11 Months and Counting.

So I had my appointment at the Concussion Center today. It went—ehh—ok, I guess. I saw the neuropsychologist again—same lady that I saw back in August. I got to give her credit, she’s not as bad as most of the shrinks I’ve talked to in the past, but at the same time, she’s still a shrink—no matter how you dress it up. And if you know me, then you know I’m not a fan of shrinks—at all. The whole, “and how does that make you feel” and “let’s get all gooey and share-y our feelings” — like that’s really going to make everything all sunshine and rainbows again—yeah, that’s not for me. Which I’m well aware is kind of ironic considering I have no problem sharing my feelings here, for the world and complete strangers to see and read—but it’s different. There’s no face-to-face interaction, or having to sit there while someone is looking at you all judge-y and literally writing down god-knows-what in their notebooks every other sentence. It’s not that I think psychology is one of those pseudo-sciences or that all psychologists/psychiatrists are bad…necessarily. I think counseling and psychotherapy can be beneficial for some people…it just depends on the person, and the person doing the counseling.

Personally, I don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to therapists/psychiatrists. It probably didn’t help that my first experience with one was involuntary. I was 13 and got into some dumb argument with my mother and brother and I did something really stupid. Long story short, the hospital wouldn’t release me unless I agreed to mandated outpatient therapy—aka I had to go to a shrink—and well, at 13, I really didn’t have much say in the matter. My mother made me go. I think I spent the first half of the first session in the car, refusing to step foot in the place—that’s how against the idea I was. Anyhow—I didn’t like the lady at all. She was a total cliché. Had the couch, had the glasses and the notebook, set the timer, did the whole “and how did that make you feel” every time I said anything…and yeah—it wasn’t a fun experience. When I refused to talk, she decided instead to ply me with candy—like I was some 5-year-old that would trade all my secrets for a handful of M&M’s (actually, I think it was Skittles, but not the point). Clearly, that tactic didn’t work for her. It was frustrating, to say the least. And what bugged the hell out of me is that she’d act like she had me all figured out—how she “understood” what I was going through with my mother and brother and why I did what I did…when she didn’t have a fucking clue. I remember in one of my last sessions with her I flat-out called her out on it. She said she understood, so I asked her if that meant that she, too must have grown up with an absentee mother who prioritized her boyfriends over her kids…or that she’d had a brother who made it his mission to make your teenage years a living hell and told you the world would be better off if you were dead every other day. Of course, she had nothing to say to that other than some psycho-gibberish, so mouthy miss that I am, I pointed out to her that having a degree in psychology DOESN’T mean you know or understand what it’s like—it just means you’ve read a few books. Needless to say, I think I only went to like one or two more sessions after that. I refused to keep going and I think my mother got tired of fighting with me every week. So Shrink #1 and I parted ways.

There were a couple more shrinks after that, a few sessions or so during the whole ED stage. Nothing really stuck, though. Again, I didn’t need someone with a degree to tell me what I basically already knew. I wasn’t in denial. I knew what my issues were. I knew my triggers. There’s nothing a shrink could have said or done that would have made much of a difference, then or even now. My 2nd lengthier experience was in college. That didn’t go too well, either. I thought it might help, talking to someone about everything—because god knows I couldn’t talk to my family about what was going on, without them trying to swoop in and fix everything. The lady was nice at first, but after like 6 or so sessions, when I felt like I was ready to ease off and try to work things out on my own—she played up the bitch shrink card, essentially telling me that I didn’t know what was right for myself and that I was making a mistake and well, there’s more, but you get the point. And maybe she was right…but she definitely could have handled it with a lot more finesse than she did. Maybe if she had, I wouldn’t have high-tailed it back and done a complete reversal like I did. I’m stubborn. It’s one of my biggest faults, I know. And I don’t like being told what to do. Or feel like I’m being back into a corner. And that’s how I felt when she all but ordered me to continue the sessions. So yeah…big bad shrink experience #2 right there.

Anywho—now that I went completely off on a tangent—back to the present and today’s appointment. Like I said, it went okay. It wasn’t so much of a gooey, share-y session as I was expecting and dreading, so that’s a big plus. We talked about the headaches and my other symptoms/things I’ve been noticing since the concussion. She thinks there might be something wrong with my eyes and that when I got the concussion I might have damaged or pulled on the nerves or muscles—something—and that might be what’s causing the headaches seeing how most of them start when I’m on the computer or reading a book or something and they always start in the same spot, right around my left eye, and spread outward. She’s setting me up with an ophthalmologist who also specializes in occupational eye therapy in case it is an issue with my eyes. It’s just a theory, she said, but hell…I’ll take it. She’s the first person in all of this to actually try to do something to diagnose and figure out something about all these headaches and why I’m still having them. Everyone else has just dismissed them by telling me they’re concussion headaches and they’ll go away on their own (they said they’d go away in a few days…then weeks…then months – ha! Next month it’ll be a year! –) or passed the buck like the one neurologist I saw who referred me to pain management for those lumbar injections. I’m hoping there’s nothing wrong with my eyes, but at the same time, if there is, at least I’ll know what I’m dealing with—and I can stop feeling like I’m going crazy.

I’ve got another appointment Thursday with a new neurologist, and hopefully he might have more answers than the other guy did and be more willing to actually do something to help, rather than pass me off to pain management again. I don’t want to deal with pain management. Their solution is drugs and I don’t want to be dependent on drugs for who the hell knows how long. And honestly, I don’t know what they’d try, considering we’ve pretty much tried everything under the sun already. Narcotics and all those fun drugs might work great for migraines—but they’re a bitch with my headaches. And it’s bad enough that the meds I’m on now—that barely dull the headaches—have already caused issues with my kidneys. I’m sick of the drugs. There’s got to be another way. Luckily, the lady today said that if I don’t think I got anywhere with the neurologist after Thursday’s appointment, to just call her and she’ll set me up with one of their physicians which are a hell of a lot more familiar with concussions and the headaches. So, we’ll see.

So yeah, that was today. It sucks that this is still happening. I mean, in so many ways that accident really did put my life on hold. I know I have to be patient and get treated and just deal with all of it, but it still sucks. This wasn’t supposed to happen. But then, such is life. Especially in my world.

‘Til next time.



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