Dr. No (that’s what we’ll call him) was nice but told me I’d never walk, write or work like a normal person. I came home depressed and pissed off, hand wrote a fuck you letter which I posted to show you all what a dipshit he is, because um duh as you can see I just hand wrote a fuck you letter.
Fastforward a few months and it’s time to follow up with Dr. No. I was excited to make the appointment so I could show him that I can walk with a cane (he said I never would,) I can write so that my handwriting looks like it did before my stroke (although I still can’t feel my hand,) and I have taught myself to type 55 words per minute. I couldn’t wait to say, “BAM! IN YO’ FACE!”
Guess what happened. The hospital informed me that he doesn’t work there anymore. WHAT! Overwhelmed with mixed emotions, I quickly brought up the hospital’s website for a game of eenie-meenie-miney-moe because ah crap now I’ve got to pick a new neuro. This should be a good thing. This really could be a good thing. I get to pick one – a rare treat in the world of American HMOs. I can’t screw this up!
The girl on the phone helped me narrow down the choices, and I read their bios. Dr. #1 was a neuro who also belonged to the Board of Psychiatry (barf.) Dr. #2 was a neuro with a specialty noted only as “movement.” Dr. No had tried to push anti-depressants because he said all stroke patients suffer from depression and if I’m too sad I won’t push myself. Obviously, he’s not a golfer.
I’ve been called of a lot of things; “clinically depressed” is not one of them. Now weary of any doctor with a psych background, I chose the movement guy.
I met him last week. I love him. He was the complete opposite of the original neurologist. He heard me out, encouraged me to keep trying, and agreed that pills suck and I shouldn’t take anything that isn’t directly related to stroke prevention.
I will never be 100%. I can say that out loud, I can type it, and you know what? I’m ok with it. My stroke occurred in my brain stem. It is a bit different than other people’s strokes. Brain stem stroke survivors don’t usually have a good prognosis, and many of them never make it to where I am now. From that perspective, I’m pretty damn lucky. I will never be 100%. So what.
My new doctor knows I’ll never be back to my old self, but that was never the focus of our visit. He wanted to see what I could do, but even that wasn’t the focus. His main concern was what I want to do, and how he can help me do it. I can’t do a lot of things. It doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. I’ll continue to follow up with Dr. Do (yes that really is his name) and take it one step at a time.