Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday, August 12th, late afternoon

Around 4:00 PM I’m wheeled to the other side of the hospital for the cerebral angiogram. I’m still in good spirits despite the fact that I was not allowed to eat at all prior to this procedure.

One of the doctors is wearing a crazy Hawaiian shirt. Clearly, I’m in the midst of professionals.

So, here’s what they do. They numb me (needle!), slice open my groin and send a catheter through an artery to my brain. They inject dye in the brain take a picture and see where the dye goes.

From a medication innovation perspective this procedure is fascinating.
Experiencing the procedure? Not very fascinating or pleasant.

As I lay there it occurs to me that I’ve only ever been in the hospital to be born. I am very thankful to have my health. I don’t think I’ve ever taken that for granted, especially recently. Of course now I’m not so fortunate but it was a good 32 year run.

I feel tingling across my groin. I report it to the doctors They say “The doctor books say you’re not supposed to feel that but we just passed the catheter through that area.”

When it’s time to take the pictures everyone runs out of the room (radiation) and I’m told “Don’t move, don’t breath.” Not very comforting.

It’s not pleasant when they shoot the dye. My eyes are open and I’m seeing stars, just like in a comic book.

My head feels warm and I feel dizzy. And a bit of nausea. The mausea is especially unpleasant because I'm lying on my back. Gravity is working against me.

This is worse that I expected.

Something goes a little awry with the catheter they’re using so they put another one in that’s a different shape. I can’t help but thinking about the game “Operation.”

When it’s done, I feel woozy. I’m over the whole “I feel fine” thing.

They show me pretty pictures of my brain and I'm alarmingly indifferent.

For someone as self-absorbed as me not to want to gaze at a lovely picture of their brain, well, that's a sign I'm not feeling like myself.

(Not MY brain but an example of what they see)

I don’t really say much of the ride back to ICU. Another definite sign I’m not doing so well. I think about “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” and how Jack seemed when he came out of the lobotomy.

Not my kind of photoshoot.

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