I had another appointment with the mental health people yesterday. I was really dreading the thought of having to sit through another hour with these people, but Lois was fantastic! She actually had reviewed the notes from the last time I was there and had my little session with Allison, and we spring boarded from there versus having to rehash everything.
We talked about my prior PTSD and how I was feeling mentally. We discussed the fact that there are times where I so badly want to kick the living crap out of some moron that has absolutely no clue on how difficult and frustrating having limited mobility can be. She also affirmed that my being angry right now is normal, and that with time, it will pass. She reminded me that taking my foot rest from the wheelchair and knocking some fool upside the head would not be socially acceptable behavior.
We discussed in length my frustration with the neurology department, and some of the many issues that I have with the tremors, headaches, and the mysterious black eye appearing out of no where. We also talked about how 90% of my problems are with the right side of my body, and that there is most likely something wrong with the left side of the brain.
She also said that I wasn’t crazy, and was dealing with the issues that are presenting themselves in a “healthy”fashion. She thought that this blog was a great idea, as it gives me an outlet for my frustrations and a positive way of dealing with my feelings. There was a time when I would get frustrated and chop wood or do some other physical activity to ease the frustration, but that is no longer possible. I don’t have the strength to pick up an axe any longer, and if I could I would probably shake so bad that I would miss the tree.
While I do miss practicing with my throwing knives, and going to the range and firing off several hundred rounds of ammo I am finding that the “pen” is getting to be a fairly good substitute for these activities.
She did remind me that everything in life is a trade-off. I have the choice of either taking my Diazepam (Valium) to keep the tremors under control and deal with the fog of mind that at times accompanies it, or I can shake so bad that I can’t even function. I can drink my pot of coffee in the morning along with the six to eight cans of Mt. Dew through the day, and not feel the affects of the narcolepsy, or I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. No, the massive amounts of caffeine I drink regularly is not the cause of the tremors, I have been a caffeine junkie for years, and NEVER had a problem. And since I have gotten sick I have even gone several days without the caffeine and still shook like a California earthquake.
Lois and I did discuss a conversation I had with a beautiful young woman and her mother the other day while I was at the local Wal-Mart. I had spotted this pair as they were heading to the check out and after we were both done checking out I stopped her and her mom. The girl is 26, and was involved in a vehicle crash six years ago that left her a paraplegic. I truthfully envied her the chair that she had, very sporty and light weight. We talked for a good 10-15 minutes, and I point-blank asked her if it was my imagination, or were people really as stupid and ignorant about disabilities as I thought. She and her mom both smiled and said,”Yes.” They added that people are totally clueless about the difficulty one has when confined to a chair, or in some other fashion cannot get around with ease.
I explained that my issues were neurological and that, even though the problems started over two years ago, they have really gotten worse within the past year, thus the use of the chair to go shopping and be out and about. I also asked her if the anger that I felt towards the stupidity of others would ever calm, and she said it would, but it would take time. For her it took a few years to realize that it wasn’t a direct response to her, but rather a lack of awareness by those around her. I only hope by this time next year I have calmed down before I do knock someone out.
But, back to the conversation with the therapist. She said that she did not think another session was needed. It was her opinion that I was an intelligent (fooled her on that one), self-aware individual, and my responses were quite normal for someone who has lost much of his former abilities to do the things that were once the norm in his life. She added that it was a process that will take time, but with my training and life experience I should be able to weather the storm fairly well.
The changes in medication have helped the depression and tremors. Although I still do have some problems with shaking it is not as bad as it was several weeks ago. I am feeling better emotionally, and while my outlook is not all roses and sunshine, I don’t feel as if I am in a deep, dark hole. The problem I still have is the pain, and until I can see the neurology doctor I guess I will have to find a way to deal with it. Yesterday, after the appointment I did a bit of shopping, and by the time I was done it felt like every muscle on the right side was being ripped from the bones.
I have my brain MRI tomorrow, Friday, so hopefully we will have more answers afterwards. Until then I guess I’ll just hang in there and hope for the best, and get another cup of coffee.