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Dain Bramage

Sometimes mortality looks like a bench press set. Last week, I was at the gym with crapdaddy (nephandi, the other member of the League of Pump was not present that day) and did a set of bench press. I was trying to get back up to my personal best after an off week. When I pushed the last rep up, my head exploded in pain.

It happened again the next few times I did some sort of exercise that involved a lot of exertion. Research on the internet led me to "exercise-induced headaches" which sounded mostly innocuous. Like, mostly it's just this thing, this thing that happens and it's not a big deal. No one knows why it happens, but it generally just goes away after a while. But I figured I'd better ask my doctor if he thought it was worth checking anyway, because it could be something else, something ominously referred to as "structural." I called the doctor, and didn't hear back, so figured...must not be a big deal.

But yesterday he calls and says "Yes, do come in." After an appointment, it sounded freaking serious. He scheduled me right away for an MRI, and very soberly told me that there's an 80% chance it's just a type 1 exertional headache, and nothing to worry about. But 20% is not good odds.

For the past 24 hours, I've been looking mortality like a 7 point buck looking at a gun barrel. Because that 20% is really serious. Aneurysm, burst brain blood vessels, cancer - lots of scary stuff. Nothing I want to have, nothing I can afford to have, even with insurance - and nothing that doesn't have a fairly high incidence of death-related deadness. I know that life inevitably ends, and memento mori, and all that. But that doesn't make me ready to go, not even a little bit. I have way too much left to do - and in addition, way to much to NOT do, even though I ought to be doing it - to shuffle off just yet.

The MRI today was a scary thing. I started to get a little freaked out, and started to feel like I wasn't sure I could really do this whole something-wrong-with-my-nugget thing. This is a kind of fear I've not often had to deal with - partly because in the past life-threatening situations have been so sudden I didn't have a chance to give it much thought until after it was over, and partly because I just haven't had as much to live for. I gave myself a stern talking to. I recited as much of the Litany of  Fear that I could remember. I asked myself what a viking would do. I got through it.

Happily, I have a friend who is a neurologist. He offered to take a look at my MRI right after I did it. So this is what happened. I took my clothes off, and a nice man gave me headphones and TOOK A PICTURE OF MY BRAIN and then I got a copy of it on a shiny disk that I could show to other doctors within the hour. This is the 21st Century. (Missing from picture - price-tag for above, but that's a worry for another day.) With the words "The most talented radiologist I know says this looks normal," provided me with as profound a relief as ever I've felt.

I actually had to sit down for a few seconds in the lobby of the Ronald Reagan Medical Center, and brush a few manly viking tears away. No need to worry about dying. Or about what kind of hat I would have to wear with a shaved head. Or about which of my friends would show up in the hospital and which would bail. Or if Blink would notice I was gone or not. None of that stuff.

Not today, death. Come for me today, and I will kick you in your bony sack, and send you packing. I've got stuff to do.

Still not 100% in the clear - but the signs are good.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
eac
Nov. 17th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
*hug*
pyr8queen
Nov. 17th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
I was trying not to think about it. My thoughts tend to run away with me.
greensilk
Nov. 17th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
happy to hear your okay. Just remem er to enjoy life.
nephandi
Nov. 18th, 2011 01:02 am (UTC)
Aha! That is good news.
cacofunny
Nov. 18th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
I totally sympathize with what you went through. I went through something very similar, including the MRI testing. It can be very scary waiting to find out. Knowing one way or another definitely helps. Glad yours came out okay. :D
nixieq
Nov. 18th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that your brainmeats look to be normal. Keep us posted, okay? Hugs to you.
joshwasta
Nov. 19th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
It's a hard reality to face, as we get older, that our bodies don't work like they did when we were 18. I am glad you're in excellent health and that your brains are pristine for when zombie me cracks your head open like a coconut.

-Wasta
lonerhino
Nov. 22nd, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
David,

Relieved to hear that indications are good!!

I fell asleep when I had my MRI. The heat, the humming, the womb like space...very soothing.;)
aghrivaine
Nov. 22nd, 2011 04:45 am (UTC)
Because you do everything you do LIKE A BAUS.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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