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Just saw GP about MS

I have many of the key symptoms of MS (minus vision, incontinunce, breathing problems) plus my sister has MS and is on Tysabri. I am also a diabetic, and deal with ADHD and aspergers.

Recently I had bloodwork done. All the usual stuff plus ANA, CRP and Rheumatoid factor. It was all clear. So that rules out things like lupus, rheumatoid arithitis, psoriatic arithis etc.

We just spoke about the possbility of an MRI brain scan based on my symptoms. He said the NHS won’t approve it at this stage. He wants me to write down my daily symptoms: numbness, tingling, brain fog, fatigue, ED, itchy skin, emotional mood swings, pain in my back, shoulders and calves, struggling to walk more than 200m.

I am thinking of going private to see a neurologist. Then organising the MRI scan and then back to the neurologist. My GP believes I have treatment resistant/severe depression and that even something like CFS is much more likely than MS. And he says that an MRI brain scan is so detailed that almost anyone may have some abnormality which is in most cases harmless.

What shall I do? I am very anxious.

hi james

you really need to get help with the anxiety.

in my opinion it is a far worse ailment than ms itself.

please don’t think that i’m not taking your post seriously.

the GP said that the NHS won’t approve a MRI at this stage.

so don’t go blowing money on a private neuro just now.

in 6 months time go to see your GP again to see if MRI is still unlikely to be approved.

have you tried mindfulness meditation?

i attended a course on it and it really helped me through a very bad patch.

i just use the breathing technique now.

take a deep breath and go and get on with your day.

what i have learned is that whatever issues i have, the daily stuff keeps on so i must keep on too.

be kind to yourself

Hello James

I find your GPs diagnosis of depression / possible CFS a bit odd actually.

It sounds as though you have had some symptoms that could have a neurological cause. So referral to an NHS neurologist would be quite appropriate. However, persuading your GP of that might be a bit difficult. Your thought of seeing a private neurologist is of course possible, but actually if you could get around paying for an MRI scan would be better.

Why not ask try to see a neurologist privately for an initial appointment and see what s/he thinks. If they believe following a history of what’s happened, plus family history, plus physical exam that an MRI would be the next step, you could use this as evidence to get your GP to refer you for an MRI or to a neurologist on the NHS. If however, you can afford the cost of a private appointment plus MRI, then that would be quicker.

You’d still ultimately have to be referred back to the NHS if evidence shows MS, but it would either give you a head start, or alternatively, reassure you that you don’t have MS.

If you do go down the private route, try to find a neurologist who is an MS specialist and who has an NHS practice as well as private. (Check your local NHS hospitals neurology roster and do an internet search on the individual doctors, that should tell you their specialisms and also whether they have a private practice.)

The one thing your GP did say that’s very sensible is to write down your symptoms, when they started, how they’ve changed over time, whether any have improved or not; a sort of timeline of what’s happened. This will be helpful when going through your history with future doctors.

Best of luck.

Sue