Neurologist #4 (Dr. L.)
In early March 2006, we finally visited the next round of neurologists. This time we chose the Department of Neurology – University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia. I remember not being overly impressed by the office, but what struck me as odd, was that I was asked to disrobe and put on a gown, which is not normal for a Neurologist. Not sure why, but OK, whatever, it must be a doctor thing, probably a power trip thing. Shortly I was greeted by a student doctor who took my history and then left the room to present it to one of the doctors. A short time later I was greeted by Doctor D. He introduced himself as a student resident doctor which means that he is basically just about finished with his studies and ready to head out on his own. He sat down with me and my wife got a verbal history and then did some basic testing on me including testing my strength and reflexes. He seemed to be concerned about my left-side strength and my right-side reflexes. He left the room and about 30 minutes later Dr. L returned with him and they again ran more tests on me. Besides the reflex and strength tests, Dr. L also ran several perception tests and had me close my eyes and see if I could identify objects that he placed in my hands. For this test, I was blindfolded and Dr. L. placed several objects in my hand and wanted me to use just my left hand to identify the objects. I recalled him losing his cool right out of the gate for a brief second, only to later learn that the safety pin that was in the container that he poured into my hand had come open and was actually stuck in the middle of my hand. Now I never flinched, I never did anything because I never felt it. According to my wife, I did not do so well on the objects.
All said and done the two left and talked with us about possibilities. They both seemed very sure that it was not Multiple Sclerosis. They, however, said that they wanted to run the last two remaining tests which were the Spinal Tap and Evoked response test. I had a VEP (Visual evoked response) test done over a year ago, but I never found out the results. Trying to get the medical records gathered and put into one spot is a feat all itself. Even after all that he told me that his tests were, wait for it, wait…… yep you guessed “inconclusive”, there is that freaking word one more time.
So at this point, this is the first time a doctor has actually mentioned the words Multiple Sclerosis to us. But on the downside, they once again mentioned Conversion Disorder, which was supposed to have been ruled out by Dr. P in 2005.
My symptoms by now were:
- Increased numbness on the left side (arm, leg, crotch, and face). (burnt arm several times, cut leg and hand several times)
- Shooting pains (hand and feet more likely)
- Frequent urination
- Feeling off balance
- Bumping into things every now and then (mainly with my arm or shoulder (usually the right side)
- Electrical sensations
- Stabbing pains
- Muscle spasms that can be seen under the skin, twitches
- I have intermittent slurred speech and misuse of words.
- I have had difficulty comprehending simple written directions.
- I also have frequent diarrhea, and difficulty emptying my bladder completely.
- I suffer from bouts of debilitating fatigue and have trouble with insomnia and waking several times a night.
- History of myoclonic jerks
- Muscle weakness
- Shaking of hands when performing fine movements
- Mood swings
- Cold body parts like my knee
- Twitching of right eyelid
- Foot drop walking with a cane
- Vibrating in legs and arms