I was given a differential diagnosis of Ataxia by an alert GP who happened by chance to notice my gait when I was walking through a clinic. I was referred to a neurologist by my GP however I forget the lag time from referral to appointment.
I too was diagnosed with Late Onset Cerebellar Ataxia (I was 70 at the time 76 now) during a thorough examination that included the standard neurological tests (reflexes, eye movement, hand to eye co-ordination etc. and a number of questions; frequent urination etc.) all of which were used to confirm the diagnosis. He spent an hour or more doing all of this.
I saw him yearly for a few years after that and was sent for a blood test to see if a genetic cause could be found. Unfortunately they tested for Friederich’s only which was negative so my cause remains unknown although I had had hints of balance problems all of my life which did not interfere with my daily life or with competitive sports activity. He offered to send me for a special MRI which I declined as he said no matter what type of Ataxia I had there was no treatment.
Fortunately my progression since diagnosis has been very slow although I just had to give up golf because I can no longer take a full hard swing at a golf ball without falling over. I do continue to walk trails with a purpose built walker (Trionic) and lift weights every second day at the “Y”.
I did see a rehab physician specializing in neurological problems but my function was sufficiently high that she could not help me particularly in view of my exercise routine which is usually the first function of rehab. She sees 20 or so Ataxia patients in her practice and only a few have been diagnosed with the actual variant that they have.
Unfortunately my neurologist left private practice although he said he would continue to follow me I haven’t seen him in a couple of years what with COVID and all delaying things. He has nothing to offer however so I haven’t pressed the matter. The last time I saw him his parting words were: "It’s not going to kill you, it’s not going to shorten your life span but it will progress gradually over time.
That’s my experience which sounds like it may be close to yours. I think that regular exercise has helped slow progression as has a sensible diet.
I hope that my experience and observations will better help you understand what we are both dealing with.