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Old 05-03-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
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So many questions on quest for diagnosis.

I have an appointment with a new doctor on Thursday, and while I'm not very patient, I'm trying to use the time to educate myself as much as possible. I posted last week in "frustrated and firing my doctor."

So the new doc is a holistic doctor, I found him through the provider search on the American Holistic Medical Association web site (We'll call him Dr. A.). I'm really hoping that means that he's going to work with me to figure out what's going on. I am so tired of not feeling well, and tired of being ignored or pushed aside by incompetant doctors who are threatened by patients who take time to research and try to understand what is going on in their bodies. I flat out told my husband that if this doctor won't help me, I'll fire him too and keep looking. I need answers.

One particular issue that I'm having, I'm having a tough time describing. I don't know if it has anything to do with the rest of what's going on or not, but I want to be sure to tell Dr. A everything, so he has a complete picture. I attempted to describe it to my former doctor a couple of weeks ago, and she diagnosed "neuralgia" (nerve pain, probably inflammed nerves). Basically, I have shooting pains in my head. They almost feel like electrical zaps. Sometimes it feels like it happens in my head and heart at the same time. They nearly always make me sort of grasp for breath. Sometimes they happen infrequently (a couple of times per day) and sometimes it's nearly constant (upwards of 40+ per hour, all day). The problem is that it's such an odd feeling, I really don't know that I'm describing it well. Does anybody have any experience with this?

Also, is it best to go in to this new doc with a whole laundry list of non-specific issues, or should I just focus on the most troubling? I don't want him to think I'm a hypochondriac, but I need answers.

Has anyone gone in to a new doctor and just said something to the effect of: "I want you to run these specific tests... if you're not willing to run these tests I'll have to move on until I can find a doctor that will." ?? Because that's the point that I'm at.

If whatever is going on with me is NOT hypothyroid, and this can be ruled out via (the correct) tests, ok, but show me why it's being ruled out, because JUST testing TSH isn't convincing me. (As a reminder, the results for my TSH on 4/23/10 were 2.46 [range of 0.34 - 4.82].)

I'm disillusioned at the medical profession at this point, but I don't want my past experiences to negatively cloud my experience with the new doc. I want to be fair, and keep an open mind that he'll be willing to help me, but it's so hard to put away all the bitterness towards the medical profession in general. I'm not even sure that makes sense.

Does anybody have any advice? Words of wisdom? Words of warning?



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Old 05-03-2010, 01:49 PM   #2
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Re: So many questions on quest for diagnosis.

Sometimes you have to meet a lot of junky doctors to find a good one---like kissing a lot of frogs to find a prince. I've met the bad, but I have good ones.

If you want a good relationship with the doctor, you should ask all your questions, but really listen to the answers---you might want to develop a relationship based upon trust, and really listen to his/her expertise----some doctors are jerks, but some know more than the internet, and are up on more current studies (mine is very current on thyroid, and we discuss these issues, such as t3 etc.). My goal is always to develop a mutual respect, and if I don't find that, I move on.

I hope you find a "prince" ---- but make sure this doctor is an MD or DO, and isn't just trying to sell you his own brand of vitamins or something.

Old 05-03-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: So many questions on quest for diagnosis.

As far as the neurological type symptoms, have you had your B12 levels tested? Also low magnesium causes weird neurogical symptoms. You haven't recently discontinued any medications have you, specifically antidepressants? Withdrawl from SSRIs cause weird brain zaps like you're describing.

When I saw my present provider I did come in with a laundry list of the labs I wanted. I'd done my homework and he was respectful of that and perfectly willing to order the testing. If he hadn't been I would have moved on.

Last edited by javelina; 05-03-2010 at 02:54 PM.

Old 05-03-2010, 04:08 PM   #4
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Re: So many questions on quest for diagnosis.

Reece ~ He is an MD... as much as I distrust doctors, I'm even less trusting of quacks. lol. I hope you're right, and I find a prince soon.

Javelina ~ I'll be asking to have all my vitamin levels tested, I didn't know that low magnesium could cause that issue, but all the more reason to have it checked.
I have quit meds recently, specifically amitryptiline and nadolol (corgard? high blood pressure med, prescribed to decrease headaches). I'd been on the amitryptiline for years for restful sleep for my FMS, but discontinued it because I was hoping it would help the dry mouth/dry eye issues, then my doc had me restart it (because of the brain zaps), then told me to stop it again (because of the dry mouth/eyes). Like I said, she was a piece of work, and I should've fired her a long time ago . If it's just withdrawals from that, I can hope it will end soon?
I hope Dr. A will be willing to run my laundry list of tests like your doc was, or I will be moving on, again.

I just want a doctor to work with me, to help me to feel better. Is that really so much to ask??

Thanks again for all your help... I truly appreciate it.


Old 05-03-2010, 04:16 PM   #5
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Re: So many questions on quest for diagnosis.

I've had the brain zaps every time I went off Prozac and have read online that it's a very common withdrawl symptom from SSRI. Not so sure about amitrypiline but it sure fits the profile if you stop having the symptom when you go back on the drug and it returns when go you off. The length of time it takes to get over it depends on the half-life of the drug, with Prozac it took about a month for the zaps to finally go away, I think amitryptiline has a shorter half life though. .

Old 05-03-2010, 06:56 PM   #6
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Re: So many questions on quest for diagnosis.

Oh I had those AWFUL brain zaps as well when I went off Effexor XR. They were just awful and lasted at least a month! And that is exactly what I called them.......brain zaps. You won't get me to take any of those SSRIs ever again!!

Last edited by hopalong_too; 05-03-2010 at 06:57 PM.

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