How do I convince my GP to refer me for testing?

My brother was diagnosed with RRMS in 2015. Our aunt and two cousins have it.

I get headaches, numbness, tingling, dizziness, fatigue, vertigo, lack of coordination, and something that feels like an electrical wire going from the top of my head to my fingers and toes in short, jarring pulses. I often injure myself because it feels like my limbs don’t belong to me.

When I brought these symptoms, along with my family history, to my GP, he said “let’s wait until you get drop-step before testing you.” From what I’ve read, a person has better chances if they DON’T wait until symptoms progress to that point. My GP blames a lot of these things on my persistent anaemia, but it doesn’t explain the rest.

I realise the tests are expensive, but I’ve had these symptoms on and off for about eight years, and every time they come back, they last longer, and are more severe. I recently bought a cane because my legs just decided not to listen to me one day, and I was beached like a whale on a park bench for hours.

What do I have to say to make him refer me to a neurologist?

Can you see a different gp at the same practice for a second opinion. From what I’ve read not everyone gets every symptom… good luck.

Hi, you are entitled to a second opinion so ask for one in fact insist. If no joy then speak to PALS.

Sorry but what is drop step please?

I imagine it’s foot drop.

Mrs Snowbody. If I was you I’d take myself back to the gp and very assertively tell him/her, not ask, that you are requesting a referral to a neurologist. Take someone confident with you for support if you feel it’s necessary. Point out again your history and the length of time your symptoms have been obvious. Tell the gp that “waiting for foot drop” is a fall risk and that gp has a duty of care for you.

If you still don’t get a positive response then I would be informing the practice manager, of your situation. Keep a record of everything from here on. It is your health at stake here and don’t be fobbed off any longer. I wish you well.

Loads of people with MS never have foot drop so you could be waiting a long time.

I would just go back and ask to be referred to a neuro. If you can afford it, say you will see the person privately. I think i paid 120.00 for thirty minutes and it was well worth it.

Your symptoms could be a lot of things, not necessarily MS and down in part to your anaemia. I would want to know why you have persistent anaemia to be honest. Have you found out why you get this?

Hi. Thanks, all. I just checked this, so sorry for the late reply. I will go in and see the GP on Tuesday, and be assertive. He’s a nice guy, but I guess is under pressure. I can understand that. OHIP is in a state of chronic funds-shortage. As for the anaemia, I take supplements, and still my levels don’t go up. They make me ill, even the ones that are purported to cause less of a problem with this. My haemoglobin has twice been so low (on it’s own, without surgery) they transfused me. I guess the difficulty is that we do not have the NHS in Canada, so doctors, hospitals, etc, can’t see what each other are doing, and my chronic history with these issues is not made electronically obvious. I describe, and explain, but it is not the same as them having documentation.

I’ve read that foot drop is almost always permanent. You really shouldn’t wait for foot drop before seeing a neurologist. Have a look at (maybe print out and take to the GP) Foot drop | MS Trust

Certainly mine started about 7 years ago and just got worse. Orthotics never helped, the only thing that does is FES.

Don’t let your GP get away with being so wrong.