chapter 12 waiting

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.

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