Friday, February 3, 2017

Embarrassing Update From the Emergency Room

So, the news has been so boring lately, I thought I would spice things up.

Yesterday morning, I was driving to work. Suddenly, there were twice as many cars in front of me as had been there the moment before. Every car had grown a twin. I blinked my eyes, but it was still true. I had double vision. Luckily, if I kept one eye closed, it went away, so I avoided dying in a flaming wreck. After a few minutes, things returned to normal. I went to work, saw my patients, and went home.

That evening, thinking that maybe my primary care doc, Dr. N, should know about this, I sent her a message. Foolish me.

Today, after I had seen a few patients, I got a call from Dr. N. She was laughing. She said, "Tom, what would you tell a patient if they sent you a message saying what you said to me?"

"Um," I tried figure out something to say other than the obvious, but there was no way around it. "I'd send them to the emergency room." And she laughed at me some more.

Reluctantly, I cancelled the rest of my appointments. I grabbed some papers off my desk, and drove home. Then, my delightful neighbor, G drove me here, the emergency room of Ben and Jerry's Hospital. *

After several hours, I have had an unremarkable CT and MRI (by my unique standards). I did not have a stroke. However, I don't get to go home tonight. We still don't know for sure what happened.

The most likely explanation is that Donald Trump. That's right. His fault. Some kind of executive order. Donald Trump.

Another possibility--the one that really seems most likely to me--is fatigue. I was ridiculously tired that morning. My work was holding a meeting at a truly ungodly hour. The muscles surrounding my right eye are weakened from all the radiation, and I think the fatigue just brought this out. This was one of the ways I reassured myself until Dr. N embarrassed me into coming here. I still think it's number one.

Next, it is possible that I had a TIA--a transient ischemic attack. ** This happens when there is a blockage in blood vessel in the brain that is temporary. This could be due to narrowing of the small vessels from all the radiation I had to my brain (a known phenomenon and probably the reason for my two strokes ***). This is quite possible. That was the other way I reassured myself. I'm already on medicine for this, so I am already doing everything that can be done.

But, then, there's the kicker. The other possibility, however remote, is that I have a big, ugly clot in the left side of my heart that just threw off some little bits that travelled to my brain. If that's the case, I'm in for an operation to get the clot out before something really exciting happens. So, I'm here in the ER for the night, waiting for an echocardiogram.

Hopefully, by tomorrow, I'll be home with the wife, the kid, the cat, and the dog.

Be well,


* See

**  It can also mean other things. According to the Urban Dictionary, a Tia is "a cool, smart-mouthed girl that always has something smart to say to everything. ( According to the Online Slang Dictionary, it may stand for "thanks in advance," "this is awkward," or "the ignorant ass." ( It also means 'aunt' in Spanish. Or it stands for "Trump in America."

*** See August 14, 2006 (mislabelled 2007) in and The latter needs a serious rewrite. I haven't looked at it in years, and it's really confusing. Sorry.

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