Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Whee, Breast Cancer Month!

No thanks, I already have it. Ha! See, here’s one of the problems of this whole post-concussion syndrome – it’s given me a really bad sense of humor. For example –last Monday I go to see my new neurosurgeon at Northwestern, Dr. Grimm. No, seriously, that’s his name. Grimm. To my credit, I don’t go with the “easy” comment, aka “Hey, must be grim working in neurology/oncology, aka brain tumor city, huh?” Nope. I am nothing if not restrained, as is my usual way.

Anyway, I’m unusually punchy when I go in to see Dr. Grimm – maybe it’s because seeing a different doctor every day wears on a person – a person who can’t go bike riding as her primary source of sanity. So I find everything he says hilarious and soon we’re doing some alterna-reality version of a comedy routine:

Dr. Grimm: "So how’s your health been other than all this?"
Me: "Oh, other than the cancer, the broken collarbone, the concussion, I’m healthy as can be."
Dr. G: "Any other operations?"
Me: "Nah, I decided to get them all out of the way at once. I’m efficient that way."
Dr. G: "Okay, come this way into the hall and I’ll watch you walk."

At this point I start snickering because all I can think of is Young Frankenstein and the “walk thees way” bit. Dr. Grimm probably thinks I’m a loon. Though, I’m in the neuro unit – he should be used to this. Actually, he’s chuckling along with me – and given my level of humor, I’m thinking it’s a pretty shallow pool in the neuro ward as far as humor is concerned. Hell, as far as intelligent conversation is concerned. We’re talking brain injuries here after all. I guess in that respect, I’m brilliant in comparison. Hmm. Note to self: start hanging out in neuro wards? After all, Dr. Grimm is kind of a Hottie – not quite in the Dr. Merk “Me wrench bones into place” sort of way, but cute nevertheless. I’m really starting to see the possibilities here.

Anyway, on Thursday when I have the pre-radiation mapping, I’m chatting away with the nurse as they do my tattoos (yep, I’m so cool now, gettin’ ink done) telling her that there should be a choice of tattoo options – like a flower or bird or what have you. After all, anyone can have a tramp stamp – who has tattoos on their chest? How fun would that be? She’s totally on board and has suggestions of her own, but when I ask the intern guy (who I’ve dubbed McAlex, after the Grey’s Anatomy guy who thinks he’s so hot but is kind of a jerk), he’s obviously woolgathering and has no idea what we’ve been talking about. The nurse and I laugh at him.

Later I’m giggling at the video they make me watch, which is so replete with bad makeup and oddly gaping teeth that I hardly register what the video is actually about. Then this woman is explaining to me a bunch of stuff:

Her: "And all these papers I’m giving you make up your 'welcome packet.'"
Me: "What, no fruit basket?"

You see what I mean.

I wasn’t laughing though on Friday when I went for my EEG. Not only was I instructed to get no more than 5 hours of sleep (which isn’t a problem since I hardly sleep at night anyway, but since I was TOLD not to sleep, of course I was desperately tired), but I go in for my EEG and am greeted by a guy who kind of looks like that cranky older desk clerk on ER. We go to a room where I lie down and he starts prepping my head, which apparently consists of taking a sharp stick and scraping and gouging my head with it, over and over. At least that’s what it feels like. I guess he’s embedding some kind of paste so the electrodes can be attached, but holy crap, that’s painful. He’s quiet as he works, and then all of a sudden decides to get chatty:

Him: "So who do you think will win the presidential election?"

Shit. Isn’t there some kind of rule of thumb about talking politics with someone who’s attaching electrodes to your head? God forbid I should piss him off.

Me: “Umm...tough to say?” I offer weakly. “You know how it is, you think it’s going to be one thing, and then it turns out to be another entirely.”
Him: “Exactly!” he proclaims. Grind grind grind.
Me: "So you just have to keep the faith, that the American people will make the right choice."
Him: “Don’t I know it!” Grind.

But luckily it turns out that he’s a Democrat so I’m safe for now, though I start to wonder again when he mentions the fact that he has epilepsy, and “they operated on my brain once but couldn’t do anything to fix it.” Umm, please tell me at least that medication has the seizures under control? Maybe?

Then for the final laugh riot of the day, I go for my MRI where I learn that hey, that metal plate now holding my collarbone together, that could be a problem. Luckily, I get the okay to go ahead.

Nurse scheduler: "Okay, so I found out that your plate is titanium," (note: sweet!) "so that won't be an issue. But, we couldn't find out what the screws are made of. So, we'll go ahead, and you give us a signal if you feel like the screws are starting to heat up, okay?"

Heh heh heh.......oh, wait, she's not laughing.......


tribabe said...

Hot screws. Sounds nice. Keep up the hilarious blogging Tasha!

Steve oH! said...

whats in a name? vasectomy reversal was supposed to be performed by Dr Hackett...I dumped him and went with another surgeon...