The Day My Life Changed – Part 9: More G*******d Doctors

Here’s Part 8, if you missed it yesterday.

I called the neurologist’s office. The receptionist was *ahem* unwelcoming.

“We don’t take referrals from the ER,” she huffed.

I replied, “I’m personal friends with the doctor. We went to church together and were in the same Sunday School class for quite a few years.”

“Well,” she said, “I’ll just have to ask him about that.”

She took my information. I received a call back from her a couple hours later, and her tone was significantly more positive, “yes, Mr. Robot? We can work you in on Thursday.”

“Thank you.”

My test results were trickling in. It seemed slow at first, but it was probably a lot quicker than I think, in all fairness. Everything happened so fast, but the want for answers makes everything grind to a perceptive crawl. My blood pressure had been high in the ER (135/96), which is odd, because my BP has always been low. ER Doc had said that my chest X-Ray “looks beautiful. My CT scans were clean, and my urinalysis was good. There were a couple of blips in my blood work, but nothing too worrisome. In a word, they couldn’t really find anything that might have caused a seizure. Jennifer took off work and took me to see the neurologist.

Doc Neuro had a stern, sincerely concerned look on his face. He greeted me and shook my hand. He had me walk around the examination room. “The sobriety test?” I asked.” (BTW, I’ve never had do do one of those roadsides, FWIW.)

He chuckled uncomfortably, “pretty much.”

I sat on the table. He whacked my knees with the little mallet. It tickled and it was so funny to watch my reflexes working. I actually tried to resist, but it didn’t help. This made me giggle. Doc Neuro said that he wanted an EEG, which they could do right there in the office, and that he wanted to see an MRI. I was a little surprised that the CT with contrast wasn’t good enough. “It can be a little tough to get in for an MRI, but I can get you a referral,” he said.

I countered, “my aunt owns an imaging clinic here in the city. I’m pretty sure I can get in there.”

The common, going MRI runs on a 1.5-Tesla magnet. When my aunt set up shop, she sprung for the 3.0-Tesla machine, which produces far higher resolution images.

“Tell her to not bother,” said Doc Neuro, “the higher resolution can be nice, but sometimes that level of clarity muddies the issue. 1.5 is fine.” But, that’s what my aunt has. He offered to prescribe an anti-convulsive, but I was hesitant. He said that if I changed my mind, he’s go ahead and write a prescription after the fact. After looking up possible side effects, I decided that I didn’t really want to do that unless I really felt like I was going to have another seizure.

While I was putting my socks and shoes on to gather up and leave, Doc Neuro stormed back in and shoved a half a piece of notebook paper at me with, “154/94” scrawled on it. “That’s too high,” he declared. I knew my blood pressure was too high. For the last couple of weeks my blood was boiling. I could freaking feel my pulse at any given time. My veins have always stood out on my arms ever since my teens, but at this time, I could look at my arm and watch my pulse. I knew it was too high. That seizure. Of course my BP was up. My jaw was popping and I don’t know that I didn’t crack a tooth in there. When your brain goes haywire for a few minutes and tells every muscle cell in your body to go into high mode, your bones and teeth grind, and your BP goes nuts too. For what it’s worth, my blood pressure has gone back to normal by now.

Doc Neuro ordered another blood work. Great. More needles. I hate needles. We went to the lab for the blood work. They got me right in. The phleb who stuck me was really good, but she did make fun of me for how I reacted to the needle. Come on, lady! I’ve got track marks now! You people are making my right arm into a pin cushion! I half expected her to give me a lollipop for my bravery.

Tomorrow, we’ll learn what it’s like to get a brain MRI in Part 10.

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