Journey to a Diagnosis: Part 2

In the course of all the neurologist’s visits, she did some things which helped. One was diagnosing carpal tunnel for which I had surgery on my left hand. She also diagnosed occipital neuralgia. Basically, this is a twisting of the nerves in the area where your skull & spine meet. Her assessment was that this caused many of my headache woes.

However, that’s as far as we got. But, these helps came at a price. I underwent a number of painful tests involving electrodes. In retrospect, I probably should’ve just let her treat the carpal tunnel without additional tests. At the point where she was mystified at my main symptoms, I should have gone elsewhere. Hindsight is always 20/20.

When it became clear that I wouldn’t be working again, I started the process of applying for disability. My doctor was very supportive. Enlisting the help of a well-known attorney, we filed. Mainly, we sited the fibromyalgia, social anxiety, & massive migraines.

In the meantime, my mom began to have medical issues. Her slow walk & limp forced us to make a doctor’s appointment. After telling my mom that she was a candidate for hip replacement, her PCP stunned her by asking what she knew about Parkinson’s disease. Mom’s reply was simply that she knew Michael J. Fox had it. That was it. Her PCP encouraged her to seek a neurologist’s opinion.

Simultaneously, I had noticed that the ring finer & pinky of my left hand had begun intermittently twitching. My eye had a similar twitch. As an avid reader, I wrote it off as stress to my eye. With a pre-teen, teenager, & young adult sons, I thought the hand twitching was due to stress. What I couldn’t explain away was the shuffle.

My boys have teased me for a long time about shuffling. They’ve teased mom about it too. They’re always singing that song ‘Everyday I’m Shuffling’. Shuffling couldn’t be a symptom, right? We’d never given it a second thought. I’m short & figured it was normal.

When the twitch in my hand was particularly active one night, I logged on-line & went to Web MD. Typing in ‘hand twitch’, I was stunned at the results. I’ll admit a few were not applicable at all. One stood out- Parkinson’s. Like mom, I knew nothing about it. A google search revealed that I had way more symptoms of it than I could’ve realized.  I had no idea at that time that Mom had similar news. I called my PCP the next morning.

To be continued…….


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