April 09, 2006

Vignette on who is a good doctor

When I was diagnosed, it was two days until my last day at work. I was doing so much cello playing that I didn't have time to goof around at the Academy of Sciences, I thought. I'd given my notice 4 months earlier and they had asked me to stay several times, but I always said "no" because it was my plan to go back to entirely focusing on music. I was making plenty of money in music, but I would not have been able to buy any insurance, with known MS. I needed a job in order to have continuing insurance.

Until the good doc told me what to do--get my job back--I didn't really suspect how serious the situation of having MS was. Since then I've come to terms with financial ruin that is the norm for those who have MS, and the loss of independence due to program after program that you have to toe the line for, including the medical establishment itself. Little do we realize in the beginning how many decisions that we will have continue to make to enjoy life (dammit) within the circumstances of being ill, uncomfortable, disturbed, disappointed, sad, confused, not to mention, angry.

To be clear: I enjoy many things. This story is about, in retrospect, the fact that the doctor gave great advice, guiding my actions. She helped me very much to mitigate many long term problems. She was Heidi Crayton in Washington, DC.

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