Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Quacks Rampant

I Gots A Tumor

Part the Third
or Quacks Rampant

This is yet another entry where I repost Facebook posts on this here bloggery thing. It adds content to O Woe Is Me without requiring me to actually write anything. At the same time, it helps me maintain the charade that I actually do work at my place of employment.

If you want to read this series from the start, go to Part Uno, which launches this tale, here.

If you did read these as they originally appeared on Facebook, you will find it has changed little. I've even ported the comments over from that site, but have anonymized them, hiding the true identities of the posters.

Now, let us return to those days of yesteryear to continue our story:

Dateline: Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Okay, gentle reader, brace yourself;

I know you've been sitting in your easy-chair; afraid of even opening your facebook page for fear that it might reveal the dire results of my MRI.

Oh, you didn't know? You have been living in a john-e.-harvey-news-free-zone for the past two months? Let me just say that I, your humble servant, have been wrestling with life changing existential questions of existence, pondering the very nature of what it is to be living, to be a breathing, thinking human being; and then contemplating the exact opposite of all those things.

For the simple layman, let me express it thus: There might be something WRONG with my BRAIN! Both my sisters had to have BRAIN SURGERY. The each got a COIL stuck in their heads. A Platinum coil - not plutonium (although that would be cool, that would be wrong . . . Melinda Harvey Kianpour).

To find out whether the world might suffer the early loss of yours truly, I was forced to perform some embarrassing tests, and then had to get an MRI. (Actually, other than the MRI, the tests were entirely constructed and performed by myself, and were mostly designed to test how my brain responds to increasingly larger quantities of alcohol.) Anyhow, I've already regaled most of you with these tales, and normally I would send you newcomers to my earlier posts. But A - I can't be bothered to include links here, and 2 - Facebook has such a shitty interface when it comes to looking for past posts, I decided the task would be better left unattempted (much like my singing career). Suffice to say, I had to subject myself to the indignity of laying still for 15 minutes so that a radiologist, whose training probably consisted of little more than being mailed a piece of paper stating, "The bearer of this note is entitled to one (1) and only one Certificate in Radiology from DeVry Tech," could subject me to his droll idea of humor with cracks like, "Yep - it (the brain) is there all right!"

Then I had to wait. And wait. AND Wait for the results. For some reason my neurosurgeon thought the birth of his first born child was more important than informing me of what fate held in store for me.

Well, last Thursday morning all three of the Harvey Siblings made the now familiar trek down to Oak Cliff to get the bad news. It was pretty obvious to me that the news was going to be dire. Why else would they confirm my appointment? Why else would they make me worry and sweat and worry and drive all the way out there? And why on earth would my sisters make the journey with me, unless they knew something I didn't?

Sure, Melinda, the girl with the plutonium coil, had to get a post-surgery checkup. But Suzanne Grayson, the sister who started all this drama? She certainly didn't have to be there, did she? And although my Neurosurgeon is obviously a well-heeled gentleman, and freakishly tall, Suzanne knows his wife just had a baby. So I ask you, why did she make the trip, if not to be there to gloat, I mean console me, when I got the horrific news?

Suzanne is our resident medical expert, what with her millions of years as a respiratory therapist and her current position of Queen-Of-All-That-Matters at the Methodist Richardson Medical Center. Her presence at the inquest, er, reveal, er, results appointment could only mean one thing. And that one thing was not a good thing. She even agreed with my logic concerning my impending doom.

In addition to all I've mentioned in all my previous posts, one cannot avoid the most obvious factor that would seem to insist I have a brain tumor - it just EXPLAINS everything. And don't get me started on Karma. I quit believing in karma the day it ran over my dogma or something like that. Anyhow, if I did believe in karma, I probably would be too frightened to ever get out of bed again.

So things were bleak in the waiting room. The two chatty Cathys I am related to kept their nonstop babble down to a low roar, and only mostly filled the room with their laughter. An observer could tell we were all nervous - I was even allowed to speak on occasion!

The doctor walked into the cramped patient room and confirmed our fears (we, all three of us, were in there together). The first thing he said (after getting over the shock of seeing three grown adults in his exam room) was, "I'll start with Melinda."

Why would he want to start with Melinda? It could only mean one thing. One scary, crazy thing - I was going to DIE!

But not today. I soldiered on, and kept a brave face through Melinda's inane story about platinum coils and under wire bras and questions about new aneurysms developing and asking to see pictures. Pictures! Of her Brain! We aren't here to see pictures of mythical unicorns! We are here to find out how many weeks I may have to live.

Now that I was certain I had an aneurysm, I knew it just had to be massive! Suzanne's was only 4 whatevers in size, but she needed surgery because hers was in such a weird place. The threshold for surgery is usually 7 whatevers. Melinda's was in a typical place (between the eyes), but she needed surgery because her aneurysm was 9 whatevers.

Let's look at what the math is telling us - the aneurysm has doubled in size for each Harvey sibling. And the law of averages demands that being last; the next sibling's aneurysm will be located in a weird place.

OMG! My aneurysm was going to be 18 whatevers and be located on my medulla oblongata!

Finally, the doctor answered all Melinda's questions about whether her kids (Come on, really? Her kids?) needed to be tested, and turned to me and delivered the most devastating news of all:

“john - your brain is normal.”


CN (An old buddy from HS who went to A&M and never left):  Haha, you're "normal"!

SL (a friend and former enabler):  Yeah. ^ what he said

MAK (my friend and a KC school nurse):  Brother John. YOUR brain is far from normal. HOWEVER. Therapy of the psychological kind might be of benefit to you!!!

MAK:  AND. My prayers to St. Jude, yes the patron saint of hopeless causes, have been answered. NOW, what will you ruminate on???!!!!

RG (long-time accomplice and lost twin): If your doctor said that you might want to check his credentials.

MAK:  Zinger!!!

MAK:  I know!! Maybe its a "girl thing" . You, being a man, might have caught a lucky break. Finally!!

Me:  Actually, it is more prevalent in women - reducing the odds of my having an aneurysm, thus increasing (in my twisted logic), the likelihood that I would have one.

MAK:  I am getting dizzy!!

MAK:  Uh.oh. I am a woman.

CNH (a local nurse and dear friend): Dear God....I was holding my breath til the end. Next time give us the answer in 10 words or less Glad you're ok....well...'normal'

MAK:  Dear CNH. You might consider praying to St Jude as well. For John to say ANYTHING in less than ten words is impossible!!

BK (one of my dearest Missouri Friends; together we co-founded the CTGFL): I'll be raising one (probably more) in your honor my friend. Good news, well delivered!

CAC (one of my closest friends, he currently resides in Austin):  Normal? NORMAL??? N-O-R-M-A-L?!?!?! Roflmfao. He's no doctor. He's a freakin' comedian. And damn. I was hoping you'd get some answers. You know. ANSWERS and EXPLANATIONS. I guess it's back to church for me

RAS (Another of my closest friends, he lives close enough to make it to the Fillmore Pub occasionally):  I am forced to re-examine my understanding of the word "normal". To paraphrase The Princess Bride, I do not think this word means what I think it does.

LM (a cousin from down near Austin-way): Thank goodness! I was on pins & needles (no pun intended - well, maybe) waiting to find out your results. Cheers!!! And you've made the waiting game highly entertaining, dear cousin. I hope you're not too disappointed you won't get a brain coil, but you know how girls really like to accessorize. I too jumped on the Edwards bandwagon a few weeks ago and had an MRI/MRA to see if I could add a brain coil to all my other fun artificial hardware. Alas, I, too, am going home empty handed this time, also. The best part of the process was the lovely Xanax-Valium cocktail I enjoyed while relaxing inside the coffin, uh, mri tube. What I want to know now is, when will your book be on the shelves?

JE (a former co-worker in the book-related industry): Whew! Thanks for the good news. Not sure I want to thank you for the excruciatingly suspenseful narrative, however. Glad your brain is (physically) normal.

LJ (a friend of Melinda's, apparently): Hello John, this is LJ. Co-hort, co-partner in crime of Melinda Harvey Kianpour and o have thoroughly enjoyed reading your brain posts through Melinda. I am thrilled, although surprised, you didn't inherit the Harvey anyuerism!! I know Melindas brain well and adore her and her craziness! Congrats on a normal brain and it must be conclusive that you are NOT related to her. Bwah!!!

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