Sometimes I wish my doctors knew how much they were prayed for. How often we begged God to give them wisdom and knowledge on what to do. Maybe I should have started each appointment like that. “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that we prayed for you a whole lot before we came here today.” I wonder how that would have affected the appointments?
Boy, did we pray before I went to Cleveland. Knowing that if they didn’t have any solutions, then I was pretty much stuck, caused everyone around me to pray for that appointment.
From the very beginning, Cleveland Clinic was awesome to work with. Their staff were friendly, actually returned phone calls, and made the entire process very smooth. Once there, the epileptologist spent over an hour talking with us (Natalie went too.) Every other time I had seen a specialist, they were usually in the room for ten minutes or less but this doctor took a lot of time to get to know the situation and to explain things to me.
She told me that what I have is Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. FINALLY. An actual diagnosis. She pulled out her pad of paper and listed the different medications they use to control this condition and showed me what options I had left. She explained things really well and also told me some warnings that no other doctor had yet to tell me.
I asked her why it just suddenly appeared and she explained that if your brain is already pre-disposed to having seizures and you put a lot of stress on it, then this condition can come to the surface. My face lit up, “So if I take away that stress…” And that’s when the crushing blow came. She started to shake her head, “No, your brain will not go back.”
I didn’t look over at Natalie and I knew she would be avoiding eye contact with me as well. My only thought was, So I’ve ruined my brain forever. It’s never going to go back to the way it was. And guilt started creeping in. Everyone had told me I was pushing myself too hard and I refused to listen. I knew it was my fault and I knew there would be those people all too ready to say, “I told you so.” (And there were.) And yet how was I supposed to know my brain was “pre-disposed” to having seizures?
I thought I was fine until I got home that night and ended up just laying in bed sobbing. In one sense, it was wonderful to actually have someone who knew what was going on. But I guess I had always had this hope that there would be some magic wand to wave and everything would be fixed and to find out that there was nothing they could do but use medications (with terrible side effects that my body hates) to control it was beyond disappointing. I had this sense of, “Okay, if this is how my life is going to be then I need to figure out how to live like this.”
But that is so much easier said than done.
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