My new neurologist drinks Diet Mountain Dew. I’ve latched on to this like a sneak peek into his humanity: I like my doctors to be people, and this seems like a throwback to med school study sessions, or possibly secret, epic tabletop gaming sessions— absolutely a possibility, as he’s also only slightly older than I am, and slightly odd, as all neurologists seem to be. Do they profile for that in medical school? Jocks over to Orthopedics, eccentrics off to Neurology, tweedy nebbishy sorts over to Internal Medicine: everyone in your queues, now.
We’re still doing that careful dance that happens in the beginning of all doctor- patient relationships, the who- are- you, what- is- this waltz, but he seems to have the ratios of detached empathy and clever problem-solving that I prefer.
All of this chasing- down- better- health business has come with enormous amount of change, which has been challenging. Switching my primary doctor was one of the biggest switches of all, and I was a little unprepared for how much I’d feel about it. I’d been seeing my neurologist, Dr. D, since I’d presented at Hopkins in 2009 and we’d worked well together, but as things progressed it became increasingly clear that I needed to move on from general neurology to work with someone who specialized in MS. Breaking up with your neurologist isn’t fun, but I don’t there’s any better example of, “It isn’t you, it’s me, honest.”
And so: a leap of faith. One of many lately: 2014, a year of faith and change. I’m still that girl, it seems. It isn’t a silly decision: I’m at the Hopkins MS Center, the new guy comes with all the proper paperwork and writes all these lovely papers, he has ideas, it’s all very exciting, etc, etc … you get it. I’m into it. It’s a great deal of change, though, and that’s the theme right now: change, upheaval, uncertainty. I’m relearning flexibility, both in PT and out of it. It’s good for me, but I’ve become more rigid than I should’ve been (how the body informs us of the mind and spirit, it is odd) and it’s tricky stuff. I’m enjoying the challenge, too, to an extent: there’s something to being pushed that I’ve always welcomed.
I miss certainty, though. Reliability. The known. That was nice for a while, even when it was clearly no longer what I needed— even when it was clearly no longer doing me any good, even when it began to show signs of hindering me, of hurting my health. Breaking away from the things we know- from the things I’ve known- is hard, painful, and frightening on this core level that I remember very well but had lost in the comforting, comfortable haze of safety. It’s so easy just to settle in and allow even my own health to slide, just to let the status quo carry things along.
Scarier, though, is just letting everything slide and decline. This set of new faces, and all their new opinions and ideas, it’s all both intimidating and invigorating. I’m trying not to let it overwhelm, and while there are days when I’m not sure I believe this is really my life, I know I can’t afford not to believe it, either. To faith, then, and change.