Category Archives: Real Life Epilepsy Stories

Dear Doctor,

As I sit here to write you this note there are so many things to be said… We were supposed to be on the same team, fighting for my healthcare yet the “Healthcare System” has stolen you from my team.

I know you spent many years dreaming of becoming a doctor and helping thousands of patients. I am sure you would be up late in medical school studying hard and struggling through the long nights thinking that in the end these long nights would pay off when you entered into your residency program. I am sure you read many research articles and longed to help patients just like the ones in the articles you read. As you applied for residency programs across the country, I know you must have been nervous and excited to see where your next educational journey would lead you. I know the residency interviews were probably overwhelming and you probably second guessed every answer you gave during those interviews on your way home, only hoping that the residency programs saw your passion to help patients. The months were probably grueling as you were waiting for The Match results to see where you would train next. I am sure that you were on my team during this time as well, just not officially as we had not yet met. Our paths would soon cross, you would officially join my team as my doctor and healthcare advocate.

I know the first few years after you joined my team you were full of life, enthusiasm and thought our team would win. We thought we could conquer the world together and the sky was the limit for us. However, “someone” kept stealing parts of you a little at a time.

Each time I saw you your light began to seem as if it wasn’t as bright. Your eyes showed you were growing weary and your heart began to put up a wall. I don’t blame you because your heart began to have a wall built around it… I know you didn’t want to build that wall, the wall was built by the people stealing you from my team. Your time with me began to be cut shorter and shorter each time we saw each other. I could see in your eyes and hear it in your voice that you longed for more time with me but “someone” was telling you that you were not allowed to see me for long periods of time any longer. Each time we saw each other our team meetings became more of “a quick throw me a bottle of water” like a runner in a race receives as they are trying to finish a race. Eventually our team meetings were cut to 15 or 20 minutes max. You quickly entered our meeting room and tried to make eye contact while staring at your computer to take notes. Our team was falling apart, you knew it and I knew it.

As our team began to fall apart, our time was cut even further and we were pushed to emails in a portal. You were stolen from my team and I got mad at you. Please don’t blame me, as I won’t blame you. We were meant to win but the cards became stacked against us. The “someone” that stole you was our “Institution of Healthcare”. They made you join teams (seeing more patients) even though it was impossible to be your best with everyone. Your home life, body and mental health has suffered.

Your dreams of being on my team are completely gone and you are in survival mode just like I am. The healthcare system has failed you and I, which has caused us to be mad at one another. They took our DREAM TEAM and crumbled it. They have stolen our time together and our time apart. They make you spend hours on the phone fighting insurance companies for approval of tests and medications. They make me spend hours on the phone fighting for these things as well. They make you fight and defend yourself against pharmaceutical companies when things go wrong with their medications. They make me fight the same thing too… They have divided our team and cut our time with one another so we cannot compare notes. I am here to tell you I want OUR team back! I want us to go back to where were when we first met. I want us to remember the sky is the limit and to win together. Please come back to our team and TAKE BACK OUR HEALTHCARE. We can fight together and take on these giants TOGETHER by saying enough is enough.

Sincerely,

Your Patient and Teammate

Meet Dr. Whitney Woodhall, a Nationwide Children’s Resident 1. Tell Us About Yourself. I am originally from western MI, and came to Ohio for my pediatric neurology residency at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 2. Why did you go into medicine and specifically neurology? I love the intersection between science and society. I find the brain fascinating, and […]

Meet Dr. Margaret Beigel, an Ohio State University Neurology Resident   Tell us a bit about yourself. Hey everyone, I am Margaret – a current PGY3 neurology resident at The Ohio State University. I am a Ohio native and grew up in a big family with 7 brothers and sisters. My childhood was filled with […]

Meet Marika, an Ohio State Neurology Resident   Tell us a bit about yourself. I moved around a lot growing up – lived in Oregon, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Kentucky – but sort of consider Louisville, KY to be my hometown as that’s where I went to college and medical school.  My husband is […]

My Epilepsy Story (MES) is partnering with The Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center (OSU) to EMPOWER Women and Girls Living with Epilepsy this year.  OSU is contributing to some of our Transportation Program and Educational materials this year.  Today we are spotlighting Betty, an OSU employee and woman living with epilepsy, that is in our […]

In my crazy busy weekly schedule, I look forward to Wednesday mornings.  I enthusiastically anticipate this 4-hour block of time as I know I will be working in our outpatient epilepsy clinic.  I am so blessed to have this opportunity to work not only with my favorite Nurse Practitioner (Lucretia Long), but also with many […]

My Epilepsy Story (MES) was founded based off inequities of research into epilepsy and women’s health, and the consequences of being in an under researched patient population. We see a continued need to address the healthcare disparities within the women with epilepsy community. Disparities in the quality of healthcare are known to persist in rural […]

Join Us Every Week! My Epilepsy Story is launching a weekly Online Support Group!  In this globally chaotic time anything can become or seem overwhelming. Whether you have questions about COVID-19 & Epilepsy, telemedicine during quarantine, have more general questions, or just need someone who understands to listen, we invite you to join us every […]

I became interested in epilepsy very soon after I started my Neurology residency. The intricacies of the disease, the ability to make a meaningful difference in terms of treatment and quality of life, and the wonderful patients that I get to see that have been diagnosed with this chronic condition have made me want to work […]

Taking care of others has always been strong personality traits instilled in me by watching my mother do the same for her family.  Transferring that quality to becoming a doctor and providing care for others is due to the nurturing of my father.  My journey into medicine started young and I cannot imagine any other […]