Visit sounds too friendly. Clark puts the idea of an appointment with another doctor (he is very partial to his primary-care doctor) in the same category as having to have all his teeth pulled out—without Novocain. Anxiety kicked in the moment he heard about the appointment. The only way to get him to stop talking about it is to remind him a zillion times that the appointment is not for a long, long time. Twenty-four hours of anxiety is indeed a long, long time. We receive a reprieve when he is sleeping. The conversation starts up again first thing the next morning.
“I’m not going.”
“We will be there with you.”
“Why I have to go?”
“Because we are trying to figure out things with your seizures.”
“Because maybe there is some better medicine.”
Now the conversation circles around to the beginning.
“I’m not going to that doctor.”
“You have to go because the doctor is expecting you and we’ll be there with you.”
He softens. “I don’t want to go.”
“I know but Dad and I will be there.”
And we were. We just got back from the second neurologist in two weeks. In today’s visit, we were first seen by a resident who was amazing. She was the warm-up act. Anxiety drained from Clark’s face as she had him walk, balance on one leg and then the other, touch her finger tip and then touch his nose, and so on. She was patient, kind, and had a friendly face. By the time the senior neurologist came in Clark was relaxed and peaceful. I did see any white knuckles or hear any mutterings (“One more chance and I’m telling my friends!”) under his breath. Now we need to decide what the next step will be but until then there are no more neurology visits on the horizon.