chapter 35: Dial M for Murder


after my cerebral angiogram, and before my dismissal from my job, i had awaited my appointment with Dr. M at UCLA.  he’d be a source of crucial information, allowing me to further map a plan of action for the rock in my head.  finally, it came.

if Dr. M was a newspaper, the headline for September 16th, 2010 would read “Wade Has an Aneurysm.”  that was his message.  that was his diagnosis.  at this point, i’d seen four neurosurgeons, including three brain surgeons, including two who were experts in both my issue and the seemingly impending craniotomy.  my two previous brainiacs had thunk i had a cavernous malformation, which is a clump of malformed blood vessels.  but Dr. M was his own man, and not afraid to go against the grain.  he leaned toward aneurysm, swimming upstream like a cold fish in a (medical) school of alaskan salmon.  and call me Nanook of the North:  the idea of an aneurysm made me want to cover up in fur and return to the igloo for a warm pot of stew and maybe a redbox movie.  it wasn’t good news.  or was it?  if Dr. M was right, it was a thrombose aneurysm, meaning that it had closed itself off.  but also according to my shiny, scaly, fish-eyed friend, what once was closed could open up at some point in the future, and kill me.  i didn’t wanna go out like that.  not by a blast to the head.  leave noggin beatings to The Three Stooges.  not Larry, Curly, and EskiMoe.

Despite his analysis, Dr. M did inform me that his radiologist disagreed with him:  the doctor’s best technician was putting his money on a cavernous malformation.  but, as Dr. M said, “he’s been wrong before, and so have i.”

Furthermore, whoever was right, Dr. M had an idea we could all agree with:  wait about six weeks, and do some more tests; see if, like kudzu in a redneck’s yard, my brain lesion grows.  and so i waited…and waited…

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