Sunday, 13 July 2014

#6 The MS Clinic

St. Mike’s is a large downtown hospital, and I was nervous as hell the first time I made my way there. The clinic was efficiently run, and very busy. I went alone the first time. I didn’t have any real close friends in the city, mostly work friends, and this was not something to share.

I saw the nurse first, then the neurologist. I also saw the head guy, for he saw everyone at the clinic for possible inclusion in one of his studies. It was a relief; I wasn’t bad enough to need that kind of treatment. For the next six months I underwent a series of tests and went on medication to combat the fatigue. And that was it, welcome to the wonderful world of MS. Come back and see us next year, but if things worsen, give us a call. Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry.

My daughter drove me downtown for my next appointment. It’s not a fast in and out kind of appointment. Wait, see the nurse, wait, wait, maybe wait some more, see the doctor, make an appointment for next year. When I was standing at the desk, making that annual appointment, I saw my daughter leave the clinic, in an apparent hurry to get going.

I’ll admit, it ticked me off. All the running around I did for those kids and this one time she’s helping me and she has no patience. I caught up with her at the elevator and found she was not impatient, she was crying. That day the waiting room was full of patients participating in some trial or study. They had canes, walkers, and a few were in wheelchairs. What she saw was my future, and it scared her. And I thought the kids were handling my diagnosis so well. A lot I knew.

It was back to the once a year appointments where I saw the nurse and then the doctor, again with the direction to call if my condition worsened. I remember that I never felt the same easy-going relationship with this doctor that I’d felt with the first, but it was just once a year, so….

And this became my life, going through the days, never knowing when, or if, things might suddenly change.

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