MS, Spasticity and When to Change Your Doctor

Cathy Health Guide
  • It was 3:00 in the morning and I was sound asleep.  Suddenly, I awoke in terrible pain.  My right leg felt tight, like a charley horse grabbing hold of my calf and foot.  I couldn’t move my leg.  For a moment I panicked, but instinctively remembered my yoga breathing.  Focus on the breath – deep inhalations and exhalations.  Keep your mind focused…. pain, pain…. keep focusing…pain, pain…keep concentrating.  There!  It seemed like an eternity had passed, when finally my leg felt better and the pain was gone.


    It’s been 25 years since I was first given my MS diagnosis.  In all of those years I’ve never experienced spasticity.  I’ve had charley horses now and then in my feet, lasting short periods of time, but never anything like this.  I’m assuming it’s spasticity; it was definitely something to talk to my doctor about.

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    I was having a difficult time getting an appointment with my neurologist to discuss this latest episode of pain.  I waited for a return call from her or her office to schedule an appointment.  While I patiently waited I continued to experience episodes of spasticity. The pain caused stress, and the stress caused numbness and the numbness caused fatigue! Holy cow!  As they say, “Stop the World!  I Want to Get Off!”


    So, I am faced again with the predicament of either staying with my doctor (even though it’s difficult to connect with her) or, once again, looking for another doctor.  For those of you who are faithful readers of mine, you undoubtedly know I have had this dilemma before. 


    I know my ideal doctor rarely exists these days.  I grew up with my family doctor coming to our home in the evening.  He would carry his medical bag with him, examining us in the comfort of our bedroom.  Today we must make appointments well in advance, even if we are experiencing pain.  (NOTE: In their defense, today’s doctors are overwhelmed with the business side of medicine, particularly with paperwork for insurance companies and the new privacy laws.  They have less time  to spend with patients during office visits than they did when I grew up.)  


    My Question of the Week is:  How often do you change your MS doctor, and if you do change your doctor, what led you to make the change?  Also, do you call your doctor for each new MS symptom you experience? I’d like to hear your thoughts and stories about your experiences with your MS doctor.  Take good care of yourself! 

Published On: August 14, 2012