Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In My Daughter's Eyes

Last night I took Kiana with me for the first time ever to an MRI. She had asked to go and I checked with a few people I trusted about whether or not that seemed appropriate. I had shown every one of the results to her and of course the poor kid had no choice about seeing her father in the hospital some with stitches on his head and staples. I was more nervous than I usually am both because she was there and because of the recent possibilities. She charmed the staff with her great personality but still I am not sure what it says that when I got to the front desk the receptionist filled out most of the info for me after asking if anything had changed and remarked that she often helps out the people they see regularly.

They make you change out of your normal clothes and put on those silly hospital clothes to go in the MRI machine keeping only your underwear, socks but let you keep non-metal objects; in my case, I only wear my Livestrong bracelet. I’ve done enough of these to where they had gotten to be normal but it was amusing to have Kiana giggle at me and point out that “daddy, you look silly.” The people were incredibly kind and answered all of her questions and let her touch a few things. It turns out that HIPPA laws don’t allow anyone to watch MRI’s but she was there as they drew blood from me and from the outside of the door saw the MRI machine. I have many many times seen her have her eyes wide open with these new things but hers were agape as she saw my new outfit and the machine. She had a thousand questions for the technicians and they smiled and answered them all patiently (probably helped that it was an 8:00 PM appointment and I was the only patient there). Since she isn’t allowed to actually watch the MRI, they also showed her with a cup how it works. Every other time when they draw my blood they say they are going to count down to 3 and then do it and each time I tell them I’ll look away and put it in whenever with my illogical fear of needles still holding despite having been stabbed so much over the last 15 months. They forgot this time, I didn’t correct them and let’s just say I had to quietly panic when they put in the needle since I had to hear the countdown instead of a blind stab but somehow Kiana didn’t blink. Maybe I got to save some pride in that she was focused on my veins instead of my scared face.

My friend Troy took her home while they finished the procedure since she’d be bored sitting in the lobby. In the end as I walked out of the parking lot, I vomited in the parking lot. This is the 4th time I’ve vomited in a week, the other 3 were in the middle of my marathon training workouts. I do it and move it and I’ve talked to the doctors about it and if it continues we’ll worry more since it could be just some stomach thing or nerves about all that’s going on. Somehow I was grateful she missed that part of it.

I got a copy of the MRI as I always have and being the neurologist that I am (oh wait), I sat and compared last month’s and this. I did the appointment after regular business hours (they do MRI’s till 10:30) so they’ll send it to my neurologist and he’ll call me once he has received it and gone over it. I showed this MRI to Kiana as I had with all previous ones who said “it’s cool but I wish I could have been there when they had your head open so I could see your actual brain.” I’ve long joked that all of this is more than worth it if she becomes a neurosurgeon but frankly the fact that she’s curious and cares has its own magic no matter what career she chooses.

I couldn’t sleep well last night and decided to send an email to Club Crudup (http://clubcrudup.com/). Back last August when I won Austin’s first Brain Cancer Awareness race (for which I received a medal, the only race I've won since college) and was the Lead Fundraiser (for which I was grateful to receive 4 nights stay at the club linked above and the club owners are paying for mine and Kiana’s flights as well, not exactly fair since that was off other people's donations), I emailed the people who have helped so much with all this and invited them. Initially I had hoped to go for New Year’s to end 2011 well and start 2012 right and even joked in the email inviting them that maybe I’ll have found a new girl by then. Well, that didn’t work out for a variety of reasons but now I am planning on going the weekend after the Livestrong Marathon, probably the only weekend I’ll take lightly between that and the Boston Marathon. We’ll do some Sonoma things and some nature walks and some great things in San Francisco I’m sure because I don’t know if I have 1 day or 50 years but well, no one says on their deathbed I wish I’d spent less time with my kids. I showed Kiana some pictures and she’s pretty excited. I don’t know what the vomiting from the last couple of weeks is (maybe just anxiety?) so my body isn’t always with me. Part of my brain we already know is way less than healthy so maybe that’s not where to rely on. Still my resting heart rate (47) is still solid, so we’ll go with my heart which Kiana still has wrapped around her little finger. Back to planning her birthday party…

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