Thursday, January 8, 2009


I was slouching on my sofa, raising a can of vanilla Isosource with one hand and holding my G-tube and syringe with the other, listening to Jimi's "Manic Depression" on KLOS-FM, when the walls of my apartment and the floor began to shake.

I thought, "Is this how it's all going to end for me? Sitting on my butt, tongue swollen beyond the capacity of my mouth, clutching a rubber tube connected to my stomach as the ceiling crashes down upon my head, with Hendrix fighting to be heard above the sound of breaking concrete?"

Well, that was 30 minutes ago or so.

I managed to not spill a single drop of Isosource during the quake, but I did briefly wonder if tonight's feeding was going to be my last meal. Luckily, I was able to fight off that bleak premonition. "Manic Depression" was followed by "New Kid in Town" and I put the quake out of mind, instead cursing Uncle Joe Benson for playing the Eagles at a moment when I had no hands free to use to turn the dial of my radio.

Supper's over now, and I can process the events of the day, which turned out to be another day of progress.

I asked a friend to call Kaiser to schedule a CT scan for me, and he was able to get me in at 5:30 tonight! Before reporting to the basement at Kaiser for that procedure, I stopped by the Head and Neck Clinic across the street and was able to see Dr. Birusingh face-to-face. He said he was delighted that I was able to get the CT scan so quickly, and he promised to phone me Friday morning to discuss the next steps with me. It's likely that I will be having a biopsy.

The CT scan was not uncomfortable. It was similar to the MRI but the CT machine was more like a donut than a cylinder used for the MRI, and it didn't emit weird, loud noises. At the beginning of the procedure, the nurse started an IV on my right arm, and toward the end, I was injected with contrast.

Before I left, I scribbled a note to the CT technician. Tomorrow morning, I have to have my HIV labs drawn for an appointment with Dr. Towner a week from today, and I wanted to be sure that the contrast would not interfere with getting a reading from my blood sample tomorrow. She assured me that it would not be a problem.

What is a problem, however, is that I left Kaiser without having my IV removed. I think that they simply forgot to remove it, but maybe it was my responsibility to tell someone that it was still in my arm.

Well, I'll see if they can use it for tomorrow's blood draw, and then remove it. The last thing I need is more plastic tubing sticking out of my body.

As I write this, Jim Ladd on KLOS-FM has been spinning tunes like "Shake It Up," "Shakin' All Over" and "Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On" but now he has segued into a series of Elvis recordings in observance of the King's birthday. Most people in Southern California have probably already forgotten that they thought they were going to be buried in rubble tonight. And I'm looking to the day when I can forget about my medical problems of the past several months.

1 comment:

  1. I guess KLOS has finished their A-Z, although the transition from Manic Depression to New Kid in Town makes me think they still are trying to sneak some alphabetizing in.

    And dang it, I missed the earthquake. I must have thought it was the annoying family sitting behind me at the theater.

    I hope tomorrow produces some workable solutions for you.