Can I cope with change?

The secret of getting ahead is getting started and that’s what I was now doing.

When you’re in a routine change is so hard to overcome. You get into the usual waking up, taking your medication at a specific time and doing your standard duties. It’s only when a spanner is thrown into the works that the feeling of dread becomes noticeable.

I had finally plucked up the courage to ask for a second opinion. Everyone was eager to hear what was going to happen next.

If you feel that you aren’t satisfied then please ask for a second opinion. At first I just thought you had to accept what neurologist you got, I didn’t realise that you had the choice to ask for additional advice. I now realise that you are entitled to that second opinion and you shouldn’t be alone.

Finally someone was listening and I was in a position where my thoughts were being heard. My practice had referred me back to neurology only this time I had the backing of my GP. Both my GP and I had made our feelings known when it came to my condition and I was now at a point to voice that very same mantra to my new specialist.

I was trying my utmost to be optimistic.

The build up to my neurologist appointment was a tormenting experience as I was predicting that I would receive the same treatment as my previous neurologist. I didn’t want to walk out of that very same hospital feeling the same way as before.

On occasion I would pace up and down and write in my diary the feelings of apprehension as there was the possibility that this neurologist may be the one to determine what my shakes were. Could it be him that would give me the answer I so longed to hear?

The day came and I was a nervous wreck. I remember it like it was yesterday. The trepidation was there and I felt sick to my stomach. Before I knew it my name was called. I stood there medication and diary in hand and walked into his office. My fingers and toes were both crossed hoping this neurologist would be better than the last.

There before me stood a young man who was extremely friendly.

“Come in, please sit down”

The gentleman I saw was newly qualified. You could tell he was eager to learn and was very helpful. He made me feel at ease from the moment I walked into his office. After a friendly introduction my neurologist started firing questions at me about my medical history, my seizure pattern and MY SHAKES!

Finally someone is acknowledging the shakes. It was like going back in time to when I met my first neurologist; I felt that I could tell him anything.

My specialist completed a brief examination asking me how I felt when a shaky bout happened and what I did to alleviate the stress. He looked at my diary in which I pinpointed days when I was experiencing discomfort and started to write this down.

He sympathised with my situation and praised the research I was doing to help myself. The doctor was quick to acknowledge that some of the side effects an individual would experience on my medication included paranoia, shakes and headaches and that it was highly likely that my medication was the culprit of my episodes.

After realising my seizures weren’t worsening my neurologist recommended that I reduce my medication slightly to 2500mg to see if this would make a difference in the shaking pattern. Therapy was also something that was recommended as he could see that I was on a constant downer and that I couldn’t accept my condition fully. My neurologist and I were in sync with one another.

I asked the neurologist what therapy would give me? He advised that a therapist would be able to teach me calming techniques to aid my worry and to maybe identify what the root cause of my thoughts were.
The word therapy is something people will say is “Bloody stupid” so many people ask “What do you need therapy for”. Who are they to bloody criticise? So what I was going to see a therapist does that make a weirdo? Of course not.

Now at first I wasn’t a big fan of hearing the word “Therapist”. I didn’t want others to judge me.
The only person I wanted to do that was me. What if they thought that what I was telling them about my condition was fictional? Would if they send me away and tell me I was being stupid?

To hell with it, I took the bull by the horns and asked that he sign me up straight away.

I thanked my neurologist for his help and walked away with a booming grin. I closed the door and literally ran for a bar of chocolate. I couldn’t contain my excitement. It was safe to say that I could see some light at the end of the tunnel.

I was dying to shout “GET IN, SOMEONE’S FINALLY LISTENING TO ME” I did that when I got home. I danced away and treat myself to a new dress to celebrate.

It was safe to say there was going to be no more “Do you like being epileptic” anymore.

For once goals were set and we were now turning the invisible into the visible and I was ecstatic.

Definitive answers weren’t given in that very first appointment however I came away with my head held high and a sense of satisfaction. We were edging forward and that meant something to me and my family.
Yes the worries were still there about my condition however I felt at ease. As selfish as this sound I was just hoping so desperately that this new neurologist wouldn’t miraculously get his promotion and go elsewhere as I really liked his passion for us to succeed.

Now the plan was set it was time to put it into practice. The following morning came and I had to reduce my medication. I was so used to that routine that I completed a post it note and place it beside my bed to remind myself.

By decreasing the medication would this bring up fresh problems? I don’t think I could stomach that. If the shakes go are the seizures going to come back? Let’s wait and see…

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