July 5, 2018
In the weeks that followed the appointment with the highly respected Neurologist my husband and I decided to keep the appointment with the local Neurologist suggested by my previous Neurologist, Dr. Kanaan. There were several issues that were leaving questions in the back of our minds. Like, how did the renowned Neurologist come to a decision that I had not had a second exacerbation, why did she not acquaint herself with my history prior to the appointment, why did I feel like I was not bad enough off that I was worthy of her time? Somehow I felt like since I was ambulatory with vision in tact, and no recent experiences with steroids, that I was doing to well to be worthy of her attention.
The second Neurologist, Dr. Reddy, recommended by Dr. Kanaan, was completely unknown to me, so there were no expectations. There were however questions, like—-did I have Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) or Multiple Sclerosis?, If I didn’t have MS why did I have symptoms that I did not have when diagnosed?, Two previous Neurologist have told me that my MRI showed old and new lesions—so how could I have CIS?, If I didn’t have MS what was wrong with me?
The day arrived and I finally met Dr. Reddy, Neurologist suggested by Dr. Kanaan, my previous Neurologist. Lucky me, Dr. Reddy walked into the room with a immediate kindness and put his hand out to greet mine with a calm, confident, caring disposition. He had clearly looked at my previous records and notes (from Dr. Odenheimer, prior to retirement, and Dr. Kanaan), viewed my latest MRI from July 2017, understood my medications and knew my reason for the appointment. As the appointment progressed Dr. Reddy did not ask when symptoms occurred but instead stated he was shocked to hear that the renowned Neurologist had changed the diagnosis. Dr. Reddy made it clear that he would request and read her documentation but felt Dr. Kanaan had correctly diagnosed me with Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.
Dr. Reddy stated that getting back on treatment was of the utmost importance. He requested a MRI, a white blood cell count, increased my leg medicine after hearing my complaint/reasoning and a follow-up cognition assessment.
I think I knew very quickly after meeting Dr. Reddy that I was not going back to the renowned Neurologist. I felt like my questions were heard and answered knowledgeably, he had clearly done his homework and had a genuinely caring bedside manner, much like Dr. Kanaan.
So, I’m back on treatment and trying to get back to where I was previously. I have learned that taking my husband to my appointments is mandatory as he can help me process the happenings of the appointment and remember details I forgot or didn’t hear. Overall I have learned to follow my gut reaction and to take the time to process each appointment before and after.
I am at peace with having MS and feel confident I have been diagnosed correctly. While I would have rather been one of the 20% that did not progress to MS there is a calm in knowing you know what is wrong with your body. I may not know what my future looks like with MS but I know that it’s not terminal and I can experience life with my family, friends and the dogs that love me!!
“As a physician and neurologist, I’d use the word thoughtful to describe myself. In the dictionary, thoughtful has two main definitions: “showing consideration for the needs of other people” and “showing careful consideration or attention. Both are important as a physician. I may not have all the answers, but I can at least give each patient my consideration and attention, which hopefully can still be a valuable service.” Dr. Reddy