Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Some bad news, and some good news

You all are aware of the pie glory that's been going on in my house ("our new home," as Maybelle continues to call it).  In many ways I am a pie genius.  I have skills.

This is the pie in the garbage can.  The bad news.
And yet on Monday night, I made a pie that was...not delicious.  Worse than not delicious.  Bad.  It was a shoo-fly pie, a Pennsylvania Dutch pie that my mom used to make us when we were kids.  It was sort of bready and sweet--I remember loving it!  Trey and Olivia left a jar of molasses here when they moved, and I thought, "There you go!  Shoo-fly pie ingredient #1!"

But the version I made is a troubling pie. You take one bite and you think, "Hmm, that's interesting."  Then the flavor fills up your mouth and you start hacking and scraping food off your tongue.  Rest assured, I tried this time and time again, thinking that it couldn't possibly be that bad.  But it was.  It's the worst pie I've ever made.  So that's the bad news.

The good news.

Claire and I went to see my neurologist on Tuesday.  He's the neurologist I've been seeing for over a year now, and he's a really nice guy.  A really safe guy.  Really, really, really, really safe.  He's been adjusting all my anti-seizure medications and having email conversations with me about coffee consumption, orgasms, etc. (For what it's worth, neither coffee nor an orgasm triggers seizures).  He knows me.  He loves me.

And everytime I've asked about driving, he's offered a very nice NO.  "You know, people with epilepsy can have four seizures a year and have a perfectly good life.  You can do your job and have exactly the life you have now with four seizures a year."

To which I replied, "But I'll never be able to drive!"

He nodded in a sympathetic way.

After you've been seizure-free for six months, the state of SC allows you to drive, so when we hit that moment, Claire said, "You'll let her drive now, right?"

And he said, "We really need to see how this plays out.  Just because she hasn't had any seizures hat have made her unconscious doesn't mean she's safe to drive."

Claire said, "She rides a bike every day!"

He said, "Far fewer people will be hurt if she wrecks a bike than if she wrecks a car."

Two months ago, we saw him.  I'd had nothing stronger than a speech arrest since April 9, 2013.  In a speech arrest I temporarily lose the ability to understand language (and boy, does that suck, and often feel nauseating).  But it's only for 30 seconds or so, and I'm able to be fully functional during them (even pretending I understand every word in a conversation, making appropriate facial expressions).

Alright, this is getting lengthy.  Let's see if I can condense.  Last time he said that I was "tantalizingly close" to being able to drive.  "Tantalizingly close???" Claire and I asked.  "What would make her cross over into driving?"  He said I should keep a chart tracking speech arrests and how they coincide with things like my period and stress.  He said that sometimes people with speech arrests think they're conscious, but they're not, so I decided to keep track of that, too.

On Tuesday, we sat down with my neurologist.  I gave him the chart.  I told him what had happened during every speech arrest that proved I hadn't lost consciousness (I was riding the bike home one time. I was in a coffee shop and kindly waved off the person offering me more coffee.  I was Skyping and watched my face while it happened--and nothing changed in my facial expression).

Claire said, "Can she drive?", and he said, "I can't argue that it would not be relatively safe to drive."  Claire wrote the quote down in the notebook!  And we both said, "That means Alison can, drive, right?  That's what you're saying!" He didn't contradict us.  He smiled.  He told us about the study in Arizona that showed that people with epilepsy are actually much safer drivers than people who text while driving (which means that two men in my life aren't safe drivers). He said, "It's been a year without losing awareness, that is technically the law."
Maybelle working at car sales in the American History
Museum.  I'm going to need her help in buying a car.
Everytime we said, "I can drive!", he didn't contradict us.  We said, "She's leaving this office, and she can drive!" and he smiled.

This medical professional is extremely careful.  He's relentless in his wariness.


I don't have a car, but I'll figure that out.  I haven't been allowed to drive for three years. This is huge!  As you know, not driving has been hitting me hard.  I know know know that some of my delight here is based on ego.  And I promise I'll examine that.

But right now, I am thrilled!


  1. Yay Alison! Not so much for the driving (I'd give it up if I could! guess that's easier to day when you have the option...) but for the clean bill of health.

  2. What did the pie taste like?

  3. It wasn't black strap molasses was it? I bought that once by mistake and it was horrible.

  4. Those who have ridden with me will attest that not even having seen you drive, you will be safer than I am on the roads. Here's to letting the road stretch out in front of you and you enjoying a nice long drive.

  5. Time for joy riding!!!!

    But what struck me most about the post and all the good news...

    Coffee and Orgasms!!! (Of course, my mind just *goes* there ha ha)

    Driving I can go without, but Coffee and Orgasms ?! (I'd definitely end up in the non-compliant patient club sooner or later!)

    Glad you didn't have to abstain from those ecstasies for 3 years, too!!!

    Be well. Enjoy!