Thursday, November 20, 2014

Skeptical Doctor

I saw Dr Tacoma yesterday for my neurologic symptoms: spasms, jerking, chorea, speech difficulties, choking, cognitive deficits, numbness, paresthesia, edema, muscle pain and stiffness, shock sensations, difficulty urinating. However, she surmised that my condition is “not neurologic.” I asked her how a movement disorder could not involve the nerves? Aren't our movements and sensations controlled by nerve impulses coming to and from our brains? Dr. Tacoma did not answer my question. I asked her again, pointedly: “How can uncontrolled movements and numbness not be a neurologic problem?” I scrutinized her eyes when I asked the second time, because I was very confused at this point and not a little frustrated. She said that the pattern I am experiencing does not describe any neurologic disorder, and she is quite familiar with them all.

I'm pretty sure Parkinson's, ALS, CMT, and Huntingtons all cause exactly this type of condition, but I did not mention it to her. I asked her what could be causing these symptoms? She did not respond. She said “I have some suggestions for your GP which I will send to her. For example, I would recommend you see a Behavioral Specialist”. I asked her “In what ways do Behavioral Specialists treat movement disorders?”. Dr. Tacoma did not respond to this question. She said, instead, that it didn't make sense to send me for expensive testing given that she didn't recognize a pattern that indicates a specific diagnosis or treatment. I am confused by her inability or refusal to respond to basic questions about my condition and treatment. I have to question if her refusal to engage in a meaningful discussion may be caused by prejudice toward mental health patients, simply due to how common this type of prejudice is among medical doctors. I don't know how else to interpret her reticence.

The doctor asked if I have “evidence” of the movement disorder. She agreed to see me again when I have evidence in the way of either videotape or a 3rd party description of my severe episodes.

I don't think I can operate a video camera while having an attack, but I could return in the summer. When it's hot, and after physical exertion, I am invariably symptomatic. My fear is that if I go back to Dr. Tacoma in the summer by bus, I may have to go to the ER before I get there. The last time I took two buses in the heat was on May 2; on that day I had to go to the ER for hypokalemia, Long QT, and paresthesia before I could stand up and return home. I am terrified of these attacks and would rather try to avoid them.

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