The neurologist ran his practice out of an old Queenslander where the light switches reminded me of my childhood days. The air-conditioning reached almost to the receptionist, but not quite, so that when you stood at her desk to pay you started to perspire.
I spent about 45 minutes in his office. He had me write my name, draw a spiral, walk and turn around. He checked my eyes, had me quickly tap my thumbs against my index fingers repeatedly, had me lie down and whacked me with a reflex hammer, gouged the end into the soles of my feet and ran a "pizza cutter" up my legs. He asked me a series of questions about my symptoms, such as how long I'd had them, whether I could button my shirt, can I turn over in bed, etc.
He told me I had Parkinson's disease, and then looked at one of the MRI scans. I didn't see him read the MRI report, but if he did it was very quickly. After telling me about the disease, he discussed medication and prescribed a dopamine agonist called Sifrol ER (pramipexole), saying that because I am under 60 he wanted to keep levodopa "up our sleeve". Having read all of the support group handouts and the internet websites about what happens after taking levodopa for a prolonged period, I was relieved. I am in no hurry to have all those involuntary movements they call dyskinesia!