i was able to get my catscan on the 27th, the same day as my initial appointment at USC. they injected me with iodine using a large gauge needle. it was a strange smell. they warned me before the dye: “you’re going to feel a lot of heat. from the inside. it’s going to be pretty intense. it’s supposed to feel like menopause.” uh… it felt like whisky. that warm feeling in your chest. i felt it when i was in junior high school, when my grandfather made me a toddy for my cold. i never forgot that feeling. the fluid slid through my arm, and took me over like a crawling flame, expanding outward from my chest. so this is a hot flash?
after the test, i returned home. over the next few days, my headache continued to subside. i decided to attempt some cleaning; my apartment was in horrible disarray. a week or two before my hospitalization, i’d decided to change a lot of things. i got a new desk, and i began the process of moving computers and other equipment; i repositioned a chest and a few bookcases; i hung curtains and found a new place for my file cabinet. i went through papers, threw things away, etc. or at least i had started all of these projects. it was a lot of stuff to do, for a lot of stuff i had, because i had way too much stuff and so my stuff was stuffing up the place. and then i went to the hospital. every day since i’d been released, i’d looked at the horrid mess everywhere and wished i could do something about it. little by little, i was now attempting things. slowly. carefully. easily.
i went back to work again, this time for a more ambitious period of time. and i handled it well. but at the end of four hours, i felt as though there was a fist in the center of my brain, and it was pushing in a specific direction, forcing my brain to move with it. it definitely hurt. but moreso than being painful, it was worrisome. it was a sensation i instinctively knew i should never feel. it didn’t just feel bad; it felt wrong. so i told my boss. “i have to take pain medication now, and i have to stop working in 30 minutes.” he immediately told me to clock out and get out of there, because i was making him nervous. and so i did. went home. slept. and slept. four hours was a full day for me.
over the next few days, i waited to get my test results and find out when i would go into the hospital for my angiogram. initially, i hadn’t realized that they would have to go through my heart and carotid artery. this new realization made me a little nervous. after five days, the doctor’s office called. the results were in.