After finally being referred to a neurologist (long story, but arthritis clinic have satisfied themselves that it wasn’t their drug treatment that’s caused my symptoms and sent me on my merry way), I’m lucky enough to be able to go private (through my works plan) and select a neurologist.
I’ve been given an option of 5 I can make an appointment with, but the one who specialises in MS / is interested in MS is booked up until next year.
I don’t really want to wait that long, so would any neurologist be a good start to see? I’m guessing that they will all be able to tell me what’s going on?
Keen to get the ball rolling as the past few weeks have been pretty unbearable with the temptation to drop myself off at A&E getting greater and greater each day.
Yes, any neurologist should be able to diagnose MS, or indeed any other neurological disease. After diagnosis, the neuro may refer you to a specialist.
In the case of MS, assuming that is your diagnosis, a specialist would probably be the best bet for advising on the appropriate disease modifying drug. In fact, were you to be diagnosed with MS, I’d request referral to a specialist. The reason being the DMDs now available are many and getting the best one to suit you and the form of MS you have is important.
But in the short term, just seeing a neurologist who can get the ball rolling with a) a neurological examination, and b) tests to make an effective diagnosis would be sensible. I think.
Thanks for the reply Sue That’s made it a bit easier for me!
Knowing that I don’t need to select one that specialises in MS means that I can get an appointment a lot quicker than if I’d have waited for a specialist into next year.
Appointment now booked for next month, so time enough to start compiling a list of symptoms and joining the dots to hopefully make it presentable and readable as opposed to the sprawling mess I have at the minute.
Good. Glad I’ve helped a bit!
It’s a really good idea to have written down what symptoms have happened to you and when. Keep notes of how long symptoms lasted, whether they completely resolved or left any lasting effects. This will make it easier when you sit down in front of the neurologist and they say, ‘so, what’s brought you here?’
I wish right at the start of my MS I’d written down all the answers to that question, had it laminated and just added to it as time went by. I could’ve just handed that to each neurologist, MS nurse, physiotherapist, etc, etc. Not that it would have helped. They’d still want me to tell them!!
You’ve done well to get through to any Neurologist!
Neurologists, in my experience, are terrible gatekeepers. My diagnosis began with an Osteopath, followed by a Professor of Neurosurgery. Neither could tell me officially. MS diagnosis can ONLY come from a Neurologist. From Osteopath to Neurologist took 6 months and for one Neurologist to refer to an MS specialist and for her to write a report back to my GP and notify the MS Nurses took a further 4 months. So no, I am not impressed by Neurologists as a breed. And I’m STILL not on any medication…
I concur with Sue: My recommendation will be to get stuck in as early as possible - take the first appointment because that Neurologist will diagnose & triage then move you on, so the sooner you’re in the system and referred to a specialist the better.
Thanks Sue and GCCK!
Completely understand about the winding path to this stage, GCCK - Been with rheumatology for the past 4 or more years with exactly the same symptoms every time.
And each time, I got a change of mediation and a steroid injection (which made a huge difference after a few days) and then the symptoms came back in a lighter form and then bang, everything back in full force 8-14 monthss later.
Then finally fobbed off by them with no further suggestions, so it’s been a bit of a roundabout way to get here!
I didn’t even know there were MS specialist Neurologists out there! I’ve seen one really nice guy (after 8mth wait) in February and he said probable MS (the slowly getting worse type). MRI scan results with him and appointment to share with me and my fella 27th May.
Refuse no NHS care that will get you on the ‘rails’ towards treatment is my advice … all the best. Trish x