Well, I have been fired by my neurologist

I started seeing my (now former) neurologist at the end of '06.  Pretty much the only positive thing I can say about him is that he filled out the RFC which allowed me to get disability.  Other than that, however...

I've been trying to get in to see a neurosurgeon for the last three years.  That's when I found out the guy who did my last two revisions relocated to CO (I'm in TX).  I finally managed to see New Guy about two weeks ago.  He looked at my MRI from a year ago and said "You do realize you have two fused vertebrae in your cervical spine, right? You do realize that it looks like you have a syringomyelia in your cervical spine, right?" Um, news to me.  So New Guy wanted me to get a new MRI done to confirm what he thought he saw.

I went home and looked up "syrinx" and "syringomyelia" online.  I've been having numbness in my extremities (sometimes one arm or leg, sometimes both, sometimes one side of my body) for at least two years, which would be nicely explained by the existence of a syringomyelia.  The last time I mentioned the numbness/pain to my (now former) neurologist, I was nearly in tears.  I asked him if there were any further tests that could be performed to determine why I was in so much pain (at this point I had no idea about the fusion/syringomyelia).  He very flippantly told me "No, I don't think you need any of those tests...but I can send you to a pain management clinic, if you like."

Today I had a follow up visit with the neurologist.  I mentioned New Guy's suspicions about the syringomyelia.  He left the exam room and was gone for a while, while he looked at the old and new scans.  Hubby wondered why he left the room to look at the scans, since there was a computer right in the exam room.  I told him there was a distinct possibility the neurologist might look at the scans and blurt out "Oh, shit!", and he didn't want an audience if that occurred.

The neurologist came back into the exam room and rather angrily told me that he saw no evidence of syringomyelia in either the old or new scans.  He claimed I'd never mentioned the numbness in my extremities in any of my previous visits, and he knew this "because he always writes everything down".  I quite calmly said to him "Maybe you forgot to write it down?"  He snapped, and told me he didn't like the fact I was "such a difficult patient, always accusing him of things, and he didn't like to 'fire' his patients but in this case he felt he had no other choice."  He curtly said goodbye and left the room. 

The important concept to keep in mind here is that, just like any doctor's office, the neurologist has a form you fill out at the start of your visit, asking about any new or worsening symptoms.  I've been making note of the numbness in my extremities for at least the last two years.  So even if he did *not* "write everything down" in my case, *I did*.  So A, his memory's not as perfect as he thinks it is, B, he never read the patient form, or C, he never transcribed the information on the form into the practice's computer system.  Which leads us to D, none of the above scenarios is my fault.

Now, is it possible that the neurosurgeon is just a cut-happy guy who likes to get paid for doing a gazillion possibly unnecessary surgeries a year? Of course it is.  But I'd take the word of a guy who makes his living by physically poking around inside somebody's nervous system over the word of a guy who grasps the basic theoretical concepts, but was too chickenshit to take the extra step and actually become a neuro*surgeon*.

If "being fired" had to happen, at least it happened at a good time.  Hubby's office is changing insurance plans, so I'll have to see who's on the new insurance's provider list.  And I think I've given up on the idea of seeing a local provider, at least for the complicated "zebra" stuff.  I'm gonna try to find a neurologist in the TX Medical Center, which is about a half-hour car ride on a good day, but at least those guys are used to dealing with zebras like me.

ETA: I have an appt with a new neurologist! I went to my neurosurgeon's practice webpage, looked to see what neurologists were affiliated with his practice, picked a name and sent her an email.  She wrote me back right away and told me that she doesn't see pts (she's a researcher), but she gave me the contact info for a good neurologist.  His office just called me, and now I have an appt set up for the end of July.  Yay me! :-)
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    relieved relieved

And the router is reborn!

We had a power outage the other day that apparently fried my external USB router.  I couldn't find my original installation disc.  Plug and play wasn't cooperative.  I had started to seriously consider the possibility that I might have to replace my router. 

Fortunately, I finally heard back from tech support.  They gave me two links to try to download the driver from.  First link didn't work, the second one did. 

Hubby didn't believe me when I told him about a year ago that I thought I needed my own router in here.  There's enough distance between the original router and this room that I just wasn't getting signal strength at all.  Spent $40 on the USB router, and I was up and running like a champ.  Best forty bucks I ever spent, but I'm just as glad I didn't have to do it a second time.
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    happy happy

Stolen from halleyscomet...I LOLed :-)

If you've raised kids (or been one), and gone through the pet syndrome, including toilet flush burials for dead goldfish, the story below will have
you laughing out LOUD!

I had to take my son's lizard to the vet.

Here's what happened:

Just after dinner one night, my son came up to tell me there was "something wrong" with one of the two lizards he holds prisoner in his room.

"He's just lying there looking sick," he told me. "I'm serious,Dad. Can you help?"

I put my best lizard-healer expression on my face and followed
him into his bedroom. One of the little lizards was indeed lying
on his back, looking stressed. I immediately knew what to do.

"Honey," I called, "come look at the lizard!"
"Oh, my gosh!" my wife exclaimed. "She's having babies."

"What?" my son demanded. "But their names are Bert and Ernie, Mom!"

I was equally outraged.

"Hey, how can that be? I thought we said we didn't want them to reproduce,"
I said accusingly to my wife.

"Well, what do you want me to do, post a sign in their cage?" she inquired.
(I think she actually said this sarcastically!)

"No, but you were supposed to get two boys!"

"Yeah, Bert and Ernie!" my son agreed.

"Well, it's just a little hard to tell on some guys, you know," she informed me.
(Again with the sarcasm!)

By now the rest of the family had gathered to see what was going on. I shrugged,
deciding to make the best of it.

"Kids, this is going to be a wondrous experience," I announced. "We're about to witness the miracle of birth."

"Oh, gross!" they shrieked.

We peered at the patient. After much struggling, what looked like a tiny foot would appear briefly, vanishing a scant second later.

"We don't appear to be making much progress," I noted.

"It's breech," my wife whispered, horrified.

"Do something, Dad!" my son urged.

"Okay, okay." Squeamishly, I reached in and grabbed the foot when it next appeared,
giving it a gentle tug. It disappeared. I tried several more times with the same results.

"Should I call 911?" my eldest daughter wanted to know.

"Maybe they could talk us through the trauma." (You see a pattern here with the females in my house?)

"Let's get Ernie to the vet," I said grimly. We drove to the vet with my son holding the cage in his lap.

"Breathe, Ernie, breathe," he urged.

The vet took Ernie back to the examining room and peered at the little animal through a magnifying glass.

"What do you think, Doc, a C-section?" I suggested scientifically.

"Oh, very interesting," he murmured. "Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, may I speak to you privately for a moment?"

I gulped, nodding for my son to step outside.

"Is Ernie going to be okay?" my wife asked.

"Oh, perfectly," the vet assured us. "This lizard is not in labor. In fact, that isn't EVER going to happen. . Ernie is a boy. You see, Ernie is a young male. And occasionally, as they come into maturity, like most male species, they um . . um . . . masturbate. Just the way he did, lying on his back" He blushed, glancing at my wife.

We were silent,absorbing this.

"So, Ernie's just, just . . . excited," my wife offered.

"Exactly," the vet replied, relieved that we understood.

More silence. Then my vicious, cruel wife started to giggle.

And giggle. And then even laugh loudly.

Tears were now running down her face. "It's just ... that ...I'm picturing you pulling on its . . . its . . . teeny little . . ."

She gasped for more air to bellow in laughter once more.

"That's enough," I warned. We thanked the vet and hurriedly bundled the lizard and our son back into the car. He was glad everything was going to be okay.

"I know Ernie's really thankful for what you did, Dad," he told me.

"Oh, you have NO idea," my wife agreed, collapsing with laughter.

Two lizards: $140.

One cage: $50.

Trip to the vet: $30.

Memory of your husband pulling on a lizard's winkie:


Moral of the story: Pay attention in biology class.

Lizards lay eggs!
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    amused amused

Repost: Help Us Support Planned Parenthood

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Well, fuck.

Saw the new neurosurgeon today. He had a look at my old scans (from barely a year ago). Unlike my neurologist, who took the word of the radiologist, who said I showed "slight arthritis" in my neck area but nothing more serious, the neurosurgeon thinks I have a syringomyelia which might require surgery on the Chiari malformation. They're gonna schedule me for a new neck/spine MRI, and we'll see where that goes.

Any good thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • Current Mood
    worried worried


Jesus H motherfucking christ on a goddamn silverplated popsicle stick!

Ever since I discovered that my former neurosurgeon relocated to Colorado without notifying me, I've been trying to find a new neurosurgeon.  We were told that a specific doctor had taken over my guy's pts when my guy left town.  I've been trying ever since to get an appt with the new guy.

Hubby has most of this week off, so I tried to call to set up an appt last week.  They didn't get back to me until today.

"Do you have an aneurysm?" No.

"Is this an emergency situation?" No.  For chrissake, if it was, I'd be calling 911, you idiot!

"Are you an established pt of his?" Not exactly...I explain the situation.

"Well, in that case, he's really not interested in seeing new pts.  He feels that 'getting to know you' visits take too much time away from the trauma pts, and his established pts."


As I tried to explain, I'd much rather have an established relationship with a neurosurgeon, than spontaneously go into shunt failure (which is usually how that happens, it's not a gradual process), show up at the ER, and hope that whoever the neuro on call is knows how to do shunt revisions. 

And that whole "trauma" statement was just weird.  When I'm in full-blown shunt failure, I'm either passed out, or very close to it.  Which is to say, in no condition to give a clear and concise medical history.  Much as I love my husband, he's only known me 8.5 years, he's not gonna be able to fill in all the blanks in that kind of situation.  So the new guy only wants to see me in an emergency, when I can't talk to him? Huh?

No dice, he's still not interested.  Oh well.  Guess I can cross him off my list....

ETA:  Thanks to everyone who replied, for giving me some really good suggestions.  I emailed New Guy's office directly, and I also emailed Old Guy's office in Colorado.  I explained what New Guy's office had told me about him not wanting to accept new pts.  I emailed Old Guy's office basically asking them if they might be willing/able to grease the skids a little.  New Guy's office emailed me this morning (Tues 4/17), and I just got off the phone with Old Guy's office in Colorado.  I must say, I'm very impressed that Old Guy's office actually *called*.  Old Guy is apparently out of town, but the lady I spoke to, his PA, promised that she'd discuss this with him when he got back, and they'd try to send me some local recommendations.  When New Guy's office responded to my email, they basically said "we're sorry you had difficulty, we're gonna tell all this to New Guy's office manager to see how she wants to handle it".  So, progress, of a sort...

ETA 2:  Just got off the phone with the office manager at New Guy's office.  She apologized profusely for what I'd been told.  She said New Guy is certainly willing and able to see Old Guy's pts, and totally understands the need for a "getting to know you" visit before an emergency happens.  I have an appt for this Mon (4/23).
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    happy happy