I Can't Win.
November 13th, 2019
I can’t win. Just when I think I see some progress in one area, another medical complication arises, some piece of the health puzzle goes awry, recovery stalls or worse yet backtracks. This time, it’s neurological.
While waiting for my scabs to heal after facial surgeries and stitches to come out from my lip and mouth, such that additional oral procedures can begin (in this never-ending waiting game), I have been focusing more on the neurological elements, alongside ongoing specialist and doctor consults, psychological and mental therapies, hyperbaric oxygen treatments, acupuncture, energy work, homeopathy and more.
And today, I find out I need additional neurological screenings because of (and I quote the doctor’s email) “recurrent headaches, difficulties with attention, concentration, memory, gait, fine and gross motor movement, speech and language, thought processes or ‘fogginess,’” all symptoms that indicate severity of lasting neurological injury. Do I really need more tests and evaluations? Because if I do, while nerve-racking and disheartening, I will do whatever needs to be done health-wise. Or is this just another attempt to hook me for a $600 (staggering real number, though still pales in comparison to surgery bills) single neurological consultation, plus hard costs, any necessary followups, and likely-lengthy and in-depth treatments.
I am infuriatingly back where I was with dental/oral work and plastic/facial surgeons: not knowing who to trust, where to turn or what course of action to take, this time from a neurological standpoint, amid conflicting opinions. And I know my compromised, injured, precarious neurological situation needs attention, more evident with each passing day.
In a mumbling conversation with my mother earlier, I did not recognize the name of one of her closest friends. She was initially rightfully annoyed; I burst into tears. I put my last pint of (the best vegan organic peanut butter-chocolate swirl) ice cream in the fridge, my scar cream in the spice cupboard, my hairbrush in my suitcase — and spend so much time searching for things I have misplaced. I trail off in talking to doctors or therapists because I simply cannot follow my own thoughts; I reach for my phone or open browser windows without remembering why only a few seconds later; I face bizarre, persistent headaches and odd bodily sensations daily; I find myself opting for shorter videos (hello 30-minute Veep episodes), watching documentaries in sections or choosing mindless Christmas movies because of my lack of ability to concentrate; I can’t read long documents and struggle to process text in Spanish, which is alarming and odd; I stutter, pause and fail to recall words some days more than others, compounding my existing physical difficulties with speech; I drop and knock little things over frequently, which only adds frustration to the pervasive sense of failure.
These are just a few of the minor neurological-related complications I have been experiencing off the top of my head, things I never faced prior to my accident — and but one aspect of the medical saga that necessitates my attention and action. I have been told and reassured by various doctors and specialists that brain trauma would (or should) heal in time, to check back in at the two-month marker… well, I did. That was last week and here we are now: more bad news, more complexities, more unforeseen circumstances, more tests needed, more time required, more unknowns. And more of me — here, alone, suffering, confused, hurt, compromised, exhausted, seeking answers, treatment, certainty, trust, relief, healing of body and of brain.