In my usual banter with Dr. SWWNBN via email, she mentioned to me a local radio station here in Seattle would be interviewing her "live" from the American Academy of Neurology conference (today), where she has been hanging out (and probably mostly drunk at the bar) for the past week. I had, of course, been checking on her to make sure she was paying attention to the "important" Multiple Sclerosis research being presented (while drunk at the bar). I even forwarded my edited version of Dr. Gary Cutter's information (see previous post, "Is Science Getting Dumber") to her to make CERTAIN she knew I was aware there was some important information she would be held accountable in knowing! LOL She, in turn, made a veiled threat of quoting me during her interview on the radio.
Well, as luck would have it (or not), I happened to be up at the computer at half past 10:00 this morning and fired up the local radio station...and there she was...yacking her overly-functioning brain off! And the topic she was being interviewed about???? Drum roll please...the latest research statistics about the prevalence of MS among women versus men, i.e., "Dr. Gary Cutter's research"!!! She also spewed some other statistics about MS in the Northwest just for added effect. And the best part? The radio hosts MISPRONOUNCED her name! (Which I will forever be using their pronunciation in any subsequent greetings...)
Most of you who follow "CHEESE" know I am, for the most part, a sarcastic worshipper of my neurologist. After all, Dr. SWWNBN has led me through the "valley of the shadow of death" (come on...you know MS relapses DO feel like near death experiences sometimes!), slapping me unconscious at every hairpin turn in feeble attempts to keep me in submission. Let's face it...interactions with her are excellent fodder for blog topics.
I hear from many of you about your experiences with current and past neurologists...sometimes horrible stories of mistreatment and what I think could be considered downright medical neglect. And I realize how FORTUNATE I am to have Dr. SWWNBN watching over my care...regardless of our peculiar manner in which we communicate with each other (but SHE started it, I didn't...LOL).
This only brings home to me the utmost importance there is in FINDING a neurologist (or someone who specializes in MS) to manage your Multiple Sclerosis. Somehow I "lucked out" and found a highly-trained neurologist who is not only intelligent, but also "human" and can stand toe to toe with me without being knocked over by my strong (is that an understatement?) personality. But I DID wear out two others prior to landing in Dr. SWWNBN's office last year, I might add.
If you find yourself limited in choices because of insurance or location when choosing your MS doctor, I suggest you ask around...start by finding connections either with your local MS Society Chapter or even a local MS support group. Sometimes, it might even be worth the drive to see someone further away if their word-of-mouth reputation is excellent.
I've said it before (and I'll obviously say it again), if you're unhappy with your current neurologist or MS practitioner, move on...neurologists (and other physicians for that matter) are a dime a dozen and every year another 100 or more graduate from med. school and go into practice. Chances are, you'll have MS longer than your neurologist will practice medicine anyway! LOL Don't allow yourself to remain "in the dark" with your practitioner about YOUR MS...find someone who can effectively explain to you what you need to know in a way you can understand. They are not "God", after all, and you CAN question their judgment and reasoning...
I have also put Dr. SWWNBN to task at her conference by planting the notion she SHOULD get into the BIOGEN MS Simulator booth (yes, the drug company HAS spent a butt load of money designing a 4 minute virtual simulation of what it "feels" like to have MS!) before EVER questioning my MS symptoms again (what is normally referred to as "my whining"). I have already looked into how much it would cost me to BRIBE the booth's technician to CRANK UP the electric shock waves a few volts or two if she DOES find her way to the machine...Moohahahaha...