My Neurologist’s Poor Choice of Words

Last updated: September 2019

Before I was diagnosed with MS about 10 years ago, I was seeing a neurologist for pain in my legs. He diagnosed me as having diabetic neuropathy. I went to a support group for neuropathy and listened to everyone’s stories and while I could relate to some, my experience wasn’t quite the same.

Diabetic neuropathy

My son had MS so I had watched the onset of the disease with him and the progression. I asked my neurologist and my primary care doctor several times, “Don’t you think I have MS?”

They both said, "No, you have diabetic neuropathy."

An MRI confirmed MS

One time as I was leaving the neurologist office he said these fateful but very ill-chosen words: “Don’t worry, one day you won’t feel the pain any longer because your legs will just be numb.” I believe he was trying to actually comfort me, but it definitely did not have that effect. It sent me into a very depressed state. After many more episodes of legs going numb and arms going numb and finally when my face went numb, they decided to do an MRI. And lo and behold, there were lesions and I had MS surprise surprise!

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