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Thursday, 13 June 2013

2012: The Waiting Game

"The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things"......
(Ignore that quote if you're under about 50 years old!!)
The time had indeed come for us to start talking about the many aspects of Suzie's health that were giving us increasing cause for concern, and our first step was a visit to our own GP on February 8th 2012.
      Suzie's main presenting symptoms were:
            Slowness and stiffness of movement when walking;
            Inability to write properly;
            Co-ordination and manual dexterity difficulties;
            'Vague' or 'blank' facial expression.
Suzie was referred to a Consultant Neurologist whom we met on 12th March. The consultation went pretty much as predicted in that no diagnosis could be made without an MRI scan..... or, in Sue's case, two MRI scans - one of her entire spine and one of her head. For a long time I had thought that her symptoms were consistent with Parkinson's disease but the Neurologist was convinced that this was NOT the case. He thought that Multiple Sclerosis or spinal tumours were more likely.
The appointment for the first MRI scan was scheduled for three weeks later and Sue was dreading it. As a severe claustrophobic she was terrified of going into the scanning 'tunnel', but the staff were very kind and understanding. They gently explained everything they were going to do, constantly reassured her and were happy to wait at each stage until she felt able to proceed. I was allowed to stay with her and throughout the whole 40 minutes she was inside the scanner I was squeezing her feet for reassurance!! Suzie just closed her eyes throughout and sang hymns in her head!
When this scan was over we began what was to become an all too familiar pattern throughout the rest of the year.... WAITING! We went home expecting to wait a couple of weeks and then be called back to be told what was wrong and how they could fix it! Mmmm.... That wasn't quite how it turned out.