My “old” Neurologist was, the best. A man who was not only up-to-date on the latest developments, who saved my life through identifying me as someone potentially suitable for surgery, who was there on call should I have needed him, but, someone who CARED. Someone who was interested in the whole of my life and not just my seizures. It was clear to me that he didn’t identify me just as a person with epilepsy.
In the past, I had had some moody, un-knowledgeable, snobby and disrespectful neurologists, from whom the only question I received was “How many seizures have you had?”. Upon reflection, their attitude showed their lack of knowledge when it came to epilepsy. Unfortunately, at the time, the way that they treated me contributed to my feelings of shame regarding my epilepsy; making me feel like I was a waste of their time and a burden to society.
Due to more research, with each year, there is an improved, greater understanding of epilepsy by Neurologists in general. Having said that, the more respectable intellectuals learn, the more and more they realise how little they actually understand!
My new Neurologist (from the same hospital as the former Neurologist – Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, UCL) I met for the first time today. As you can imagine, I was pretty nervous – she had a lot to live up to! But, she was lovely. I’d make same notes prior to my appointment (so that I didn’t forget anything!!) and she was keen to answer any questions that I had. She wanted to know how I was, not just how my epilepsy was.
You know when you can really tell if a Neurologist cares about you? This woman cared. I explained that I’d be travelling to do public speaking re epilepsy in Australia and she was so encouraging – although at the same time a little concerned(!). She suggested that I take Clobazam (a drug I also take to avoid clusters of seizures after an initial tonic-clonic) the day prior to my trip, the day of travelling and upon the day of arrival (and then the same travelling back to the UK). My new Neurologist is there not just to help control my epilepsy but to help me live my life. Now that is how all doctors should be.
I’ll be going to Perth, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney!! I can’t wait!
If your doctor isn’t as brilliant as those I’ve described from the Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, then I suggest that you look elsewhere. Get the treatment that you deserve!! If you are getting fabulous treatment then tell your Neurologist/provide them with feedback. Us humans always seem to be very eager to complain whilst not always appreciating the good!
Does anyone else have tales about a great Neurologist? Let me know!!