This is going to be one of those things I write that is going to be the most telling about my life right now, when I look back at it a few years from now. I had a moment like that recently. Lots of them.
I was sick with a sinus infection for over a week. That Friday, I went to the doctor, who said I was so impacted he thought I needed a shot of steroids to clear my head and relieve the pressure. For that preceding week each morning I would wake up into a headache (one that hurts in your eyes and teeth) and struggle through the day, feeling weak, achey, so much pressure in the eye cavity and temples, and sensitivity to light. I let it go for a while, thinking it would pass, and I was just “stressed out” – more often than not that’s the case –but eventually, Tom suggested I go to the doctor, and I felt so terrible that I listened. Doc gave me my first shot in the ass, and it burned through my bottom. I felt like I could lift up a fucking train, and then throw it across two rivers back home to Rockland County. Destination undetermined. Lately I’m having all sorts of new feelings about myself and my world, and home, and things, and the shot certainly kicked anything lingering in the back of my psyche into the front, into overdrive. And maybe even some stuff in my chemistry. Or nothing? Maybe it’s all in the timing. Fate. Whatever.
Saturday night (Well, Sunday night really) around 4AM, I woke up on the couch. Tom was sitting at his computer playing a game. I stumbled into the bathroom, past him, did my business, and glanced my pupils in the mirror. They were insanely dilated. My eyes were blown like I had never seen before. I felt sped up, and anxious, in a way I was familiar with, but not expecting. I freaked out. Tom rationally explained to me that my body was just reacting to the medicine, and it would pass, that I was okay. He held me super tight, and made me believe he was right. Eventually, I fell asleep.
Woke up again Sunday morning, still wrapped up in him, still with a light dizzy head, weird tasting mouth, and huge pupils. This time around something like 10 AM. Parked myself on the couch, where I idly watched television and wished I had the strength to go outside and have a cigarette, and I parked there for most of the morning, then afternoon.
Feeling under the weather is the perfect time to sit with yourself and really think about the things you are doing, have done, and will do.
Lucky for me (doubly, since the Giants beat the Packers, YES!) I had the next day off (and had a sore throat from yelling at the TV) – so woke up with eyes still strangely dilated, and so called the doctor, because I was concerned. He told me that none of the medication I was taking should have caused a reaction like that and asked me to come in. After he took a look at all my otherwise normal vitals he told me I had to be seen by a neurologist to really figure it out.
Tuesday, the neurologist also agreed it should not have been my medicine, and gave me one of those neurological tests where you follow the finger and they tap your knees and arms, ask you to touch your nose, etc, and said without major tests (MRIS and stuff) he couldn’t tell me much, or rule out anything. He told me I should get a CT Scan done of my brain for him to review, since I’ve never had tests like that performed before in my life for any reason.
I mean, brain x-rays? That is serious shit.
They told me they would call me and let me know when I could have the test done, since apparently, some insurance companies require “authorizations” for certain lab work and tests; when this “authorization” has occurred I can schedule the appointment to take the test. I dunno.
So… feeling totally disoriented, totally light sensitive, pressure-headed, dizzy, broken gate, the whole nine, that WHOLE week was a nightmare. The next Saturday I saw this coveted neuropthomologist (who only works two days a week and is only in two day a week, and has a two hour wait and a three hour record for longest exam ever (with more waiting thrown in there!)) said that one of my optic nerves is another color than the other and he said he would be interested in seeing the CT Scan when it is done also, and he also couldn’t tell me much.
Head whirling, and not just from the medicine, I stare up at the ceiling. I think of all the other ceilings I have studied in this way, even those that I invent in my head when I so badly need to block something out of my mind. All the stucco, tiling, and water spots I have explored in and over my head. Health is so remarkable, and variable, and interesting. And the way we feel about it is so… existential.