Monday 11 October 2010

Rain, rain, go away!

We've been getting A LOT of rain this past week and I'm over it!  It's been torrential at times and has been constant to the point of flooding in some suburbs.....thankfully, not our area.  The good news is that the drainage installation in the backyard has been doing a great job....normally, the backyard would have been a swimming pool by now.  Unfortunately, it's been a wet honeymoon for Michelle and Alex but, while they haven't been able to go to the beaches, they have still been enjoying themselves at the motels along the way.  They are due home tomorrow. YAY!

They sent me a beautiful flower arrangement as a 'thank you' for all my help with their wedding.  Of course, I just had to sketch it in my journal.
Drawn directly with Pigma Micron pen and coloured in with Derwent coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook.

I did this quick sketch while we waited for Brad when he had his MRI scan
Drawn directly with Pigma Micron pen in my small Moleskine Watercolour notebook.
I later used watercolours and coloured pencils for colouring.

We weren't happy with the Neurologist at all when we went back for Brad's MRI scan results.  Basically, he said there was something going on with the grey matter of Brad's brain yet couldn't tell me what.  He immediately started writing a script for Tegretol without even talking about it with us.  Naturally, I asked questions which he clearly resented and we still came away without any clear answers. I had no intention of putting my son on a medication used for epilepsy and bi-polar conditions when Brad has had no seizures, does not have epilepsy nor has he ever shown any signs of being bi-polar.   I decided to get the script filled at the hospital but fully intended to do some research when we got home.

I had asked the Neurologist if Tegretol would interfere with Brad's other medications, one of which is for a life-threatening condition, and he said no, that it would be fine.  However, alarm bells started ringing when the Pharmacist told us that it would significantly diminish the job of Brad's other medications. I was NOT impressed at all!  The Pharmacist also mentioned something about getting a base-line blood test.  I researched this later only to find out that Tegretol can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and the blood which is why Brad would have to get frequent blood tests once he started taking Tegretol.  On top of that, Tegretol has been known to cause severe skin reactions in some people and when I watched a video at this link showing these types of reactions, I was absolutely horrified!  NO WAY is Brad going on Tegretol!!!  The risks in taking Tegretol far outweigh Brad's mild neurological symptoms (see this post) and I'm angry that the Neurologist would not have considered this.  To each their own but, personally, I don't like mind-altering drugs as I believe it causes more damage and long term problems.  This one even warns to watch for changes in moods and the possibility of suicidal thoughts while taking it.   NOPE, this drug is not for my son.

On another note, I ended up being carted off to hospital by ambulance on Thursday.  I had been having a numbing, pins and needles sensation down the left side of my body for a couple of days, particularly in the hand and foot.  On Thursday morning, I went to my doctor and he was concerned about stroke when my blood pressure showed as being quite high.....this is not normal for me .  Long story, short....I was kept in the ER for hours under observation, then cleared to go home with an outpatient MRI request to scan my brain and neck plus a follow-up visit to see a Neurologist.  The good news is that the numbness and pins and needles sensation has dwindled right down to barely being there at all.  For peace of mind, I'll still go ahead with the MRI because they were also concerned about the severe head pain I suffered for three whole weeks not that long ago.   It it doesn't rain, it pours, right?!

I  have been doing the blog rounds and was quite tickled to see that Suzana over at Creative Therapies had featured my blog in a recent post HERE.  Thanks, Suzana!

Stay tuned over the coming days as I plan some Blog Lovin' of my own.

~ Love, light and peace ~


  1. Wow, yes when it rains it pours Serena. I was going to ask about how things are, but you answered my questions. I too would rather not take mind altering medicinal drugs that can have varying reactions. I love the work you did on your journal, it is awesome the way you can paint what you see. Not only that but write about it as well. I hope things work out good for you when you go get your tests Serena. Take care and have a great week.

  2. OMG! That Tegretol sounds awful! I agree with you. Brad's issues don't merit being put on such a dangerous medication! The doctor doesn't even know what the issue actually IS in the first place. Good grief!

    And then you get a trip to the emergency room. My goodness! When it rains it pours--both figuratively and literally right now. I'm glad you're feeling better, tho. You should still have the MRI, yes. You did just have the horrible headache for weeks. Best to know if anything shows up than wonder about it.

    The flowers look beautiful! The new couple will be home soon. I hope the rain lets up and Bob gets done with the termite repairs. Good to know the new drainage for the yard is working--tada!!

    You are all in my prayers!! :):)

  3. Hi Serena,
    Oh dear, It really does pour at your place!
    Sorry to hear Brad got such a jerk of a Dr~definately need to find a new one for both of you by the sounds of things.

    Good luck with your MRI results, I hope its just "nervous Nana" or something minor!

    Love your drawing of the flowers and you'll have the fond memories forever!
    Take care friend,

  4. I am so sorry for the crappy neurologist...don't they realize how imprtant they are and how much we need information? Maybe you could find a different one. Hope you can take him to the one you will see (maybe???) Good grief!

    I am sorry your had such a trouble, Serena! Make sure you keep an eye on your BP and take any med you should to keep it down. You don't want to take any chances!!!

    Your flowers from Michelle and Alex were gorgeous, especvially they way you drew them out!!! I know you will be happy to have them back home and hear all of their adventures!!!

  5. Yes Serena, it has been pouring for you--in your outside and inside world! And good for you for questioning the doctor and investigating the medicine--you are right on with your decision. And hoping that all will be well for your health--keep journaling--you are so lucky as Gloria says to draw exactly what you see and then describing it (excellent hand writing too)!

  6. that neurologist sounds like an idiot! he should have been able to show and tell you what he thought was going on. I would get a second opinion as soon as possible.
    and that is horrible that you ended up in the ER :( hopefully you get a different neurologist then Brad. Is there anything environmental that might set the pins and needles feeling off?

  7. More and more I hear stories about many doctors insensitive interactions with patients and their families. Why they choose to intimidate their patients with their rude responses to questions is beyond me. You certainly have made the right decision in not having your son take the Tegratol.

    You are not alone in your days of pouring down rain-inside and outside-I've had so much of it with family members that I'm amazed I'm still able to function! Life does go on though and these things all pass. I've always said that I can take any crisis but I like some space in-between them. Good luck on your upcoming test.


  8. omg Serena. A new neurologist who cares for his patients is needed, I think.

    Love the flower drawing, very pretty.

  9. Wow, lots going on..Sorry to hear about your trip to the ER but glad it has subsided...

    and Brad - good for you doing all that research. It's about time people scream loudly at their MD's for throwing them on these damn medications with all the side effects, - when it isn't even needed.

  10. Wow Serena you have certainly been kept on your toes lately.
    I hope you find the help and advice you need to feel comfortable. It never hurts to get a second opinion.
    Good luck with your MRI.You should get it done for peace of mind.
    I love your sketching journal. You are so talented to just draw this straight off in pen.
    Look after yourself

  11. Hi Serena,

    So sorry to hear of the episode with Brad's Neurologist. What is wrong with that Dr? He should have told you all the pro's and con's of that medicine before he prescribed it to Brad. So happy that you are NOT going to give it to him. I wouldn't either. A second opinion of another Dr. would help you.
    I am really sorry to hear of your emergency to the hospital too. :(
    Please take care of yourself.
    Sending healing hugs!

  12. are not kidding about it pouring on you...literally and otherwise. I am so glad you are being a strong advocate for your son...go you! I hope they discover the issue soon.

    and take care of yourself dangit!!!!

  13. It seems that in today's world most doctors just want to do is push some medication on their patients. I'm so glad you're questioning things. Too many times people trust their doctor and end up taking horrible drugs that they don't really need.

    I do hope you and Brad are both feeling better soon....and I hope the rain stops and you get some sunny days ahead.

  14. Serena -- Good for you. You didn't just take what the doctor as if was the voice of God. You researched, asked questions and figured out what would be best for your son.

    Too many people just follow doctor's instructions without doing the research because many think, "Well, he's a doctor and therefore he should know best."

    I'm proud of you for using your own intuition and then checking things out. You win my SMART MOM award of the day!!!!

  15. Get out your umbrella Serena...take care and keep us posted on Brad and your condition..

  16. Serena,

    Your journal pages are just amazing! I can put colors and patterns together very well but can hardly draw a stick figure AND I have a college degree in fine art. Go figure!

    I know how frustrating it can be with doctors and their quick decisions to fill out a script. You were smart to follow your gut and do the research. Nobody knows your son better than you. As for you, I hope all is well and I'm sorry to hear of that scare!

  17. Thanks so much for all the well wishes and support, everyone. You guys are awesome! (((Hugs to you all)))

  18. You've done some beautiful sketches while your mental stage has been under siege. I hope you and Brad can find the right tests and meds.


    hope you are feeling better now...
    and I too hate the thought of 'mind altering pills'...they really do more harm than good....

    art is my soothing therapy..and calming release!

    great journal page...!!!thanks for sharing!

    ciao bella


  20. Dear Serena,
    WOW! Sending you lots of love, peace and blessings.

  21. What does it say about the practice of medicine when a pharmicist has to alert the consumer of the shortcomings of a drug and the medical specialist waves it off as nonsense...and gets miffed about it in the process. I have had a similar experience...Good grief!

    On another thought...regarding the numbness in your hand...Have you ever had carpal tunnel syndrome? Just wondering as I got it from over use of my hand when I used to do calligraphy. I thought of this in light of all the sewing you have been doing lately. Just a thought...

    Sending you hugs and wishes from the desert of Arizona for a "dry spell" in your lives...:)Be well...♥

  22. Hi Serena, my first visit to your blog...I adore your journal pages! A quiet calm in the midst of chaos....!
    X Jane Davenport