Six-Month Checkup: Ugh (Positivity!)

I had an appointment with my epileptologist last Wednesday. I make this weird assumption that specialists are going to be angry about something that I did or didn’t do or about the fact that I haven’t made better “progress,” even if the lack thereof isn’t my fault. And so I was incredibly anxious on Tuesday night despite the fact that my epileptologist is incredibly nice, respectful, and thorough. Time and time I’m proven wrong, but I never learn a lesson.

In preparation for my appointment, I shaved my legs and painted my toenails. If you’ve ever had a standard neurological exam, you’re probably aware that it normally involves taking off your socks. The second-to-last time I went for a checkup, I saw a resident before my regular doctor, who works out of a teaching hospital; this particular resident happened to be good-looking (not that that’s relevant [it’s relevant]), and I happened to have hairy legs and mangled toes.

These are the things I worry about pre-epileptologist appointment.
Toes and legs are among the many things I worry about pre-epileptologist appointment.

Never again. I guess I do occasionally learn lessons after all.

Anyway, to make a long appointment short, I left with a prescription for an increase in Topamax and some good/bad news about a potential hospitalization for monitoring.

First, Topamax. Since I’ve experienced such undesirable side effects, I went into the appointment determined that I’d insist on being switched to another medication. But an honest discussion about balancing the pros (decrease in seizure frequency, lessened risk of concussions) and cons (all the stuff I’ve complained about in past posts) made me realize that it’s better to take something that works (this is the first medication that’s made a genuine difference) and suck it up and deal. For now, anyway. Not to say I’m going to stop whining about it. We also agreed that if I return to my program and find that I can’t function, we’ll reevaluate, so that’s good. I look forward to seeing just how stupid I feel when I try to work.

Second, epilepsy monitoring unit. I’ve been on the waiting list for quite a while now. A year? I’m not sure. In any case, my epileptologist was really surprised that I hadn’t gotten a date yet and e-mailed the people in charge of scheduling to see what’s going and, I assume, to tell them to expedite me. Fantastic, right? Maybe, but he then told me that there’ll likely be a bed available OVER CHRISTMAS and that he thinks that I should definitely take it so that we can get things moving ASAP. We’re supposed to go to the States for the holidays, so this’d mean cancelling our trip in addition to spending Christmas day itself in a hospital bed hooked up to an EEG machine. I’ll be frank and say that I’m pretty pissed off that I’ve been on leave for seven months now and might have to have hospital food for Christmas dinner since there wasn’t space in the EMU earlier. However, I’ll wait until I have more information before I allow myself to seethe with anger. Seasonally appropriate, right?

Happy holidays, by the way.

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5 thoughts on “Six-Month Checkup: Ugh (Positivity!)

  1. If you do have to be there on Christmas (been there, in the Emergency room at least, last year), let’s hope they at least have a decent meal for you!! 🙂 But I hope you don’t have to cancel your trip.

    1. I’m so sorry, Gina, that you had a Christmas emergency last year! I was in the hospital between Christmas and New Year’s, and it wasn’t fun. Fingers crossed that this will be a hospital-free Christmas for both of us. 🙂

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