Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color


My psychiatrist was very forceful. “You need to talk to your neurologist to find out what is going on.”
Though my latest brain MRI report mentioned a possible bleed from a new angioma, my neurologist failed to tell me about it. I found out after my appointment with him when I read the report myself.
“You have to talk to him. ASAP. Call. Today.”
“Perhaps I’ll talk to the nurse practitioner, the one who gave me a copy of the report—”
My psychiatrist interrupted. “You need to talk to the doctor. He knows more than the nurse practitioner, no matter how good she is. Make an appointment to see him.”
Though I told her I would phone my neurologist and though I wanted some answers myself, I hesitated. I was tired. It was crunch time at work. I didn’t have time. But ultimately, after what happened, I wasn’t sure I could trust him to tell me the whole truth. Moreover, I wasn’t sure how I would go about telling my neurologist that he messed up and I want to know why. I’m not good at being confrontational.
I told myself that I’d phone after the weekend, after I’d had more time to think about it. Come Monday, I decided that a better strategy would be to first speak to the nurse practitioner on the phone and then make an appointment with the doctor.
But she’d probably have to phone back, so I should pick a day when I’m not teaching so that she could reach me whenever. Tuesday would be good, except not this Tuesday. Thursday might work, but not this one.
It’s been what, two, three weeks since I spoke to my psychiatrist?

This morning, I phoned Dr. Spetzler’s office out in Arizona, the neurosurgeon who performed the brain surgeries. He reviews my MRIs periodically to keep track of his handiwork—angiomas can grow back.

So far, the MRIs I’ve sent him have been fine. The last time I sent him one was a couple of years ago. I wasn’t due to send him a new one yet, but perhaps he’d be willing to review this one and give me his opinion. Dr. Spetzler is one of the top experts in the world on angiomas, perhaps the best—I trust his opinion. Also, from my past experience with him, I knew I could I trust him to answer my questions honestly, in full.
I’ll be sending him copies of the MRI and the report within the next few days.
I feel as if a heavy burden has been lifted off my shoulders—neither my psychiatrist, nor Cindy, nor anyone else who has urged me to confront my neurologist can fault me for my actions. More importantly, I know it’s the right decision, it makes more sense. And it sits better with me.

Perhaps after I hear back from Arizona I’ll contact my neurologist.