Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It was a slow three to four days ...

So the ER doc said that I needed to follow up with a neurologist within two to three days.

I kind of didn't.

It took about a week to start looking, I think.

What I did do was go to work the next day (after what, three hours of sleep?). Unusually for me, I did not run off to the Internetz to read everything I could on MS. I just went to work, and saw a ton of patients. I was a little distracted, but being able to compartmentalize has its bright side.

Before I left for work, I gave my husband a brief, dismissive discussion of my early morning adventure. He seemed taken aback, but accepted my assertion that everything was fine, just fine.

I did not want to talk about it.

The next day, I did a bunch of errands and grocery shopped and called my sister, Mel. I told her, in a "guess-what-I-did-last night" sort of way about my trip to the ER. She asked, "what does that MEAN?!" which is why I love her. We talked for a bit and she called me back later when I was at the AM/PM, filling my car with gasoline. She said that she had burst into tears in the parking lot and thanked me for that embarrassing moment. I told her that she was welcome. She felt better now, because she had read about MS, and found that most people have a mild, remitting case, with flareups and remissions. I told her that was great and thanked her for starting to look into it for me, because I was not able to do so yet.

I should tell you something about me. When I am stressed about something, I read about it. When I had my first child, I literally brought home stacks of books. I read about the Bradley Method, the Lamaze Method and that one where you dim the lights in the delivery room and put the baby in a pan of water after birth.

My way of dealing with almost anything is by reading about it. I am a researcher at heart.

I had no interest at all in finding out about MS, but once my sister had told me something about it, I started looking on the Internet. As we all know, the Internet is a blessing and a curse. I read up about the symptoms, and the only thing I seemed to have was the less-common one of speech difficulties. I was happy to not have the incontinence and difficulty swallowing set of symptoms. Yeesh. Ack.

However, reading about the disorder gave me some impetus to see a neurologist, because now I could actually feel my neurons demylenating. Even if I did not have the disorder.

I began calling around to neurologists and found out that there is no such thing as an emergency appointment. I emailed a friend of mine who has MS and got her recommendations. She gave me three to call. They had no appointments until, like November. One guy had no appointments until January. I looked on the Internet for someone who specializes in MS at Loma Linda, which is the hospital that I go to, and found one specialist. I called and he had no appointments until November, so I made the appointment. I did not get to see the person that was the specialist, but I got an appointment with one of his partners.

So, the two to three day follow-up turned into about a month. Not exactly timely, I would say.

No comments: