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.