The search for a new neurologist continues, but we're making progress and actually have appointments scheduled. Joe has taken a part-time job as my appointment coordinator (I never imagined I'd have an assistant! Go me!) and has been in touch with three of the recommended MS specialists in the area.
Apart from having to procure MRI records from the hospital to take with us to the appointments, we're well on our way to meeting with new doctors to discuss my future health plans.
We meet with the MS specialist in my current practice on February 2nd; we meet with the MS specialist at Duke University on March 16th. We're still waiting to hear from and schedule and appointment with the MS specialist at UNC-Chapel Hill. We figure April. A specialist a month. Sounds like one of those mail-order offers, only not as intoxicating as beer, yummy as dessert or beautiful as flowers.
I'm also making some strides on my own, starting with an appointment with a counselor tomorrow. On her list of specialties were Trauma, Loss or Grief, Life Coaching, Illness and Anxiety and Fears. Sounds like she'll be a good fit for all that's mulling around in my head at the moment. If I find I'm making gluten-free brownies a little more than is considered healthy, she also specializes in Eating Disorders. I've got it all covered! Her short bio reads that she will help me on my "journey of self-awareness and exploration" and improve my life and inner-self. I especially like the part that states: Life will become less stressful, more manageable, healthier. You will have a better understanding of your thought processes, feelings, and behaviors. She called me right back after I left her a message explaining my situation: I'm 33, a mother to a one-year old and was just diagnosed with MS. One of the first things she offered was that she, too, was a mother. I'm looking forward to meeting with her, knowing at least she understands the stresses involved in parenting (unless she has the only stress-free child/ren in the world, in which case, perhaps she'll offer some pointers).
In addition to taking care of my mental well-being, I'm hoping to find an allergist to make sure that there are no underlying allergies that need attention. Remember, it's all about keeping the immune system happy, so if I'm allergic to gluten-free brownies... well, then I'll have some tough choices ahead of me. Hopefully my immune system will come back with a clean bill of health and I can continue to eat healthy and focus on keeping myself stress-free, not worrying about pollen levels or whether the dish I order at dinner has butter in it.
I do need to schedule an appointment with the acupuncturist referred to me by my massage therapist. No one can accuse me of not taking ownership of my health and body. My massage therapist, my counselor, my neurologist, [my] acupuncturist, [my] allergist. What's next? Any suggestions? Email them to joe[at]daleshealthcare.com. I'm sure he can find just a few more minutes in his day for a few more phone calls!
And what are you doing when you're not making appointments? Oh, just a little light reading. The following can be found scattered around my house, on the bookshelf in the living room, next to my bed or on the table in the living room. Some for inspiration, and knowledge, others for contemplation and fun.
A little poetry to get me thinking; I've seen some of his verse in other books and it seems like the kind of visual poetry that would do me good, especially on a rainy day.
I haven't read much Poe, but I'm a sucker for the B&N collections.
I don't think this needs an explanation, although I question a book that reminds people recently diagnosed with a disease to "continue to take good care of yourself by paying attention to what you wear, maintaining good hygiene, and sticking to your grooming rituals." I haven't picked this one up in a few days.
I was mesmerized by this young author when I first saw her on Oprah a while back. (Yes, I love Oprah.) She's battling an incurable form of cancer, yet you wouldn't know it to look and listen to her. She is so full of life and has such an amazing spirit, one can only be inspired to be happier, healthier and more alive.
Another Oprah book. I happened to tune into her Spirituality episode the other day and this book spoke to me. I want to break open and grow; I figure since this is all so new to me, a manual wouldn't be a bad thing.
I loved the cover of this book (yes, I am a judger) and while I was buying the plethora of MS and gluten-free books the other day, Joe reminded me to buy something fun. I always scan telephone poles and tall trees for hawks, love watching the gold finches swoop around the yard, and always smile when I see the bluebirds, woodpeckers and the grumpy kingfisher at the lake. Perhaps this book will give me new insights as I eagerly await the return of all my feathered friends in the spring.