no referral... where do I go from here?


At a bit of a loss of where I can go from here and would love a bit of advice for those who’ve been in a similar predicament.

So I am an otherwise fairly healthy 20 year old however on the 29th I woke up with a dead arm which then developed quite severe spasms and tremors as the day went on. By that evening I also noticed that the vision in my left arm was blurred and I just generally felt quite disorientated to the point I got completely lost walking to the local shops and had to call my flat mate for help. The next day although some feeling had returned to my arm, the sensation was reduced and I had pins and needles in it and my fingers had curled and I couldn’t keep them straight at all. By the 3rd day of this I had loss complete function in that arm with the spasms still present and now a crawling sensation in that arm. The next morning things started to progress more worryingly as my arm problems continues but now my right leg was weak and there was some altered sensation in my right foot and spasms now in the leg too, also became very dizzy and nauseous. By the next day some of my sensation in my arm was much better and the tremor was now only present when i was trying to use it however the movements on my right side were ataxic and I could not walk in a straight line, my speech also became visibly slurred and the visual problems became much worse with a large black blind spot in the centre of my vision. No new symptoms have developed since then although the ones I’ve mentioned lasted around 8 days before beginning to clear up although my vision is still dim with a black spot in the left eye almost 3 week later.

anyway so I finally managed to get in to see a GP yesterday, as I stupidly forgot to register with one when I started uni in September and got pretty much nowhere. He cut me off after around 10 seconds and diagnosed migraine with aura and told me to take an aspirin if it happens again. There was no real headache and I’ve had migraines for years which have never resembled this in the slightest. Anyway, my issue is he wouldn’t carry out any further tests or refer me so I am at a loss of how to get to the bottom of this, do I go back for a second opinion or just wait to see if it happens again? Sorry for the rant just feeling very frustrated at the whole situation.

Thanks for anyone who’s managed to read all that and any advice on where to go next would be fantastic,

Emi :slight_smile:

hi emi

see a different doctor at your local surgery.

there are 8 doctors at mine and they give different responses.

this time make a direct request for a referral to neurology.

to be honest, the symptoms have lasted only a month.

my initial symptoms lasted 3 months before my GP considered referring me to a neuro.

don’t get fixated on it being ms because there are lots of other things that could cause your symptoms.

Vit B12 deficiency, Vit D deficiency are two examples that can be easily remedied.

carole x

I think a chat with a different GP might be a good thing too. Have a look at your practice on-line - many of them have GPs with interests in particular areas/systems - cardiac, neurological or whatever. If you find one with a special interest in neurology, that might be helpful.

Small hint, if I may: unless your area of study makes you familiar with medical terms like ‘ataxia’, don’t be in a hurry to use them to a GP - he/she may think they are dealing with a Dr Google-taught armchair expert, and they don’t always care for that. I would suggest just describing what’s happening in plain language and leaving the technical stuff to them.

Good luck.


These phenomena would absolutely warrant an urgent visit to A&E. Even babies can suffer strokes - don’t assume a neurological deficit has an autoimmune cause until a vascular problem has been ruled out.

Please see an optician urgently for an eye test and describe what you’ve experienced to them.

I’m unimpressed by your GP who appears to have jumped the gun to an assumption without adequate exploration and testing. I agree with others advice to see a different person and specifically request referral to a neurologist if they don’t automatically offer it.


I agree with everyone else. If you have any similar recurrence, try going to A&E.

Meanwhile, see a different doctor within the practice. Before you go to the appointment, write a timeline of what has happened to you and when. Note how long symptoms have lasted for, whether they completely resolved or have only partially recovered. And don’t hesitate to take your list out when you are in front of the doctor.

As Alison said, stay away from medical terms, and don’t suggest a diagnosis or mention that you’ve been looking things up on the internet. Doctors prefer to be given details of symptoms and for them to decide what they think is wrong.

By all means though, ask for a referral to a neurologist if one isn’t offered.

I think it’s quite difficult to be young and dealing with doctors. You probably don’t find it easy to be direct with the doctors, and if they don’t take you seriously, then it’s hard to insist that they do. But try.

Best of luck.