…so today was the BEST frickin’ day I have had in ages!
(yes, I realize, I’m squealing like a tween.)
I mean, I’ve had good days…don’t get me wrong…
but today, completely knocked my socks off!!!
it flat out ROCKED!!
so, let me set the scene.
I am 30 minutes early for a follow-up appointment with my neurologist.
to discuss the results of my COGNITIVE testing.
tried not to think about it too much since I took what I thought was a very stressful test!
nor did I tell anyone that I was taking it…you know…for privacy reasons, of course. or whatever. but once I leaned into taking the test, I laughed when I realized that I helped run some of the same tests back at UCI.
back to the scene. 🙂
I sit in my favorite spot on the couch looking out through the windows while I wait for my name to be called. (yeah, I’m kinda like Sheldon on Big Bang Theory.) watching the palm trees gently list in a soft breeze. almost touching the low clouds that have been hanging around the OC this week.
and remembering to breathe. and accept what is. or what may be. since I know nothing at this moment in time.
‘erin, we’re ready for you,’ I hear from behind me.
‘how are you?’ I ask, as the woman (who administered the test) holds the door open for me. she looks tired, I think to myself.
‘I’m okay, how are you?’
‘I’m great, thank you!’ I reply. probably with a hint of shrill. I walk behind her by about ten steps to the examination room. silly legs still don’t want to move as fast as I want them to. right now. working on that.
she motions for me to have a seat. pulls up my records on the high-tech flat screen.
blood pressure. check.
diastolic number higher than normal. or whatever the bottom number is called.
‘don’t worry about it, these monitors are way too sensitive.’
I laugh. nervous.
‘are you still taking St. John’s Wort?’
‘no, I stopped right after I saw the doc last month.’
she updates my file. and leaves. drat, I think to myself. I like this girl. I could use some good company right now. whatever, I self-coach. I can do this. I got this.
my neuro appears after about 10 minutes of alone time.
‘how are you doing?’ he walks in with authority and a big smile. hand outstretched.
‘I’m really good, actually. thank you.’ turns out, I am. and shake his hand.
he sits down and starts pulling up my file. this guy has mastered the art of multi-tasking. I watch him as he scans through my file, while continuing to talk to me.
‘all right, we’re here to go over your cognitive results. we’ll go over your cervical spine MRI and blood work next time I see you.’
I nod. though before he can go into my results. I find my voice.
‘you know when I saw you last month? you said something to me, that really stuck with me.’
‘uh oh, I hope it wasn’t bad?’
‘no, no, quite the opposite. and it has really helped. you said that when MS peeps are strong, positive, and resume life as best as possible…they are the ones who do the best. I started working on that before I even saw you, but hearing you say that…really made it stick. I’ve gone back to work…and I’m so grateful that I did. it has been the best thing for me…the routine…being around people all day long…using my left brain – ha! plus, I am at the point where I don’t think that I have MS every day. it’s awesome.’
he swivels his stool around to look at me. and says, ‘keep doing what you’re doing then. just keep doing what you’re doing. and it will turn from every other day to every other week, and so on.’
‘okay, let’s see how you performed on your seven cognitive modalities.’
‘bring it on,’ I murmur.
he inputs a few update commands, and I see the % stop at 98.2%.
‘how do you think you did?’ he asks.
‘okay, I guess…but it stressed me out. and I know I pressed the wrong mouse button for GREEN when it was supposed to be RED.’ I answer to his chuckle. he leans back as much as one can lean back on a stool.
‘my dear, I don’t see numbers this high. ever. I think your results are the highest I have seen out of all my MS patients. and this test is comparing you against people who don’t have MS. so this is remarkable.’
‘really?’ I ask, disbelieving.
‘yes, and we also ran two other tests for depression and anxiety, and your results are inconsistent with someone who is depressed and anxious.’
I can’t say anything, I’m stunned.
‘do you think you’re depressed?’
‘well, I have a blue day here and there, but I work myself out from it.’
‘excellent. excellent. the two things I want you to work on are your attention span and information speed processing – they are related, you know.’
‘um, yeah, my attention span is directly related to how interested I am in the topic that I’m reading. which can then be correlated to how quickly I’ll pick things up. it’s always been that way.’
an SAT verbal exam flashes through my thoughts. I hated the reading comprehension questions. because they were always so UNinteresting. you know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
‘so, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing. because it’s working. and we’ll see these numbers even higher than this next year.’
‘this makes me so happy,’ is all I can muster at this point.
a challenge. I always like a challenge. bring it on. it’s official. I am my own worst enemy. my own insecurities
stop used to stop me from moving forward. I think I officially made peace with myself today. and that feels so good.