Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hope or Acceptance

Last April, I woke up and couldn’t speak without a severe stutter. The medical system led me to a psychiatrist who decided I had C-PTSD.  
I started seeing the psychiatrist the system provided and I could not be happier with their choice. I have total faith and trust in her. And during the ten months we’ve been talking, I consulted three different speech therapists about my stutter.
My life since April is nothing at all like it used to be. There have been crippling, overwhelming anxiety attacks, seizures—sometimes up to fifteen a day and there have been changes in my strength, endurance, mobility and stability.
Throughout it all, I assumed all my physical issues—including the stuttering—were due to C-PTSD.
Then on Labour Day I collapsed on the seawall. I thought I’d had a seizure due to C-PTSD. The doctors at St. Paul’s thought I may have had my seizure due to lack of oxygen in my brain because I have arrhythmia. Now it’s January and I’m called into St. Paul’s and told I could have Parkinson’s.
I’ve been a wreck for two days. My little orange pills have held me together. And my distress has nothing to do with a fear of having Parkinson’s. What I am sick of is living with uncertainty.
I want to stop going to doctors (except Dr. Shoja) and get on with my life. I had almost reached that point this month after my consultation with Columbia Speech and Language Services. With them, we concluded speech therapy would not likely be beneficial for me but that my ongoing work with Dr. Shoja might lead to some improvement in my speech.
I was about to embark on my new life with C-PTSD. The seizures were over, I never needed my medications and I had made peace with my stutter. Besides—my stutter could virtually disappear with friends. Life seemed good again.
I might soon be back to that approach to life. But there might be more sub-plots coming to the story of my life.
The heart subplot began Sept. 4th. On Monday I see Dr. Pimstone who will likely end five months of uncertainty about my heart. He will say we’re not concerned about your arrhythmia, we want you to take these drugs or we want to put in a pacemaker. 
Now I must be patient as we resolve the Parkinson’s subplot. I must be prepared for it to take as long. I am adjusted to that now. But you see it’s this uncertainty that drives me crazy. I am not afraid of C-PTSD or Parkinson’s.
Bottom line: If my shaking and stuttering are due to C-PTSD they may get better (hope). If they are due to Parkinson’s, they won’t (acceptance). Either way it’s an end to uncertainty—and not just for me, for my friends as well.

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