Friday, October 3, 2008


I am not going to bother with paragraphs today, except for this one. This will be fairly stream of consciousness because I have to get this stuff off my mind just now.

So I went for the three and a half hour eye exam with the neurologist eye doctor today, and he said the same thing the second eye doctor said - that it's either a thyroid problem or a brain tumor. Only even he would not say the words "brain tumor". "It might be a tumor" he said. It's a little like the one and a little like the other and not quite exactly like either of them, not exact enough for a real diagnosis. Nope, we need to do more tests. So now I have to go for two MRI's, one of my brain and one of my eye. I had to ask where to go to get them. He looked at me as if I had suddenly started speaking pig Latin. "Well, you could go across the street" he said. I'm not that stupid. I am actually aware that there is a gargantuan hospital across the street from the specialist eye center. No, mr. fancy eye doctor neurologist guy, you're not helping. "I'm the one who never goes to doctors, remember?" I said to him. "I have no idea how to navigate the health care system." And I never wanted to have to learn. I was kind of hoping I'd just live to a disease-free moderately mature oldish age and then one day just keel over suddenly, never having darkened the door of a doctor's office my whole life long. I have a horror of doctors. So naturally and of course it is now my karma to have to be seeing more doctors than you can shake a stick at. He realized how clueless I am. He gave me explicit directions to the MRI office in the gargantuan building across the street, thank you, that's what I was asking for. So I put on my little temporary celluloid sunglasses to protect my eyedrop-induced dilated pupils from the overcast daylight, walked into the gargantuan building across the street, and made two appointments for the two MRI's. I made one appointment for a Saturday and one for 6:45 a.m on Yom Kippur morning. I always take Yom Kippur off from work, but I don't go to synagogue anymore, so that was perfect. I can quietly go and get my brain scanned and nobody at work will know about it. It's bad enough I couldn't think up a good enough excuse to get today off when we're already short-staffed, so I told the truth and said I had to go in for a doctor's appointment. I didn't say why I had to see the doctor though, and it's nice that they're not allowed to ask. I had to sign a Hippo form (honestly, that's what I thought she said) - the one about who, other than doctors, they are allowed to share my medical information with - and it was lovely to check off the box labeled "Nobody". No spouse, no child, no other person. I authorize NOBODY to know about this. Yes! I decided long ago that if I ever got a serious illness I would try to keep it a secret. Lo and behold, now's my opportunity. Lucky me. I have lots of reasons for not wanting anybody to know. And I do mean not anybody. Not my parents, not my siblings, not my friends. I don't want to burden the people closest to me with a terrible knowledge they can't do anything about. I don't want to find myself talking about it all the time, or at all for that matter. I don't want people treating me differently or feeling sorry for me. I don't want to find my conversation suddenly taken over by the subjects of doctors, treatments, symptoms, diagnoses, insurance, etc. etc. etc. And I don't want to find myself getting all self-absorbed and dramatic, as I've seen some people do. I would just rather not let anybody know.

On the other hand I do feel a need to tell somebody, to talk about it a little bit, just to get it off my chest because it is a little too sharp to entirely hold inside in silence. Like letting out a burp.

So, here we are. God bless the Internet. I can talk about it to total strangers and nobody gets hurt. Now I've told you, and I feel much better. Thanks for listening.

I'll be back with my inspirational words of wisdom when I think of some.

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