Getting a Second Opinion When You’ve Been Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

So when I was diagnosed with MS, a general Neurologist diagnosed me. Everything was so hectic at the time; I was just trying to understand what was going on … and why I needed to get IV Steroids…

I had never heard of MS, so I was trying to find out everything I could about it. Once the initial shock wore off, I had multiple people ask me if I had received a second opinion. At the time, I was getting aggravated, wondering why everyone was in denial, when I was just trying to cope w/ the changes going on in my life.

I finally decided to get a second opinion, not only from a different neurology office, but also from an MS Specialist.

I can honestly say, that was the best decision I had ever made. Come to find out my general Neurologist was intelligent, yes, but didn’t know as much as my MS Specialist did, and it turns out I was being over medicated on things…

I honestly don’t think I would be where I am right now in living with MS, if I hadn’t gotten that second opinion, which others were suggesting I do. I later learned that a lot of people get a second opinion, or want to see a Specialist in the MS field to ensure they are receiving the best care possible.

I know some people who have had more than 2 or 3 opinions on their diagnosis, and I’m glad I only had to make one change in neurologists, rather than keep on searching.

It’s very odd to think back and see the difference in the opinions of my previous and current neurologist. While they are both very well educated, they just treat their patients differently than one another. Which, in this case, was a VERY good thing. (Did I mention that my diagnosing neurologist stuck me SEVEN times, yes that’s right SEVEN times, to get my spinal fluid for a lumbar puncture aka spinal tap.)

I think all patients should exercise their patient rights… if you aren’t comfortable with your current neurologist (or any physician for that matter) you have a choice to find someone you are comfortable with. It’s a VERY important matter, considering your health is in their hands, so to speak.

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  • Glenda shine says:

    I completely agree! I too was diagnosed by a general neurologist. I too went through the experience of him unsuccessfully attempting a lumbar puncture in his office. However, to top it off, when I went to his office to get my diagnosis, (by the way, he never once told me he suspected MS to prepare me) He simply stated, “Well, you have MS. Go on line and let me know which type of treatment you would like to have.” Are you kidding me! It took me from 2011 until 2013 to finally find an MS specialist within my healthcare organization. They never had one until then! I have to drive three hours to see her but is it ever worth it.Yes, my first doctor knew what tests to have done but that is where his knowledge ended. Do whatever it takes to see a specialist. Even if you have to fight to be referred outside your medical group!

    • Ashley says:

      Yeah! I wish that they wouldn’t just “lay it on you” right when you’re diagnosed… I mean yea, tell us what’s going on… but explain it, show some kind of emotion… give us INFORMATION…

      I mean, the internet is a GREAT resource obviously… but not EVERYTHING is legit and accurate… UGH

      Sorry to hear you went through that – but glad you have a specialist 😉

  • Rhonda Moore says:

    A second opinion is a must with any life changing diagnosis.

  • Patricia Young says:

    How can I find a doctor near me that specialize in MS.
    I live in Bristow, VA

    • Angel Blair says:

      Thank you for reaching out to the MSAA, Patricia. I would be happy to send you information via email for MS care in/near your area. Thank you for reaching out and take care. Angel, MSAA Client Services Specialist

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