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Zolt

Very Frustrated - Where are all the doctors in Fresno Ca.?

8 posts in this topic

I am a caregiver for my dear friend and love of my life for 35 years. She started showing symptoms that I noticed in Sep of 2012. They worsened in March of 2013 to the point where she had a hard time brushing her teeth, was mumbling and had soft speech, drooling and slow gait. I demanded she see her doctor and assertively get a referral to a neurologist. (She is very stubborn/passive - and I was not local at the time to help her get this accomplished) The doctor kept blowing her off as being clinically depressed and after 4 months sent her to a Psychiatrist. The Psychiatrist told her it was not clinical depression and that it was physiological. he referred her to a neurologist and for blood tests.

 

Her blood tests were normal except for higher than normal levels of arsenic in her system. She has since had further 24 hr collections tests that were within normal ranges. The neurologist was giving appointments 4-5 months out and upon us being more forceful suggested she go to the ER. As ridiculous as it may seem, it was our only option in Fresno Ca. (I looked on this website and there was no resource for a PD Dr within 100 miles. The closest is the Parkinson's institute in Sunnyvale Ca. (2.5 hrs away) And yes I am currently working on getting her in for a consult. As I write this they are scheduling for July 2014.

 

After a 27 hr.....YES 27 HR visit to the ER, she was seen by a neurologist and diagnosed as PD. She had one follow up two weeks later and her meds were increased. The next appointment is 8 months away.....YES 8 MONTHS! WTH???? Her neurologist is on maternity leave. I asked her office who was seeing her patients and I was told no one. If she needed to see a doctor go to the ER. Really? Brand new patient....who knows if her meds are gonna work and no follow up with same doctor for 8 months. Absolutely ridiculous.

 

I spoke to the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, Ca. and will work on an appointment there. In the interim, they referred me to this website to find a regular local neurologist. There are none!!!!

 

Help!! Anyone live in the Central California valley and know of a specialist in these parts that is actually available to be seen?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Rob

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Sorry Rob about your love needing help and having a hard time finding it. I don't know what it is about neurologists, there seems to be a real shortage.

I am sure you looked at the list of Centers of Excellence, there is one in Sunnyvale and one in San Fran. Luckily  you don't have to go futher.

 

I live in a  rural part of Northern Ca and I have to drive 5 hours one way to go to any decent doctors.

I would think Fresno would have a good selection. I am surprised.

 

Here is a link to the support group in Fresno, maybe you could contact them and see who they recommend. http://gfpsg.org/

 

Don't give up !

 

Hugs,

Rebecca

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Rebecca,

 

Thanks so much for the link. that will be very helpful. I have already begun the process of getting her in at the P.I. in Sunnyvale. We are very much looking forward to that. In the meantime, I will contact the folks in Fresno you suggested.

 

Thanks again!

 

Rob

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Zolt, I feel your pain! I live in Northern Nevada and I have to go to UCSF Neurology in San Francisco to get help. There are few Neurologists here and the ones that are have either A.) are not taking new patients especially if your on Medicare or Medicaid or  B.) are completely incompetent and have come here to practice because they have been booted/sanctioned/sued out of every other state they have worked in in the past. (NV. has some very lax laws on licensing doctors.)   

 

 You might want to check  University Neurology Associates in Fresno they are with UCSF Neurology an NPF Center for Excellence.

ph.# 559-264-9100

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good grief rebecca2z.   i was used to living in SF and drove a short distance in town to get to davies campus, and every test, dr., specialist, surgeon etc. you could ever need.  now i'm between 2 to 2 1/2 hours away, and that is killer to me !   yesterday really took a lot out of me.          for you, 5 hours !!   one way !           or danc33, gardnerville ( which is great ), to SF ??!!    all we need is this extra " snap " passed on to our already deteriorating selves....!!       at least the bay area, if not the outlying areas, have the drs. we need.   good luck all !

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Have you thought about and checked into Kaiser's Permanente Medical Group?  Surely there is a Kaiser's facility in Fresno.  My husband has had Parkinson's for almost 15 years and we have had Kaiser's for all this time.  His has a neurologist here in Stockton who has given him good care.  In fact, he was having problems with tremors and dyskinesias from too much sinemet.  She prescribed Amantadine about three years ago and it was effective until recently.  We are now going forward with deep brain stimulation surgery.  We went up to Sacramento for this surgery.  His surgeon, Dr. Pappas, has been doing this type of surgery since back in the 1980's-before it was even used for DBS.  Dr. Pappas was  ahead of the curve here.  We could have chosen the Bay Area for the surgery at another Kaiser's facility but we're so-o-o- glad we didn't.  There are lots of follow up visits and he's getting excellent care in Sacramento.  He's had the surgery and now we're headed back up there next week to have his battery turned on-keep your fingers crossed for him and that he'll get the benefit we're hoping for. 

 

If you look at ratings for medical groups, Kaiser's is 5 star rated in both northern and southern California. It's the only medical group meeting this standard.  This study is also posted in Consumer Reports who did an in-depth study of the various medical groups throughout the state.  We have been Kaiser's members for decades and I appreciate the quality of their staff and the medical services offered.  Of course Sunnyvale (PI), UCSF and UCDavis are excellent but driving there is such a challenge.  With Parkinson's you might well be dependent on someone to bring you there-and back-and do followup appointments.  I know it's a difficulty for my friends who do these drives. 

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Rob

Just letting you know I understand your frustration, hang in there.  I use to drive 1800 miles round trip for years and years until late stage entered our lives.  It makes such a difference getting to a good movement disorder facility. 

Good Luck!

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