This was an exploration delivered at the First Universalist Church of Denver on 7/31/16,
I have always led an active life, and love all sorts of outdoor activities. People ask who I am and “A physician,” is part of the answer. That started to change in 2012, when I developed a progressive neurologic condition. Fatigue was one of my first symptoms and I had almost no energy to go out, let alone work. I haven’t lost interest in motorcycles, hiking, skiing, or skydiving, but many of the activities I love take too much energy to enjoy presently. I developed memory problems and was forced to stop practicing medicine because when a doctor forgets something, it’s usually pretty important. The wheelchair I now use due to mobility problems further limits what I can do and where I can go, as our society still has a long way to go with physical accessibility.
Continue reading Disability and Identity
So I’ve finally gotten around to posting again, in part because I feel like I finally have something to write about.
I saw an optometrist last week who specializes in neurologic conditions, as I have been having problems with reading, eye pain, and left eye blurriness. After examining me he found evidence of previous optic neuritis (ON) in my left eye. He did OCT (optical coherence tomography) right there and found that not only had I previously had ON in my left I, but I had had it in my right eye, and it was more damaged than the left. He also had me look at different colors while covering each eye, and I found that when looking at most colors, they look cooler with my right eye and warmer with my left. It was really bizarre to see this, as I hadn’t even noticed that colors had changed any. Continue reading A long-needed update
This post is going to be mostly an update on what’s going on in my life. Unfortunately I haven’t meant able to post in a while because of my healthcare issues as well as being busy with a number personal things. I’ve also had a lot more trouble typing because of weakness and pain in both of my hands. I recently got a copy of Dragon Dictate software, which I’m using to write this article. I have experience with Dragon from when I was practicing medicine, and it makes it a lot easier for me to write without getting tired. Continue reading Update
I was on the East Coast for the holidays. I spent Christmas with my family in New Jersey, and then I traveled down to West Virginia where there was a Healthcare Justice Gathering at Gesundheit, Patch Adam’s land where he’s going to build a free hospital. The experience gave me the chance to think about what I can do to improve access to healthcare in this country, and also about how I want to build community. Since I’ve gotten back though, I’ve spent most of my time in bed with fatigue and muscle spasms. Because I’m an overachiever (and an INFP), all I can think about is how much I want to do to save the world. I fear though that instead, I am going to be this tired for the rest of my life and not be able to do anything. Continue reading Plans for the future…
Every year, as I enjoy the holidays with my family I’m always surprised how much things change: the town I grew up in, my family, my sister’s children. For me, a lot has changed in the last six months. In June, I started having problems following a conversation when discussing patients with my fellow physicians. At the time, I was on a stressful rotation in my residency, and so I chalked it up to that. I then started having problems with fatigue and balance as well, and the combination of my symptoms advanced to the point where I needed to take a leave of absence from my residency. Being sick and unable to work has given me a lot of time to think about the role change plays in my life, and about change in general. Continue reading New Years and Changes