Saturday, April 2, 2016
My Story, Continued....
After visiting the movement disorder specialist I decided to get a second opinion. My best friend's sister recommended a doctor in Greensburg Pennsylvania that was called a functional neurologist. I had never heard of this type of doctor and started to do some research and figured it was worth a shot. She told me he had been helping her son with his concussion symptoms and specialized in vertigo, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries. Functional neurology does not use drugs or surgery. I called their office and told the nurse about my situation and Dr. Shine personally called me back and say he would do his best to try to help me. (How many doctors do that?) The next week my father drove me there to see if this would be an option for me.
My first examination with Dr. Shine had me skeptical, yet hopeful. He did a series of tests and therapies using eye movements. He also has a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that I went into for an hour. He said if he couldn't help me he knew a place I could go where they possibly could. That place was the former Carrick Brain Center in Marietta Georgia.
A few weeks after I started this treatment with Dr. Shine I also had the Botox injections done. I had 30 small shots injected into my neck and shoulder. I was so desperate for pain relief that I would have tried anything. Here I was, 46 years old with my Dad holding my hand while I’m crying and getting shots at the doctor. I looked up at my dad and he was crying. I felt like I was 12 years old. This was ridiculous. The actual injections were not that painful so if you are considering this option it sounds worse than it actually is. We tried to celebrate Christmas normally and make it fun for my younger son, but it was hard for me to put a smile on and fight through the pain.
After a few weeks I started to feel a slight shift in the way I was holding my head and the level of pain. It was still intense but not nearly as bad as it had been. Now we weren't sure if it was the Botox working or the treatment I was receiving from Dr. Shine. After a few weeks, Dr. Shine, my family and I had decided to make an appointment at the Carrick Brain Center to see if they could help me. While Dr. Shine felt we were making progress, he wanted me to get the proper testing and diagnosis using the technology and treatments they had at the former Carrick Brain Center. The cost was $1000.00 a day but I felt that if I could go there and they could help me get back to work it was worth every penny and could pay it off in a few months..
Everyday I was struggling to make sense of what was happening to my body and my mind. I would wake up and forget that I was sick and as soon as I stood up my body would be screaming in pain. All I could do was worry about the future. Was I going to end up in a wheelchair? Was I going to live the rest of my life in excruciating pain? I was so angry and so sad and felt so incredibly helpless.I felt like I was drowning and looking for anyone to throw me a lifeline. I had basically been taking care of myself since I was 18 years and I could not believe this was happening. I had not yet reached the level of acceptance that you need to face this kind of chronic illness.