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Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it frustrating, and unnerving, getting two different diagnoses from two different specialists, for one problem?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43730points) February 24th, 2015

So I’ve been plagued with what CareBear suspected was an entrapped ulnar nerve. My GP confirmed it and sent me to a specialist in Wichita. That guy just didn’t do much. Did some X-rays, then brought a lap top so I could see for myself. Of course I couldn’t see anything. (And Care Bear said they can’t see an entrapped ulnar nerve with an X-ray…)

This other guy, today, did a whole battery of completely different tests. It in involved shocking key points on my arm, and the results printed to a screen.
Also, used some sort of needle to poke in my skin at key points, and then told me to press against his hand or whatever. He said that was checking the interaction of the nerves and the muscles.

He showed me the results and quickly explained them to me…and announced I do NOT have an entrapped ulnar nerve! It will most likely turn out to be pretty severe tendonitis.

I trust the second guy more than the first.

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15 Answers

Aethelwine's avatar

For one issue I had a pulmonologist tell me it might be sleep apnea, my GP told me it might be anxiety and an ER doctor told me it was possibly my histoplasmosis flaring up with a high pollen count exasperating the problem. I still not know what exactly is wrong or if it’s a combination of all three possibilities.

Yes, it’s frustrating. At this point I’m all about second, third and fourth opinions. I think. ugh

gorillapaws's avatar

I think it’s important to have your MDs communicate with each other. Patients aren’t really in a good position to mediate between MDs with differing opinions on potentially complicated medical issues. Doctors can and do call each other up and talk about patients. I would insist on that. Any doctor not willing to work with other specialists is not one I would trust.

josie's avatar

I would start with the more conservative diagnosis and less expensive treatment plan. Whatever it is in your case, it is not going to kill you. You don’t have to hurry.

gailcalled's avatar

The treatment seems very similar for both diagnoses. Did either doctor suggest practical treatment?

Stretches aka OT
Heat
Rest
Bracing
NSAIDS

(Who’s Care Bear?)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

No, you just see a third to break the tie.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s not frustrating when I disagree with the first guy. LOL.

Actually, it is scary to me to be honest. I already don’t trust doctors. Did that first doctor redo X-rays that have already been done?

Did the second doctor know the first doctor’s diagnosis? If so, I really like he didn’t just agree with it.

I do worry unnecessary tests are being run. I don’t know enough about your problem to really know though. I worry about that in general.

What are the treatments suggested by both? What exactly are your symptoms? How bad are your symptoms?

@gorillapaws I never have doctors coordinating care outside of a hospital setting. It would be nice.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My doctor is the one who set up up the appointment. They will be talking, I’m sure.

I brace it. I take an anti inflammatory morning and evening. I ice it while I’m watching TV at night. I went on line to find stretches for an entrapped ulnar nerve and I do those. But if I don’t have an entrapped ulnar nerve, and I have tendonitis instead, it’s possible those exercises could hurt more than help.

(Carebear..play on Rarebear.)

JLeslie's avatar

Ugh, that would suck that the treatment for one actually makes the other worse. I’m a big believer in resting areas of the body that have been hurt. I guess sometimes that is counterproductive though.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I looked up tendonitis. It calls for rest, so I’m not going to do the exercises any more. Going back to the Dr. on Friday.

I also think that pneumonia is coming back.

JLeslie's avatar

Was your pneumonia viral, bacterial, or mycoplasma?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think it was bacterial.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, that’s a good thing in the sense that you can treat with antibiotics. Levaquin is usually great for bacterial pneumonia, but it would depend on the specific bacteria of course.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ll know more on Friday. I just want to zone on the couch and watch a movie…but I have the baby. I am soooo tired, down to my core.

Unbroken's avatar

It sounds like the second is the specialist and the other doctor respects his opinion.

Being in pain saps strength and energy like no other. Explain that you can’t keep “baby” while battling sickness and this muscoskeletal(sp) issue.

You could visit but that is the extent.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, the FIRST was supposed to be the specialist. And they wanted to send me back to him and I said, NO!
They asked why not.
I said, “I just don’t have any confidence in him. I just don’t”
So they sent me to the second who did an EMG. (It’s where they shock the living shit out of your arm and records the results on a monitor. I checked with Rarebear and he said, “I hadn’t realized that you hadn’t had an EMG. That’s key. You can’t make the diagnosis of ulnar nerve entrapment without it.”

The first guy just did x-rays.

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