Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Please don't settle

In the last twelve months, I've talked to a few newly diagnosed MS'ers. Most of the time, the best I can do is offer support--a shoulder to cry on, a promise that it's not the end of everything. A lot of the advice I give came from my MS guru, Patty. If it's an interwebbienetz friend, I point her to Queen Mediocretia's blog as proof that there's life after diagnosis, to the MS Society website for information and/or to Jooly's Joint for chat.

The one piece of advice that I never heard from anyone was "Please don't settle" and it needs to be said to anyone diagnosed with any kind of life-altering disease. For me, that was MS, so I had to not settle for the first neurologist I saw.

That guy was an arrogant, patronizing jerk who was upset because my diagnosis had been made by my primary care doc and the hospital radiologist. He kept insisting lupus hadn't been completely ruled out, ignored at least two pertinent questions from me, and essentially said I needed to subject myself to a spinal tap so he could make a "proper" diagnosis.

Being me, I bitched and stewed about it, but thankfully Zayrina was around to figuratively slap me upside the head and remind me that there are other neurologist in NE Ohio. I got a referral from a friend, went to the Mellen Center, and wound up with a neurologist who listens to me, doesn't talk down to me, and is someone I am comfortable with having a lifelong relationship with.

For anyone who's newly diagnosed with anything long-term and/or life-altering, please don't settle. Keep looking until you find the right doctor.


the queen said...

Amen - my current neuro is number 2. I have no complaints with him. First guy ... well, I was grateful he diagnosed it so fast. He was my first, so I made believe I loved him.

Mike from Eerie said...

You have no idea how badly I needed to read that.

Or maybe you do.

You know the emotional roller coaster I have been on the last few months.

& you are completely right.

Thank god I have doctors who seem to understand that.

Sort of.

Jammies said...

Your Maj, I understand. I was in love with the charming young resident who did all the spadework that led to my diagnosis. Dr. Arrogant wasn't even worthy of being a rebound guy.

Mike, I do know. I'm glad you have good medical providers, but please keep in mind that they need to help you take care of you. *hugs*

Diane said...

I recently had a reaction to an MS injection I've taken for 10 years. A fever of almost 104 degrees and violent muscle spasms landed me in the hospital for a week. My neurologist claimed it couldn't possibly be due to the medication since he had never heard of such a thing. He insisted on reinjecting me. Just as I predicted, my body responded with high fever and spasms so severe, I thought my bones would break! But the torture and expense were worth it just to hear a neurologist declare, "I guess you proved me wrong."