Thursday, November 09, 2006

Two doctors, two differing opinions - Part I (The First Doctor)

After the seizure, I immediately made a doctor's appointment. I didn't know where to start or which doctor to go to, so I started off with a physician, whom I thought would probably do some diagnosis tests before referring me to the right doctor.

The physician did an ECG test on me before sending me to a neurologist at the same hospital to do an EEG and a CT Scan. (I'll explain about these tests in later postings). When I came back to him with the test results, he told me that I had epilepsy and gave me two month's supply of Epilim Chrono (Valproic acid and sodium valproate), then told me to see him again in two months.

As usual, the kids were with us at the doctor's (we drag them along everywhere we go) and they were bored and cranky from the long wait. I felt sad, so very sad and worried. How was I going to look after my two young children alone at home if I had epilepsy? What if I had a seizure while cooking and the fire was on? How would I be able to drive them to their kindergardens later on etc. Those thoughts filled my mind.

It was devastating for me to be told that I had epilepsy at age 39, out of the blue, overnight, suddenly, just like that. One day my life was normal and the next, I have epilepsy? I was told that I probably would have to take the medication for life and that it was very good to control seizures. I read the side effects and one of them was weight gain. The vain me cried out "Oh No". I had to take a medication that would make me fat when I'm working so hard to lose my post pregnancy weight?

Speaking about weight, after the first week of worry and being unhappy, I lost 5 pounds. I was surprised to see my face had shrunk when I looked in the mirror.

Vanity aside, I had to plan what to do next. Should I start taking the medicine that I had been prescribed? We decided that this was too big and too sudden and that a second opinion from another doctor was called for. And so off we went again for another doctor's appointment. This time we went to see a neurologist.

To be continued in the next post.

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