Saturday, December 30, 2006

Like a Hole in the Head . . .

[Start Dictation.]

Brothers & Sisters:

Life will throw you curve balls. Fer shurr. [Folks, spell that f-e-r s-h-u-r-r. Yep. Thanks.]

I'm sitting here in a hospital bed, grunting out next-to-unintelligible syllables through a wrap of gauze and medicated plaster, hoping for the best. My Three Stenos are listening in to what I try to say. Hopefully together they'll get most of it, notwithstanding all the post-operative garble.

I had that doctor's appointment last Tuesday — hastily arranged, as you know — and by the time I landed this old corporeal trainwreck in the exam rooms, the headaches were so bad I could —


— so the specialist referred me for a CAT scan, and I ended up blacking out while they had me inside the machine. Apparently that's not an uncommon occurrence — a lot of claustrophobes freak out and abandon consciousness — but I want to make clear to you that it wasn't that pansy-ass medullary override mechanism at work in my case. I can handle that kind of closed-up space just fine.

No, I crashed out because for the past thirty-three years I've been living (in reasonable comfort, actually) with a developmentally-stalled conjoined twin trapped in one of my sinus cavities, and at some point in the last couple weeks — for reasons that still have not been adequately explained to me — the Poor Little Guy contracted a case of gangrene. The swelling on his leg put increasing pressure on my brain, causing the excruciating headaches and, in the end, my crap-out in Radiology.

They wheeled me straightaway into emergency surgery at around 12:30, where a surgeon I still need to thank performed a less-than-routine siblingectomy from behind my face. I hear now that my head's former tenant is recovering in an incubator in the kiddie wing of the hospital: they had to take one of his legs to stop the disease from spreading. To be honest I don't know whether the Little Guy has —


— enough to be bummed out about the amputation. Of course, that's just one of the things I'm thinking right now.

Some of the others include

*Why me?

*You've got to be freaking kidding.

*What sort of relationship can I expect to have with my stunted Kid Brother? I still haven't seen The Guy, and I hope he's not too freaky-looking. I have a hard time interacting with animals that are freaky-looking.

*What are the coverage limits of the Phutatorius & Co. health plan, and if they're exceeded, would anyone object to me dipping into the World Domination Fund to pay a medical bill or two? It seems to me that expenditures on my personal health are crucial to the Overarching Cause here. I just don't people to conclude that I'm unethical.

*At what point will I be able to eat solid foods again?

et cetera. [Stenos, put that last bit in italics, because it's Latin. Thanks.]

That's all I've got the time and energy to tell, Bees and Esses. I'll try to check in with regular updates.

[End Dictation.]

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