will have to wait a few weeks for that. I hope they do, tbh, because I don’t want to be in limbo-land for years as others here have had to suffer. I was told that if the MRi did show lesions, there was no point in having a lumbar puncture unless I really wanted one as it would be simply gilding the lily. I said, no thanks, I can live without that!!

Sounds like that registrar needs to polish up his patient handling skills, but I’m glad he took you seriously and has ordered an MRI - that’s an important step towards getting answers.

If you have particular symptoms that are bothering you, see your GP - not all symptoms can be treated, but for those that can, your GP should be able to prescribe something. Depending on the precise nature of your bladder problems, he should be able to prescribe medication or refer you to the continence team for treatment. I would doubt your neuro will give you anything until you’ve got a diagnosis - and then it depends on whether you meet the eligibility criteria set by NICE.

You’re over the first hurdle. I hope you don’t have long to wait for the MRI. Please keep us posted on how you get on.