"You've been waking with nightmares for months? Why didn't you tell me?" I bet almost every clinician has had the experience of asking a patient about a key symptom that they endorse as having been present for months. It can be so frustrating because if you had known they'd had neuropathy or hiccups or whatever, you would have been able to identify their problem sooner. It's really hard not to say "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
The thing is, however, all of us have a whole list of odd symptoms that are happening at any one period in our lives and if we mentioned all of them, even to a sympathetic and interested doctor that you know will not look bored, you will feel like a hypochondriac. It can be hard to separate the important stuff from the not important stuff if you are not a doctor. And, if you are a doctor, imagine trying to construct a question that will get the patient to tell you that for the past eight or ten years, every few months, they get a few days where they intermittently have the sensation of a piece of yarn wrapped around their big toe and the rest of the time, their feet feel normal that will not also yield half an hour's worth of information you are not interested in.
Alternatively, it can be hard even if you know that your doctor would be interested in some symptom, if they don't ask about it, to offer it. No, I don't have diarrhea, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue or weight loss, but I do have this weird feeling...
It's not clear to me what, if anything, one could do about this situation. Clearly, you can't ask questions about every potential variety of sensations that a patient might interpret the symptom of interest as. A doctor calls it shortness of breath; the patient feels it as "there is something lacking from my breath, but only when I take a deep breath" and will deny shortness of breath (true story). You can not ask every patient whom you want to know if they have shortness of breath, "do you feel something lacking in your breath?" and then you would also have to ask them "do you sometimes feel some pain above your collarbones?" (additional true story) because you never know how a particular symptom will manifest with a particular patient and you would have to ask them a nearly infinite set of questions on just that one symptom, then move on to orthopnea. I think the best you can do is to make it as comfortable as possible for them to bring you whatever they feel they can and to sort through it as best you can. It's those open ended questions again.
That's what I've been thinking about on this snowy day. That and "Sleepwalk with Me" which was pretty funny.
For me, for tomorrow, I will hope for a pleasant, inside storm day and safe travels for myself and also for you.