I'm not a big fan of doctors. I've had one or two that haven't been terrible, and I have a couple of doctor/nurse friends who are very good at what they do. As a whole, though, I just don't like doctors. And it's certainly nothing against the doctors themselves. I'm sure they are lovely people. But my experiences have shaped my view on the profession.
When I was in 5th grade, I had a grand mal seizure. I went through a series of tests, including an overnight hospital stay, to be told it was caused by playing video games. When I had the seizure, I had been playing an old (new at the time!) stand-up machine at our grocery store.
In 8th grade, I had a petite mal seizure. This time, I'd been working on a green screen computer. Again, we went to the doctor. Nothing major was wrong, so we let it go.
In 1997, I had another grand mal. My brother had sent me his old Nintendo, as I lived far away from home in California. Playing helped me feel better...or so I thought. On New Year's Day, I went out to eat with a friend, then went shopping at a nearby Pier One. The lighting made me feel so strange...and before I knew it, I woke up in the emergency room.
Shortly after waking, a nurse came in and told me what had happened. She handed me a little cup with two pills and told me to take them. Of course, I asked what they were. Doctors' orders. Without any tests or exams, I was placed on Tegretol. And this wouldn't be a temporary thing. No, I was now looking at a lifetime on brain medication.
I was told I couldn't drive for six months. That was a little impossible, as I lived by myself and my family was in a different state. I worked at Disneyland at the time, and the medication distorted the way I heard the music during the shows. I was able to mask it and keep up okay, but I sure knew something was going on.
This reality played a large role in my debut novel Asylum. Trista, as Krissa (read the book; it will make perfect sense, I promise!) faces similar circumstances. She has a situation suddenly forced upon her and has to deal with it. Much of her suffering and struggles are things I went through, felt, or wondered about.
I know many people find relief from such medications. I'm so grateful for that. If it works for you, and you're under the regular care of a knowledgeable physician, that's awesome. For me, though, I hope to never again experience anything like this. Of course, I'm much older and wiser now... I'd ask more questions and demand better care.
Oh, the rest of the story? I slowly weaned myself off the drugs. Partly because I couldn't afford the meds, and partly because I was confident I didn't need them. After leaving Disney, I got a job for a major cruise line. Before I went, I had to be fully checked out, not only by a physician, but by a neurologist. The brain doctor said the level of Tegretol I was taking couldn't even be considered therapeutic. So he took me off it. I've been clear and seizure free since.
So yes, a good portion of Trista/Krissa comes from real life. My own personal experience. And boy, does it make for an exciting story!
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3