Thursday, October 17, 2013

what lies ahead: projections from meeting with Mike's new doctor

another step in our journey
one rather large leap rather
that space between each of our stepping stones seemed to just spread further apart
for each step ahead may require a running start
but as we leap from stone to stone
we will head further downstream more quickly

yesterday the efforts of our whirlwind move were meshed into one event
meeting with a new doctor
not just a new doctor, but a Multiple Sclerosis specialist
one who has a clinic of two thousand patients
two thousand sufferers of MS

seven weeks ago when we decided that we would move
{has it really been that long}
we made an appointment two months out to see this doctor
a doctor who had been heavily recommended by varying sources
as the days have marched on
with Mike's episodes of confusion, anxiety, and oppression of thought
increasing and intensifying
that day seemed torturously far away
feeling helpless in what i could do to hasten it
i called every day to the doctor's office inquiring after a cancelation
i explained our situation and told the office staff that they would be hearing from me tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
i hoped that they would understand, knowing that if it was their husband they would do the same

victoriously a sooner appointment appeared
and yesterday we headed out to this most highly anticipated event
a day we had looked forward to with hope but also a tinge of fear
great hope for the possibility of relief as well as some regain of Mike's abilities
great hope for the quality of life to improve, for us all
great hope for the cloud of cognitive disruption to be lifted
but with a small fear of what pumping new medication into his system may produce after the near deathly effects of the past medication 
but we are at the head of a new path
this path with new terrain ahead
we are choosing not to question why our past had to take the twists and turns that it did
why we were led down certain rather treacherous trails
i am fighting that natural tendency to ask why
this fear of what happened in the past could not be allowed to overshadow our hope
for it is a hope burning brightly

and hope we did receive
peace and hope
our appointment took a significant portion of the day
to which i was grateful
we were able to meet with the physician's assistant whose manner was sincere and attentive
she reviewed all of Mike's past medical history and his current symptoms
she analyzed his walk, his speech, his reflexes, his strength
she answered our questions and did a marvelous job of explaining aspects of MS that were still unclear to me
she cared
she then went and consulted with the doctor and they returned together as a team
i was pleasantly surprised at the attention and enthusiasm the doctor portrayed in his words to us
he is passionate about his field and feels tremendous excitement as to the research and progress that is being made in treating MS
he laid out our choices as he saw them and identified himself as a consultant to us, knowing that we had the final say in what we choose to do with his recommendations

something that was reiterated to me through the tone both the physician's assistant and the doctor used on separate occasions to explain what they saw on Mike's scans
was that his condition is serious
he has innumerable lesions
as you can imagine we have spoke with many who know someone with MS
and we have found that many of them know how many lesions they have
they can count them
Mike's are innumerable
too many to count, the radiologist specifically defined
with lesions not only on his brain but on his spinal cord
that small real estate where all the nerve signals must travel through
inflammation there caused by MS makes the passing of signals quite difficult
the path of medicine that the doctor recommended would reduce that inflammation and would hopefully allow some of the symptoms to be reduced
the medicine will be aggressive

but throughout the entire appointment both mike and i felt that this was where we were to begin
it may have not been right before to pursue this path
but for whatever reason now is the time

there are some initial testing that must be done
and that is the next step for mike
we are hopeful
and feel your hope for us as well
thank you for your continued prayers
for your continued concern and questions
thank you for taking this ride with us
we are anxious to see what lies ahead
as i know you are too


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