And just like that August is over! Overall, the past month has been really great. I’ve had some positive experiences with doctors, I’ve been feeling not awful all the time and I got to celebrate my 22nd birthday.
Potentially the most significant part of August was my trip up to Sydney to see my neurologist for the 2nd time. I was pretty nervous about seeing him as I had waited seven months to make a follow-up appointment with him. Being in his waiting room reminded me how far I’ve come since I last saw him. The last time I was there I was an anxious wreck who was convinced I had MS and didn’t really want to hear anything else. You can read more about this time here and here. This time I came to him I was level headed and calm, accepting of my circumstances but not fixated on a particular disease. From this appointment, I was referred to have another MRI of my brain to make sure no lesions have developed. If this comes back clear, then I won’t have to have another for a long time. We spoke about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as a potential answer, but also of conversion disorder. For those of you who don’t know what conversion disorder or CFS is, I recommend watching Jennifer Brea’s TED talk here Jennifer Brea: What happens when you have a disease doctors can’t diagnose.
I definitely think CFS could be the answer I’ve been looking for, but there is no official diagnosis as they aren’t sure what causes it. After my MRI results, I will definitely pursue this a little more.
Another thing we spoke about is me seeing a psychologist, to first make sure I’m coping and secondly to rule out psychologically based disorders like conversion. I am going to go through with this to basically have it on paper that I do not have a psychological condition. He also told me to stop using my walking stick because it’s creating more back and shoulder pain for me. While my stick was helping me a lot, and almost double the distance I could walk my neurologist said he’d rather me only walk to my limits than become dependent on the stick so young. I listened to his advice and immediately stopped using it.
Over all, he was kind, very thorough and super understanding. He ended up spending an hour and a half with me going through everything. He was also very impressed with my organisation of medical results (I’ll eventually make a ‘how to prepare for appointments’ post).
This appointment was followed up with a trip to see my GP to talk about changing my pain relief and also talk about getting referred to a psychologist. As my previous pain relief was not working as effectively as it should, my GP told me to trial Lyrica and see how I go with it. After two weeks of taking it, I am still experiencing some annoying side-effects including a loss of appetite and feeling high all the time. I am unsure whether to continue it as I am still experiencing a fair amount of pain most days. As for the psychologist referral, my GP was very hesitant on following through with it despite the recommendation from my Neuro. This was a little win for me as it showed he has genuinely been listening when I tell him I am mentally 100%. He did give me the referral in the end which entitles me to a few government paid sessions.
I turned 22 on the 22nd of this month – YAY! 22 has always been my favourite number, perhaps because it’s my birthday but nonetheless I have been so excited to turn 22 for as long as I can remember. I made a promise to myself that I would make sure 22 is the best year of my life many years ago and I am going to do my damn best to make sure it is. I had a full week of birthday celebrations which was so exhausting but amazing. It made me realise how many people I have around me that truly love and care for me. I am definitely glad my birthday week is over for another year, I am all birthday’ed out!
My university degree started on the 28th so I am a few days into my first week back as a uni student. In case you missed last months recap, I am studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Professional Writing and Publishing. I am absolutely loving my classes so far and I am so excited to be back in the books. It is all still a little overwhelming as I am not used to having this much routine and I am struggling to navigate the online campus but I know things will settle down soon and I’ll get used to it.
Have you heard of the 30-day blogging challenges? There basically a list of 30 questions (often niche specific) that a blogger posts an answer to each one every day for 30 days. I found a chronic illness specific one that I was thinking about doing but I am worried about cluttering my subscriber’s emails that month so I am asking you, is this something you’d like to see from me? I was going to do it every second day (2x questions per post). Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see the 30 days chronic illness blogging challenge!
If you missed any of this months posts, you can read them here:
All in all, I loved August. As well as the things I mentioned above, I also found out I am becoming an aunty and also a bridesmaid! So exciting! If only all months were as great as this one. I am looking forward to September though, hopefully, it will be more relaxed than August.