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Friday, May 19, 2017

Dr. De Ren


The wren, the wren, the king of all birds…

I’ve known Dr. De Ren for ten years. Back when I had a stroke and no nouns, he was one of the first doctors I saw. He’s a neurologist, and was so young and serious. And Chinese, and handsome, with language skills not more intelligible than mine.  He listened to my noun less speech, or looked at the pictures I drew, and answered my questions. Once I looked at my notes, realized I’d missed an important point and shouted “Bird come back” at the nurse. Probably the first noun I used. The nurse just stared, but Dr. De Ren, outside the door, came back. I looked in the little book just now, and see I wrote “kind” at the end of the day’s notes.

I saw Dr. De Ren for several years, until there was little more stroke business to follow up. When I came back from DC after this pointless accident, I was given a list of doctors to follow up with, or be released. The neurologist was the nice, fat little Italian fellow, who dismissed me and my back pain. But, I already had an appointment with Dr. De Ren, and  knew I could tough it out.

Today Dr. De Ren came into the room saying “You had a terrible accident. Tell me about it.” And I did, and gave him a copy of the little Italian doctor’s MRI of my “perfect” brain. My history with Dr. De Ren began with an MRI of my brain, when he told me the good news was that I had one. I told him my complaints were that I could not stay awake, and the debilitating pain since those neurosurgeons (the swine!) had confiscated my NSAIDS.

“Well, you know, those neurosurgeons cannot stand blood,” he said. “So, they prescribe Keppra. Sometimes they cannot stand blood so much, they prescribe extra Keppra. I see you’re on twice as much Keppra as you can possibly need to prevent a seizure.”

“Why would I have a seizure?”

“Disorganized electrical activity.”

I could see where that might come from. But, “What is a seizure?”

He made fists of both hands and made his body shake, violently.  “It shakes the blood out of the vessels. And remember, those neurosurgeons hate blood! All the extra Keppra is making you so groggy! Perhaps they think you won’t notice the pain if you’re not awake!”

He cut the Keppra in half. We’ll see if I stay awake. He added a tiny bit more Lyrica for the back pain. We’ll see what happens. Lyrica puts me to sleep, too, so I take it at bedtime. I hope it works. It seems a shame to waste being pain free by being asleep.


I just recalled another Dr. De Ren anecdote. My sister had some surgery once, and the doctor feared she may have suffered a stroke. He sent her and her MRI to Dr. De Ren, who evaluated it. The stroke could have happened any time in the past, even when she was born. Absolutely fascinating. He told her the good news was, she had a brain, and he absolutely could not seen in one ear and out the other. Now I wonder about my brain. But the important thing to remember is this: “Those neurosurgeons hate blood!”

29 comments:

  1. Oh lord, Joanne. You seem to be handling this so well and I know that with your attitude, you will get through this.

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  2. Hi, Joanne. It is so wonderful to have you back and talking to us! Funny at you were able to connect "wren " with "bird" when nouns were a problem.
    Meanwhile, since I live with somebody who is never free from back pain, I know how terrible it can be. Guess you didn't get Celebrex again. Of course I googled "Keppra". Something I don't understand.....the bus accident caused you to hit your head. That caused all the grief that you've endured since. But why do they think you need anti-seizure medication? Is that automatic after a severe blow to the head? I wonder if the need will go away. Sure do hope the extra Lyrica helps. Always thinking of you....

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    1. I guess there was extra electrical activity from my brain sloshing around, and extra electricity can seize up and cause a seizure. Hmmm..I think we just out 1 and 1 together. I am sorry for your husband! Pain sucks.

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  3. Your attitude amazes me, Joanne. Have a healing weekend!

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  4. The bird sounds a truly wonderful man. So glad you have him at your back.
    And, like everyone else, I love your attitude.

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  5. Oh my goodness - I didn't have enough brain power to realize that "bird" was for "wren"! Thanks, RunNRose.
    And what a truly wonderful thing is a doctor whom you can trust absolutely.

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    1. Unlike any doctor except possibly the one who delivered my children.

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  6. I have dr. trust issues, too. This Dr. De Ren sounds like a keeper. I've been having a little difficulty understanding why a head injury caused by a lurching bus (as opposed to you having a seizure, falling, and receiving a head injury) would equal future seizures, too. Oh well, I'm certainly no brain expert. Pain medication is a tricky bit of business to get just right (and then your body changes...) I sincerely hope there is an end to all this nonsense for you very soon. Your 'shoot from the hip' attitude is fabulous. -Jenn

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  7. Blood in the brain is not good; I can see why the neurosurgeons would hate blood. Wonder how long you'll have to be on the Keppra. Its good you are seeing a doctor you have seen in the past and knows you rather than having to start all over so to speak with someone new.

    betty

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  8. so many doctors don't really listen, glad you've got de ren back again.

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  9. Oh my gosh! You have been really going through a lot! Your Dr. De Ren sounds wonderful. I wish he was my doctor. He has a rather unusual name. It doesn't sound Chinese. Please take good care of yourself, Joanne.

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  10. "The good news is you have a brain" That made me laugh. Dr De Ren sounds like an okay person. Hope you are feeling much better, less sleepy and with less back pain.

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  11. Hari OM
    I am sooooo glad you were able to reconnect with the De Ren... and that he still feels connected to you. Here's waiting to see what happens... YAM xx

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  12. The scare about NSAIDS for the over 50s has reached here too. God knows what the neurosurgeons think about aspirin...

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  13. you are so lucky to have a good doctor you like and trust. so many of them have their own agendas. like the ENT who recently blew me off when I went to see him about the throat spasms I get sometimes who zeroed in on my ancient broken nose and couldn't be bothered to address the reason I was there in the first place. won't be seeing him again. anyway, glad you are making progress and I hope the sleep issue clears up. and I hope you get some relief from the back pain.

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  14. It sounds like Dr de Ren has some common sense as well as education. I would stick with him.

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  15. It seems magical, how the brain works. What complicated machines we are. I like your Dr. de Ren.

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  16. Confidence in one's doctor is nine tenths of the cure.

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  17. My diagnosis, dearest Joanne, is that your brain needs lots of rest to recuperate. Hope the new adjustments help. So glad Dr. Ren is still able to help you.

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  18. >>It seems a shame to waste being pain free by being asleep.<<

    I agree!

    Your Dr. De Ren sounds wonderful. Hold onto him, don't let him fly away.

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  19. That sounds like my kind of doctor. One that has a sense of humor. I hope your recovery is continuing to go well.

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  20. I'm so glad you have a brain and a sense of humour x

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  21. I didn't know you had a stroke.I'm glad you recovered so well and that you had a great doctor who must also have quite a good brain.

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  22. May God bless Dr. Bird.

    Love,
    Janie

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  23. Sounds like you have been peddling through mud! Dr. De Ren is a keeper. Finding a good neurologist is like striking gold---I have one too.

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  24. Life is so mysterious...
    Hope you can be fine!

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  25. I did not know you were having issues, I hope you get well soon.

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