okay here’s the update

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I’ve built up the tension here, introduced conflict and surprise developments…and then never offered resolution. (I wish as a writer, I could do so well at building up tension in my fiction). And I’ve thought about how to provide an update, etc., etc., but I’ve gotten so busy that I never seem to have enough time to really put up a meaningful post. Meanwhile, you have all reached out to me and offered support and encouragement, only to be met largely with silence!

But here I am, with a few minutes to spare, home early because I left the office early to go to the doctors. So I’ll update.

1. With regard to the whole “losing sight in one eye” thing: I made an appointment with my eye doctor (optometrist) for next Monday. But then several of you became horrified that I was waiting so long (especially with my history of stroke), and made me promise to escalate. And my husband sat me down and said that my denial was not acceptable.

I really don’t want to admit I’m sick. I’m sick of being sick. I like to think things will go away.

But, bolstered now with voices and urging outside of my own self denial, I called my eye doctor to set up an earlier appointment. He was out sick. His partners said they wouldn’t take me on an emergency basis–that I should call my primary care physician. Bleah.

I did not call my PCP. (She is good for basic health care, but is over her head with this specialist stuff). So I called my neurologist (my beloved neurologist!!!! I looove him. He is the best doctor ever–if you ever need a neurologist and you’re in the Bay Area, email me for his name). I left a message and he called me back. After listening to my symptoms, he cleared a spot for me in his calendar this afternoon.

So I finished up work and scooted out to the car (yes, friends at work offered to drive me–but I could see out of ONE eye). I checked in at his office early for my appointment, and then went out into the hallway to gab on my cellphone with a friend. Oops. He popped his head out a minute later as I was in the middle of a really weird imitation on the phone. I met with him. We chatted (he’d taken my suggestion to read Murakami when I was in the hospital last year! He read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and really liked it–“Very David Lynch,” he said–and I told him Murakami is a big fan of David Lynch). Oh, and we chatted about my symptoms too. He determined that the problem was most likely in my eye and not my brain.

I’m seeing an opthalmologist tomorrow to figure out what this sudden vision loss is. And I’m being set up for another MRI just to be sure. But it’s probably not a stroke.

I don’t know why I resist going to the doctor–I guess maybe I just grew up with sick people in my family who were ALWAYS going to the doctor at the first sign of anything, and maybe I didn’t want to “be like that.” And I just find it hard to go to the doctor for an “emergency” unless my arm is falling off. And if I’m okay–then I feel so lame, like “Oh sorry! False alarm!” Even though yes, it’s better to go for a false alarm and have it confirmed.

2. With regard to my existential crisis: I’ve put some thought into it, and considered advice. One thing a friend said to me sang in my brain–that if the problem is internal, no external change I make can resolve matters. So I’m staying put. I’m keeping the course. I’m not making any changes unless they’re clearly “better” than what I’ve currently got. I’m going to engage with my current life.

I’ve embarrassed myself some, asked for favors that I’m not going to take up. I feel badly. But–I’m going to stay on this road and see where it leads me, and bolster my writing however I can. I feel surefooted already.

And thank you, everyone, for your awesome support–some days, in my introversion…you’re the only input I get.

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8 Comments

Filed under Life, The Stroke

8 responses to “okay here’s the update

  1. Honey, any time you need a shoulder, an ear, whatever. You know where I am. And you know I can be there in, well, a few hours but still… I’m here thinking of you so very much.

  2. ^^

    Randomly stumbled on this Post .. anyways .. It just happens sometimes .. That you cant figure out what to post .. There was a time when I posted 3-4 Posts per day .. but now I find nothing resonable enough to post about

  3. Eric: I’m okay–thank you for the shoulder/ear. 🙂 I just HATE going to the doctor because I just want to be healthy and move on, I guess. This time I think it really is just a simple matter where my eyes got bad really fast.

    Nishu: huh?

  4. Steve

    I’m glad you listened to people and asked for help. It is sometimes so hard to ask for help, but by doing so, you are showing compassion for yourself, showing yourself that you value yourself. It’s like flossing every day — something that I do because it is a small thing that reminds me I deserve to be treated well and taken care of.

    I have a fantastic eye doctor, the equivalent of your neurologist, in the East Bay, if you ever need her. She’s amazing.

  5. hyunjini

    Good to hear that you took immediate action for your health and you are being patient and conscious about your life, especially when you have a good thing going!! Way to go!

  6. w

    Lady, I’m so glad to read this. I’ve been out of the loop lately with blogs (and Internet in general, eek), and checked in today to find your previous post and then this. Yowza. I’m glad that that doc is in your life (love the phrase “cleared a spot” w/regard to a doctor), and hope this confusion will let up soon. Meanwhile, invest in a cool eye patch? I wore one for a few weeks when I was a kid—boy, did my depth perception get screwy, but the important thing was that I was resting my infected eye. Anyway, you rest well, keep spreading the Murakami, and stay positive. Many hugs.

  7. heather

    Speaking of spots, have you read Mark Haddon’s A Spot of Bother? That book cracked me up while making cringe–the main character is convinced he’s dying but won’t go see a doctor (or that the doc is lying). I’m glad you’re ok, and that you took action.

  8. Steve: I’m awful at asking for help–you nailed it! Thank you for re-enforcing my good behavior…I still feel sheepish about going to the doctor for all of this (and of course, STUPID for having delayed on the other occasions when I was actually suffering strokes and TIAs).

    hyunjini: thank you for the encouragement!

    w: duuude, an eye patch would be supercool. can you imagine me wearing around at AWP? 😛 (of course, I’d take it off on the streets of Manhattan).

    heather: no! I should read that Mark Haddon! It sounds cool, and I love Mark Haddon.

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