Neurologist Appointment

Neurologist Appointment

I had an appointment with my neurologist last week. As it turns out, I didn’t see my neurologist but one of his team. I wrongly thought to myself, here we go. I’m going to have to explain my story again as this was the third different neurologist I had seen in the past two years. But that didn’t happen as the neurologist who saw me had read my file in advance and already knew what I had been going through. So, that got us off on a good start and coupled with the fact that they were kind, compassionate and listened to what I had to say made my appointment a pleasant and productive one.

Because of the vast waiting times between appointments, it is imperative that you get the most out of the time you spend with your neurologist. So, this is where you, the person with Parkinson’s has a role to play. Ten weeks ago, I started on new medication and since that time, I have been watching myself and taking notes of any changes in my symptoms. Based on these notes, I was able to prepare a series of questions / concerns which I put to the neurologist and PD nurse who sat in for most of my appointment. Between them, they answered my queries and I came away feeling good that I had got the information I was looking for. So it got me thinking about my previous appointment which wasn’t as productive for a number of reasons, one of which was I hadn’t prepared myself for the appointment. I went in expecting the neurologist to have all the answers, but the reality is, a neurologist is just that – a neurologist. They are not life coaches, nutritionists or therapists.

So in order to get the most out of your next neurology appointment, I’ve come up with the following tips.
1. Write your questions down before you visit your neurologist. That way, you won’t forget anything you want to ask.
2. Take someone with you for support, be it a family member or carer. They may also have questions which you hadn’t thought of.
3. Be honest. If you’re experiencing embarrassing problems, don’t be afraid to tell your neurologist. The chances are, they have probably already dealt with your “embarrassing issue” with another patient. There is no room for pride or vanity in a neurology clinic.
4. If you can, write down the answers they give to your questions, so you won’t forget them.
5. Manage your expectations – look for answers and information relative to their expertise as Parkinson’s is a complex disease that affects different aspects of a person’s life, not all of which can be treated effectively with medication.
6. Finally, thank them for their help.

For more information on how you can monitor your condition and make the most out of your next consultation, please take a look at The Parkinson’s Well-Being Map http://www.cureparkinsons.org.uk/files/assets/158.pdf
So I hope you will consider the above points for your next neurologist’s appointment, and that way you can come away feeling informed and empowered to look after yourself until you next walk through the clinic doors.

One thought on “Neurologist Appointment

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for your blog about your visit with your Neurologist and Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist. I found it very helpful and inspiring. It started me thinking about that part of Move4Parkinson’s vision that underlines the central importance of us Parkinson’s people taking responsibility for our own state of health. I love this emphasis on self responsibility. It comes in at a salutary time in our human Evolution which seems to be characterised by a deepening disenchantment with Professionals in every area of our collective life. I think that this disenchantment, especially with the misuse of power by so many Professionals, is birthing a deep aspiration within us to take back our own power which we have too easily given away in the past. I feel we are moving into a new time of an equality in knowledge, expertise and skill shared by the Professional and those of us who make use of their services. There is a complementarity of knowing that can be shared by the Professional and the “amateur” alike through a Dialogue of mutual appreciation, affirmation and indeed inspiration. Andrew this feeling was palpable in your description of your recent visit to your Neurologist. Well done to your Neurologist and Parkinson’s nurse for having met you with a listening/caring attitude. And well done to you also Andrew for having taken responsibility for your visit with its consequent learning which you so kindly shared with us in your Blog. John O’Neill

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