Dr. Robert Grimm, my first real neurologist stateside, had some advice for me: don’t deal with the MS Society, the Swank diet is nonsense (more on that in a different post), and keep your weight reasonable (it will help if the MS advances). Bob, as I fondly knew him, practiced 2 hours away from where I lived, but I didn’t mind the drive. I went to him after the initial MRI and diagnosis from the MD I saw where I resided because it was necessary and prudent to know the reason for my neurological symptoms ASAP. I went to Bob the following day, MRI films and medical records in hand, to confirm the diagnosis and do the proper testing. The first thing he did was to call the neurologist that had given me the diagnosis to chew him a new orifice. The films were underdeveloped, and worse, you NEVER give anyone such a diagnosis when there is so much additional testing to be considered and so much at stake. His wife also had MS, and he was well aware of what such a diagnosis can do. Good luck removing it from a medical record even if it is incorrect. You’ll never get insurance again.
My parents always placed a premium on education. It was important and invaluable to know what was going on in the world and to educate yourself. I’ve always known what I wanted to do. It was never even a question.
I’ve been sick all of my life, constantly in hospitals, constantly sick with everything from pneumonia to allergic bronchitis to asthma. My lungs demand more than their quota of attention. I remember sitting on gurneys being pulled from a hospital room to the laboratory to have blood drawn. I loved the lab and its many sounds. The whirring, beeping, and alarms. How could they find the answers in my blood? What were they looking for? Yes, I wished they’d hurry up and find it, but I was absolutely enthralled. The healthcare workers humored me by telling me in simplified terms, of course, what they were doing. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to look for answers and find out “why” things happened or went awry. I wanted to feel better, too, but I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.