chapter 13: “4th time’s the charm,” or, “and then there were two”

according to the doctor’s office at USC, the round table of radiology experts who reviewed my latest catscan concluded that an aneurysm could be ruled out.  GREAT.  right?  an aneurysm could just kill me on the spot.  on the other hand, an aneurysm might’ve blocked itself off, which would’ve made surgery unnecessary.  and furthermore, even if it was unblocked, the surgery could’ve possibly been done through the groin, heart, and carotid artery–no picnic, i’m sure, but maybe it beats brain surgery.  now there were only two possibilities:  a tumor or a cavernous angioma.  also, in the wake of the aneurysm elimination, i was no longer set for an angiogram.  in its place, i would have two more MRI’s, bringing my total to four altogether.  i would also have a spectroscopy.

the trip to the hospital on my scheduled day for the new tests was fun.  clowns greeted me at my car.  there was a merry-go-round.  and free cotton candy.  the Hooters girls led me to the machine.  i’ve had worse.  i wish those things were true.  instead, it was just another day in the machine.

diane, the girl running the show, plugged my ears and then surrounded my head with what felt like two big pillows.  she penetrated a vein in my left arm and readied me to receive more dye.  i was starting to feel like an easter egg.

“you aren’t claustrophobic, are you?”  “yes, but it doesn’t really matter; i have a brain tumor.  shove me in.”  she put a balloon in my hand to squeeze if there was a problem.  ready, set, and in we go…  my head was already in a cage at this point, but the cave i was being fed into was swallowing  me deeper than i’d expected.  uh, squeeze, squeeze, SQUEEZE…”diane, get me out of here.”  “do you need something to relax you?”  “no, i just wasn’t expecting to go so deep…i just need a minute to prepare myself.  i’m gonna imagine the two things on the sides of my face are two huge boobies.”  diane liked this.  i actually said “boobies,” because i didn’t feel like i knew diane well enough to drop the -ies.  somehow, that made sense to my tumored brain.  “(laugh) okay, you do that.  you imagine that exact thing; you imagine they are just what you said they are.”  “okay.  i’m ready.”

this time, my voluptuous lolita and i slid calmly in, all the way…she’s so nice to me…

vibrate, vibrate, vibrate.  etc., etc.  then more of the same.

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