(by Megan Davis)
(pic- not our prettiest, but… lol)
I saw my neurologist today… and I was actually excited. Whaaaat?! I know, it’s not like I went in there for “happy hour,” you only go to the doctor when there’s something wrong with you. But I was excited. Dr. Charles has been my doctor from the beginning. I was 19, scared, searching for some sort of answer and cure, and he was the doctor that made me feel it was possible when it actually wasn’t. Isn’t. Not yet, but soon. (Fingers crossed.) He’s working on it.
My Mom found him at UCLA, which was convenient since that’s where I attended college, and he always struck me as intellectual, funny, a bit quirky… and like a second Dad (oh man, I’ve got tears in my eyes). Sounds weird, I know, but bear with me. I don’t know how to phrase it all, partially because I’ve had a few glasses of wine (just being honest) and partially because he probably doesn’t know, and I didn’t realize until today, what a big part he’s played in my life.
I can’t remember my very first visit; the beginning, this unknown phase in my otherwise healthy life was a blur. I was hesitant, self-conscious and trying to answer all the questions correctly so we could find an answer. Why? (Who doesn’t ask that?) I wanted him to fill in all the gaps for me. I mean I knew I had a lot of brains and little inhibition but seriously, how was my head so out of control?? And I actually did what most patients never do and put myself in his place. He was trying. I felt that he cared. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but…
I just remember every visit starting with a conversation, a normal conversation. Life outside of Epilepsy and normal… stuff. I told him what was going on in my life and in turn he’d talk about his kids- a boy and a girl- both destined (in my opinion) to do great things. :) And that’s what I love- over the last 15 years, we’ve still had those conversations. I was a high school English teacher soon after college and he’d ask how that was going and we’d laugh over the experiences I’d had with teenagers and talk about his growing kids. His daughter- strong-willed but going to change the world and his son- a little distracted but very into poetry at one point, if I remember correctly. lol
And as I grew older and my medication was successful, we saw each other less and less, but given that my health’s been a little “off” since pregnancy, it was time for a visit. I found myself oddly nervous, and excited for him to meet my son. As I re-read that, it almost sounds like a crush, but it wasn’t- when it came to my journey with Epilepsy, he had “raised” me and like many self-driven kids, I wanted him to be proud of me… see the son that I’m trying so hard to raise well, and one day maybe have conversations about his ups and downs… and interest in poetry. ;)
I don’t know, I guess I feel truly fortunate that I have a doctor who was with me through the horrible side effects of 5 different meds in the beginning and then still with me through pregnancy seizures, and beyond. I was a kid when I became his patient but now I’m an adult who can truly value the blessing he’s been in my life.
He’s not just my doctor, but a friend. That speaks volumes.