snow drifts

I saw the best doctor yesterday! My primary care doctor wanted me to see a physiatrists after I mentioned I was now having trouble brushing my daughter’s hair and washing dishes. It was a little hard for me to find one that took my insurance. This doctor works at a pain center so he was a little confused when I told him I didn’t have pain. He read through my history and also took the time to read my two page “symptom manifesto”. Then we talked a little bit. He asked about my work and if I went to art school. Turns out he is a Rhode Island School of Design grad too. Isn’t that crazy. Can you imagine going to art school and then deciding you want to be a doctor? Well let me tell you I might just make it a prerequisite that all my future doctors be RISD grads! He was open minded, interested, and seemed to trust what I was saying. There is really nothing better than connecting with your doctor. I have had doctors that are specifically looking to discount what I’m saying/experiencing before first considering. In these situations it becomes harder and harder to be open about my symptoms.

He ordered a EMG test to rule out diseases that cause nerve, muscle, and synapse damage like peripheral neropathy and ALS. I don’t think I have ALS but because I have muscle weakness that is not symmetrical without brain lesions, it is a concern. This is scary but I don’t think I have it so I am not going to worry about it. When you have something like that looming over you, almost anything else seems like no big deal. I asked him if he thought I could have Parkinson’s Disease. I have read you can try PD medication to help diagnosis it. He said if I had PD my movements would be ratchety. I came back with: I have that (here is where most doctors would start to think I’m cuckoo)! He wants me to compile a list of neurologists my insurance would cover and he will help me pick one. A good neurologist is where I am headed regardless and that is who could/should conduct that kind of trial.

I told him I wanted to find out what I have so I would know where to donate my research dollars but actually as I get closer to knowing I think I would rather just crawl under a rock. He prescribed me an antidepressant called Amitriptyline. He prescribed it to help with my nerve discomfort but maybe I will allow myself to enjoy it’s mood benefits too.


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  1. Hey Ann,

    I really hate when stuff like this looms. Sometimes things aren’t physical. WE have physical symptoms, but they are just manifest from something going on in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they are not real. There is a difference.

    This happens to me all the time in cases where i am rally down or stressed. I think you are doing the absolute right thing. You get it taken care of and ruled out.

    I had a time when I was having tingling in my face and head. Scary, since my Mom had the same thing and then she wasn’t able to use her legs. I went to a neurologist, got brain scans, went to an ENT, went to primary care. Nothing. It was ruled as a very bad sinus infection – probably one lasting more than a year. My sinuses got so swollen, they were pushing on my nerves causing the sensation. In the process i had MRIs and all kinds of things.

    I could tell you a million of these stories – really.

    I’m wondering, have you been carrying your children around? or Exercising differently. Carpel tunnel?

    Just some thoughts.

    Love and light to you.
    Lisa Nelson recently posted..Add personalization to Planners, Cards, iPhone cases and More with the Erin Condren Gift Card GiveawayMy Profile

    • My family is hoping they are caused by stress and anxiety. It is hard for me to imagine they are even though of course it would be great to not have a degenerative condition. Luckily the EEG test results were negative for ALS which is a serious relief.

  2. I’m so sorry this is all such a big frustrating mystery for you. It’s awesome you found such a helpful doctor, though. And I’m flabbergasted that he went to RISD. hopefully this is a good sign that you’re closer to figuring this out. XO
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted..Barfy the GirlMy Profile

    • Isn’t that funny. I think it shows how smart us RISD people are. In fact, right now I am applying for law school ; )

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