On Tuesday afternoon I had an appointment with my neurologist. As I have mentioned previously I really like my neuro. He answers my questions, and believe me, sometimes when I see him I have pages of questions I have written down, he doesn't sugar coat his responses and I believe he gives me the most up to date information. In the past I have hand written questions to him and he has always replied and most recently I sent him an email, to which he also replied. So as a client (I was going to write patient...) I feel respected, heard and that my MS is appropriately managed.
I don't often have afternoon appointments. Usually I attend first thing in the morning, with my husband, but childless. However this time I had an arvo appointment, with my husband and kids. I did have a morning appointment, but it clashed with a lecture at university so I had to change it. We decided to take the kids, to keep it foremost in my neuro's mind that I am a mum and there's nothing quite like an auditory-visual reminder.
Let me tell you, afternoons are busy. My neuro's rooms are in a suite with two other doctors. There was only one empty seat in the waiting room, so Ryan and the kids stood in the corridor outside, looking in through the glass walls. While I was waiting I stuck my nose in a magazine. My kids came in a few times and distracted me, but this just gave me the opportunity to gaze around the room trying to decide who had MS and who didn't. But as you would expect in neurology rooms its a near impossible feat.
Eventually my neuro appeared and called my name. We all bumbled into his room and sat down. Sabin started whinging and my neuro asked if it was ok to give him some cars to play with - of course it was, unless he really wanted his other clients to experience Sabin’s crescendo peak!
The appointment was really just to see how Mr C is coming along, whether I am happy with the daily injections and how any reactions are going. Everything for me is fine. Mr C sometimes stings, gives me welts and itches occasionally but it's improved since I started, when it stung, gave me welts and itched all the time. The welts are an ongoing thing - sometimes they are very large, sometimes small, but they are always under clothing, so its really no big deal.
We briefly talked about the new drugs available, alternative drugs to Mr C, such as betaferon and whether I would like to participate in a study - a blood test for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a viral brain infection which can be activated by another drug used to manage MS called Tysabri. Currently this test is not available to the general population, so I thought why the hell not because if I was to start Tysabri, then I would have a head start on the question of PML. But I don't currently know much about Tysabri or the test, so that’s all I will say about it.
We talked about my next MRI, which is in June. We cancelled my follow-up to the MRI, instead making an appointment for December. My neuro said that he would call me to schedule an appointment if he needed to speak to me about the MRI results. Hopefully he won't need to do that, because hopefully Mr C is doing his job. Obviously after the MRI, I will call the office of my neuro and ask for a copy of the results and that way I can email him to my hearts content.
The appointment was quick, painless and highly unnecessary because I am ok with Mr C, daily injections and reactions, but it is probably mandatory for someone who has just started “serious” medication. So $180 later, Sabin couldn’t even make it out the door with a souvenir. He did make it to the door holding the cars, but nothing seems to get past my neuro.