It was so long ago that I can’t find it within my own web site. I’m sure I wrote it somewhere, but in my seven minutes of searching, I couldn’t find it.
The last visit with a neurologist.
I wanted to compare what Dr. Kaelin had to say on Danny’s last visit (almost two years ago, I think) with what we talked through with Dr. Taubin yesterday.
No such luck-which means that it’s been way too long since Danny saw a neurologist and that so much has changed in that time.
Although we waited more than an hour and a half to see her, Dr. Taubin spent a solid 40 minutes with us.
Let me give you a little bit of history; Dr. Taubin was the neurologist at Shepherd Pathways, their outpatient brain injury facility, that Danny attended in the summer of 2006 (almost one year after the accident) and then again in October 2010 (during a break from Beyond Therapy).
When she walked into the room yesterday, her first comment was “oh, I remember you from 2010.” And it wasn’t until she had read through his chart, that she put the 2006 Danny together with the 2010 Danny and then with yesterday’s Danny.
How remarkable! It’s easy to overlook changes when you’re watching it slowly each day, but to compare the Dannys over the course of more than seven years, it is truly unbelievable.
My biggest issues that I wanted to address were to review, and hopefully reduce, the number of Danny’s medications and also to order a new round of neuro-psych testing (it’s been more than three years).
Dr. Taubin was on board with mixing up and eliminating medications. Considering the improvements Danny’s made in his life and that all of his medications were prescribed years ago, we were long overdue to take a closer look.
I love Dr. Taubin’s approach!
We have, as of this morning, eliminated one of Danny’s medications. We will watch for two weeks to see if there are any adverse effects and then respond accordingly-if he still needs it, put him back on it. If not, leave him off of it!
After these two weeks and all things going smoothly, we will eliminate one dose of one particular drug for two weeks. After those next two weeks, all things going well, we’ll take it away completely and review after another two weeks.
Are you lost yet?
Once those two drugs are out of Danny’s routine (praying this is so), we will contact her again to get instructions on eliminating the third one on the list.
We will see her again in three to four months to talk about scheduling the neuro-psych testing. However, she wants to wait until we are finished playing around with medications in order to keep the testing results clean of any potential drug withdrawal side effects, which totally makes sense.
We also discussed some of Danny’s OCD type behavior and how particular he is about certain things, many times unreasonably so. I asked Dr. Taubin if this is due to the injury or a feeling of being out of control in life, so he tries to control whatever he can. She said it could be either or be a combination of both.
There are some anti-depressants that are geared more towards softening these types of behaviors and the need to be controlling. However, the two anti-depressants Danny is on currently (one for depression/neuro-stimulation and one for sleep-the one for sleep is the third drug we’re testing to remove) do not address these issues. Once we’ve taken away the first three medications, we will more than likely change his anti-depressant to address the need to be in control.
I know that anti-depressants are a hot topic for many. Usually people are ‘for’ or ‘against;’ it’s rare you find someone unsure.
I can only speak of my personal experience with an anti-depressant and the experience with Danny.
Some anti-depressants, like the one we’ve used to help Danny sleep, are prescribed for other uses than depression. The other anti-depressant he is on serves a dual purpose-to combat depression and for use as a neural stimulant.
Going through a catastrophic life change is hard for anyone to handle; I don’t care how strong you are or how close you are to God. We’re human. We hurt. We ache. We can’t comprehend or see a way out sometimes and medication may help.
I took an anti-depressant for a couple years to take off the edge, but when I realized that it had numbed me to any emotion, I called my doctor and we eliminated it safely. Always, always, always make sure you talk to your doctor before stopping a medication.
My choice for me and my family is to take as little medication as necessary. I don’t like putting things in my body that have adverse effects. But, sometimes, it is necessary.
In Danny’s case, I’m so, so, so happy that he’s in a place where eliminating medications is a real possibility. We are grateful and blessed.
So, although I got off the beaten path a bit, know that our appointment went really well. I’m so glad we can take medications away from Danny’s plan and that we are in a place we can make adjustments to continue his progress.
God, the Great Physician, is faithful.
Thank you for your prayers yesterday and always.