The answer to my weird and wonderful symptoms
This post was updated on 24/03/18
This is the next instalment in my The Journey section. To read the previous posts, click here.
Monday 29th April 2013- That’s a date that will remain in my memory for a long time.
The day of my neurologist appointment. First of all, as strange as this might sound, I was lucky to get this far so quickly. There are so many people who have weird and wonderful symptoms as I called them, that push to see a specialist but get no where. I know what it is like to have a GP who doesn’t understand. Who has no answer for the symptoms and so makes suggestions only for them not to work. From January to March 2013 I went back and forth to the GP. For other people reading this who have been through something similar, I know that 3 months is a relatively short length of time and for that I am very lucky.
I wasn’t feeling great on the morning of the neurologist appointment. I remember walking into the appointment room and my legs felt weak through fatigue. The neurologist obviously asked me lots of questions on my symptoms and asked me to perform quick tests such as moving my hand over the other and following her gaze etc. The really interesting bit came when I conducted more tests whilst lying on the consultant couch. The more movements I did, the more I had tremors in my right leg. Then the neurologist asked me to tap my left hand against the couch in a slow rhythm. I was fascinated to see that the erratic tremors in my leg became a slow tremor in time with the tapping of my arm. Then after I’d controlled the movement, when I stopped tapping my hand, the movement in my leg stopped as well and rested down on the couch. This is the first time I experienced being able to control the movement in this way.
And the answer to my symptoms is…
Sitting back in the chair by her desk, the neurologist told me that the condition is quite common and she sees it a lot. I have a condition called Functional Neurological Disorder. She described it like my brain has had a crash. If the human brain is like a computer, and the software is thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviour one or a number of the programs /software has crashed-like a computer crashing. So what I had to do was repair that crash by retraining my brain in the way it functions. She asked me if I suffered from Anxiety or Depression, feeling stressed. I joked that I was planning a wedding so that’s stressful. That’s all I could think of. She provided me with a website to research more about the condition and said that she’ll be writing to my GP to suggest that I am referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. And that was that.
G and I went for a coffee in a local garden centre to try and take in the news. It wasn’t as bad as some of scenarios I had had in my head. However we weren’t sure it really helped either. We agreed we’d have a look at the website and go from there.