The Ol’ Switcheroo

The Ol’ Switcheroo


There are times, whether you want to or not, when you are faced with doing the nasty deed.

No, not that.

I’m referring to changing your healthcare provider.


Change is coming!
Change is coming!


To someone with no major health problems, this isn’t such a big deal.

But when you have a chronic illness, like multiple sclerosis, change can be downright scary.

We have more riding on our decision—or so it seems.




Folks change doctors for a variety of reasons.

Moving away, switching jobs or new medical coverage are some of the most popular reasons for change.


But then there are times when you (me)(we) get frustrated with the quality of care.


Is my doctor up to snuff with the latest?

Am I managing my MS the best I can?

Is there something better out there?


Move along.
Move along.




If you are asking such questions—maybe it is time to pull the plug, do the ol’ switcheroo…and find a new doc.



I’ve had to do it.  Let me count the ways…..


Numero uno.
Numero uno.

I liked my first neurologist.  My wife had worked with her at a hospital, so when I was dx’d–she was my obvious choice.

She was thorough and caring.  Concerned.

I felt good when I had an appointment and even better when I left.

A couple of years later, she informed her patients she was closing her practice.


I was S.O.L. and had to find a new doctor.


We're number two!
We’re number two!

He was the best in town..and so he became my second neurologist.

He was the best in town…so I looked past his snarky office staff who seemed bothered to slide open the little glass window to speak to me.

I nosed my way through the overwhelming cloud of Polo cologne mustard gas my doctor bathed in before each appointment…because he was the best in town.

And he was the best in town, so for years I would go thru the same finger-touchy drills in an exam room about the size of a dressing room at Macy’s.


Frustrated by the same routine and a negative feeling with each appointment, my wife suggested another change.


Third time's a charm.
Third time’s a charm.

My third (and current) neurologist is part of a proper MS clinic (Mellen Center, Cleveland Clinic) with a wealth of resources & a variety of treatment options.

Best of all, like my first neurologist, I look forward to appointments.  It’s a positive experience.  And I feel good and content when I leave.

To me that means a lot as MS can be a real downer, a relentless dark shadow.  So when you find someone who helps you poke your head out from the clouds…that is gold, Jerry!



So if you take anything away from this post (besides the usual nausea), remember, if you aren’t completely positively satisfied with your current MS caregiver—it may be time to make the ol’ switcheroo.

Can you relate?  I’d love to hear your story & feelings shared with a comment.

Keep moving.









5 Replies to “The Ol’ Switcheroo”

  1. I can relate “odd sock”. I had the same neurologist for 31 years. We became very comfortable with each other. He was a very good doctor and kept up to date on all the newest treatments etc. I found a second neurologist thinking I could find new and exciting treatment. I found Dr. Carabine at the Oak Clinic in Green, Ohio. It’s a clinic just for ms patient’s. Even though I’m not doing anything differently, everyone at the clinic treats you like a human and not peek out through the glass like you have a contagious disease- like my first neurologists office. Loved him…..the staff, not so much

  2. This is my Ol’Switcheroo story. It actually took place at the Mayo Clinic where I live in Jacksonville Florida, prior to my MS diagnosis. Before I was officially diagnosed with MS, I was going from specialist to specialist trying to find out what was the cause of all of my symptoms. When none of these doctors could determine what was wrong with me I’d tried to make an appointment with the new Mayo Clinic here in town. The problem was, you could not see a specialist without a referral. One of my coworkers at the time told me to make an appointment with the Mayo Family Practice, and that would be your ticket to get in to see a Mayo specialist. So that’s what I did. The problem was this doctor was the worst doctor I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to a lot of doctors. If it was determined that I was going to die, I did not want this doctor to be the one to give me the news, and I did not want to see her for my follow appointment. I called Mayo to see if there was a complaint department. I received a call back, from someone high up, and they arranged for me to have my follow up with another doctor. The follow-up family practice doctor I saw listened to all my aches and pains, and immediately said, “I think you have MS”. He referred me to a neurologist, I went through all the diagnostic tests, and the rest is history. I stayed with that neurologist for almost 10 years. I eventually switched to a different neurologist, not because I did not like the one I had been with, but because I heard this other neurologist speak at an MS program, and he had all the qualities you mentioned in your number three choice. Over the years I have learned that he is one of the top three MS neurologists in the city. My previous neurologist is also in the top three, however, the MS program where I go now, at University of Florida Health, has a better MS program than Mayo. I have been with this neurologist almost 15 years.

  3. Margaret,
    So glad you got it sorted out! Thanks for sharing your story.

    I’ve heard very good things about the Oak Clinic. Isn’t it a good feeling when you find a “home!”
    Thank you for your comment.

  4. Oh I can relate! I call it a nightmare trying to fine the right doc! I had a good friend sorta doc for 20 or so years then he retired. He did his best but now that I am at a real MS center….they are great! They know what they are doing and I am doing much better, I give them much of the credit for me walking again. I miss the hometown docs but am so glad MS has come so far as to have Centers! Odd Sock you always make me laugh when I come here