I had a quick chat with my neuropsych yesterday, to let them know I wasn’t going to make it to our standing weekly appointment. Too much to do at home, too much going on. Couldn’t make it.
I have less than two months to see them, which seems strange, because we’ve been meeting weekly (used to be twice a week) for something like eight years. It’s the longest I’ve ever bothered with anyone (including work colleagues). It’s been an incredibly productive time, and I’ve made amazing progress. I will miss them very much.
But now there’s a new neuropsychologist on the scene — and ironically, it’s the one whose office we’ve been meeting at for some time, now. My neuropsych is retiring, and their lease ran out on their old office last year, so we’ve been meeting in this other office on a different floor. Turns out, the resident doc there is a really great clinician who I believe has agreed to take on some of the “patient load” of the retiring doc.
I did some Googling yesterday, and I found some very positive reports about them, so this is hopeful. They have a strong background in research and academia, and they are also into brain imaging. I’m not sure how that will play out or if I will have any additional imaging, but I’ve been looking for someone who’s as interested in imaging as I am – and who can read what they see. My current neuropsych is interested, too, but they’ve been far more focused on talking me out of my lousy mindsets about things — and keeping me from making rash mistakes that will get me in trouble. Or get me arrested. We just haven’t had the time to explore my MRIs the way each of us would have liked to. Time is short. We have to make the most of it, while we have it.
I’m none too keen on having more MRIs with contrast agent. Gadolinium can be nasty stuff. It’s radioactive, after all, and the first time I had it, it upset my digestive tract for a few days. I’ve read other things about it that I’m not happy about, but I understand the need for contrast agents. You’ve gotta be able to see what’s in there. Ideally, I’d love to get some fMRIs done that show the connectivity in my brain, as well as other stuff that’s there. But not if it involves more contrast stuff.
But aside from imaging, I’m hopeful that this new neuropsych will be able to point me in the right direction to handle some of the issues I’ve raised with my current neuropsych, which they couldn’t address in the time we have left. The headaches have been back, along with the tremors and tics and intense sensitivity to light and sound and touch. I haven’t been able to do a lot of things this week, because I’m so friggin’ sensitive to sounds and touch. Cleaning has been out of the question, because of the sound of the vacuum cleaner… even the sound of running water. And while cooking isn’t optional, and I’ve powered through, dealing with the clanging of pots and pans has pushed my limits. I’ve been a lot snappier than I’d like to be, and it hasn’t been easy for my spouse.
Sunlight? While driving to work? Close the danged overhead sunroof cover, already, put on the sunglasses, wear the baseball cap pulled down over my eyes. I got my haircut yesterday, wearing my baseball cap while I was waiting. The fluorescent lights in that place were crazy — as was the glare of sunlight through the windows. I was so hunkered down, the barber who has been cutting my hair for years didn’t recognize me at first.
I haven’t spent much time discussing my sensory issues with my current neuropsych. They have been more focused on getting me socially functional, which is essential, because my conversation difficulties (thank you, short-term memory problems) have a way of getting me in trouble. With the police. With employers. With friends and family.
So, this is a chance to have a new start — without having to start over from scratch. The new neuropsych is in a location I know how to get to. I have the route down “pat”, complete with shortcuts and the best lanes to travel on the freeway, while getting there. I know how long it takes me, which helps me plan my days. And I know the best routes home, afterwards. My routine doesn’t need to change all that much — except that I’m going to be seeing them a lot less frequently, probably. There’s another therapist-type person who my neuropsych wants me to work with, in continuing to move forward in my life with my plans and goals.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t want to spend a lot of time in “analysis” with a bunch of different people. I’ll probably trade off between the two. I do need to talk with someone on a regular basis about the plans I have and how to best move forward. And I need to talk through work scenarios that might derail me, if I stay inside my head about them.
So, this is different.
I’m none too keen on the change of schedule and change of venues, but it is what it is, and I’ll make the best of it.
Speaking of making the best of things, it’s Sunday, and I need to take advantage of the fact. Yesterday I didn’t get my walk in, because I was tired and not feeling well. It’s a beautiful day today — clear and sunny, if a bit chilly. Time to take myself out and air myself out. I’ve got to catch a nap later and rest up for that Super Bowl business — when we’ll collectively watch teams of massive, powerful, full-grown men repeatedly hit their heads and bodies against each other and the ground.
I wish I loved football less.
But for now, I’ll pretend that everybody knows what risks they’re taking and are able to absorb the blows one last time before the end of the season.
Out into the world I go — with sunglasses on, for sure. Onward.