When you spend so much time with doctors as I have, it’s a shock when you’re told, ‘you’re doing much better since I last saw you, and I think we can close your file. There’s no need for regular follow-ups, but my door is always open. I’m here if you need me.’ It’s good that the tools I’ve learned allowed me to build a solid base to carry me forward, to ride by myself without training wheels, but what now?
I first saw Dr. Harper Oct 23, 2019. Two years later and I’ve ‘graduated’. After 32 hours of talking, the recommended books read, grounding exercises, mindfulness training, and the support of a knowledgeable and empathic doctor, my psychogenic non-epileptic seizures have subsided. 16 seizures in 2020 reduced by over half to 6, as of today, an average of 1 every 3 weeks down to 1 every 8. A huge improvement.
When I look back over the years and the frequency of my seizures, epilepsy or otherwise, I’ve never reached the 6 month seizure-free guideline to reinstate my driver’s license. Since March 2015, the longest I’ve gone without is 4 and a half months. But even if I could drive, I wouldn’t. The fear of my seizures is so ingrained in me now, I could never be comfortable behind the wheel, constantly worrying over the ‘what ifs’. Besides, I never did like driving, it was a necessity and means to get from point A to B in the most time efficient manner. I’ve adjusted for the inconvenience of not driving to a mall or store for those larger purchases. I have my son, busses, and taxis, and online shopping with free delivery, in most cases. Or maybe I just don’t have to have that thing, it’s a want not a necessity. It’s amazing how your priorities shift when faced with a dilemma. Just like a retired person who’s on a fixed income, you must pick and choose wisely, change those wish lists and ‘it would be nice to have’ for items necessary for living.
In just over the 2 yrs. since coming to Alberta, 10% of my days were spent visiting doctors and hospitals. During that same time, thanks to COVID, I’ve visited family and friends twice. It’s no wonder I consider the many medical professionals as my second family and Foothills, my second home. The hours spent in exam rooms and hospital beds, vulnerable and in pain, is an intimate relationship like no other. Your doctors know all your secrets, your strengths and weaknesses normally hidden by those outside the inner circle. It’s no wonder when you’re ‘healed’ that their absence creates a hole.
It’s as if they’ve died and you’re left standing alone, lost.