Im a Grenade

I woke up very early last February3 to a rumbly tummy but remembered that I cannot eat not even take a sip of water since I need to fast for my scheduled cerebral angiogram at 6:00 am. It was only 4am and I’m still sleepy but I need to begin my day now. And if I don’t move fast enough we will be late. My angiogram is to be done in Medical City Ortigas by Dr.Peter Rivera. It was a Monday so naturally it’s going to be one hell of traffic wherever you go. So we left before 5am and took the C5 route, we got there with plenty of time to spare and it was still dark. I was wheeled into the radiology department by Lay and we were met by a pleasant nurse who got a wee bit surprised since it is really early. Guess she wasn’t informed that there’s a procedure to be done that early in the day. She made us fill out something and contacted my neurologist. When she got the approval she got my vital signs and led us to the waiting area. It was a small room with a bed a lazy boy and a television set. After waiting awhile she introduced me to several male nurses, or probably interns and they transferred me to another bed and took me to the laboratory. The lab was state of the art. There were computer monitors hanging from the ceiling and really bright lights and it was cold. I was just in a hospital gown and I was shivering. My doctor arrived and they started to doctor explained what’s going to happen and what I needed to do. He said they are going to pass a tiny catheter through my right groin and that will course through my vein up to the brain and it will inject a dye and he will then take pictures of my brain and that it is important that I do not move, not even flinch. I can’t even breathe so I need told my breath for about 5 seconds. And only when he give the signal that I can breathe that’s the only time that I can. He said that he’s going to put anaesthesia on my groin so the pain would be more bearable. . I would also be given IV. Since my affected side was left the IV was placed on my right. Normally the IV is passed through the hand right? But the intern can’t seem to find a vein and after 2 tries (ouch) he gave up and told my doctor about his situation. Even my doctor can’t seem to find a vein so he said they will just put the IV on my was uncomfortable so they placed a splint on my elbow so I wouldn’t be able to fold it. After the procedure I need to lie down for four hours in the waiting room with both my legs propped up on pillows and without a pillow on my head. I was also advised not to move too much. And then they started. My doctor asked me if I was okay. I said yes but I am a bit cold and then they turned on a blower positioned on the foot of my bed and it blew warm air and it felt so damn good. It made me feel a little better and less nervous. They also attached a devise on my leg to monitor my blood pressure. The actual insertion of the catheter was not painful at all. I guess my tolerance for pain after 3 surgeries and a hundred or so needlepointed to my skin in the past made me immune a bit to the physical pain.

brainWhen the doctor started to inject the dye I felt it pass through my neck like a warm trickle. There was a big screen on my left and I tried to move just my eye to check it and I can see the dye travelling through the veins slowly. I held my breath like instructed. Well, it wasn’t that hard. There were 8 more pictures to take and I was praying to God to please make everything okay. Then it was done. They placed a hard ball-like thing on my groin and pressed it hard and held it there for 10 minutes. My back was aching badly and I wanted to stand up but I remembered I can’t. I also wanted to pee. They transferred me to another bed and brought me back to the waiting area where Lay was waiting. My hunger then became a monster but I have never wanted something so badly in my life back then but to drink water. So lay gave me water which I drank through a straw. I watched something on TV but can’t remember exactly what was it. Lay slept on the lazy boy and after a while went to fix the papers. Around 1pm Dr.Rivera arrived to deliver the bad news. He said that there is still another avm seen on the angiogram but this one is tiny and fills very slowly. Upon hearing that I felt like the whole world crashed on me. I was so hopeful. I was praying all the time how could this happen? Isn’t my situation at the moment enough? Do I need to really suffer more? When I heard that I kept a straight face like it didn’t bothered me at all. He said we need to see him in his clinic at the medical arts building after we got discharged in the lab. To explain further. So finally around 3pm we went to his clinic and he explained that what he saw in the angiogram could be an avm which formed after surgery. This was the same explanation given by my neuro surgeon. Because I wondered – how can an avm form in my brain now? When it’s supposed to be congenital or inborn? Arent avms formed during the growth of the embryo in the mother’s womb? Then he explained that since he clipped 3 arteries in my brain with titanium clips of course there wouldn’t be a passage for the blood to pass through so in that case the blood probably took on another route thus the birth of my”new” avm. But wait, there’s good news! Really doc?? The veins fills very slow so the probability that it will burst is lower than my first avm. I just need to be very careful in monitoring my blood pressure. Meaning I can’t get too agitated, need to watch what I eat, etc etc. etc. So I’m a grenade. I can explode any time. Lately I was thinking. Would everything turn out to be futile? Meaning- I’ve been working my ass up in rehab and for what? I’ve been willing myself to get better each day when there is another time bomb ticking somewhere in my temporal lobe. Life is not fair. So if you think you have a difficult life, think again


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