This has been a long, hot and difficult summer. After a minor traffic incident, in which no car was damaged, no citation issued, I was diagnosed by a young doctor in town with epilepsy. I took three different anti-seizure medications at, what this fledgling practitioner deemed, “baby doses.” The side effects brought on depression, limited ability to interact with others, and an affect so dead I avoided most social interactions
Writing, under the influence of the “baby doses” of the medications I was prescribed, felt doomed. I could not form sentences which flowed into coherent paragraphs. For the first time in my life, I felt I could not put words onto a page.
I went for a second opinion yesterday. The more matured physician to whom I was referred took ten minutes to read my chart. He singled out and read aloud comments from a previous neurologist who examined me. These said, “There is no reason to expect this patient to ever experience seizures in the future.” Yet this was the test with which the newly anointed specialist proved his diagnosis. Such arrogance! When I complained of feeling anxious and being unable to carry out my life in my usual manner, this doctor assured me, “As long as you are not suicidal, nor homicidal, that is fine.”
And why even endure the draconian measures dictated by this know-it-all egotist? The punishments he spelled out, if I were to suffer another epileptic fit, which he assured me was highly likely, would destroy me. I can be scared into obedience.
“And the quality of my life?” I queried? My tormentor shrugged.
I had set goals for this summer: A blog a week, a marketing plan to sell so many pieces for Christmas, an increased presence on the web. Now I attend organizational meetings for holiday shows. My body of work does not seem sale-able. No Christmas ornaments sit within my inventory. Maybe this is not the year to become an entrepreneur. I will settle for simply being an artist and a writer. Ann, the writer, is back. She welcomes the promised cooler temperatures for an Arizona fall, looks forward to upcoming visits with her sons, and, with some effort, realizes the words swimming in her head can still find their way onto the computer screen.
I awaken from a nightmare. Thank God for second opinions! (And for thesaurus.com)
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"