Monday, July 6, 2015

Mind Mining

“What!? I asked, alarmed and concerned. My monitor started beeping as my blood pressure and heart rate increased. “How do you know this, Daisy?”
“I called down there,” she said, “after hearing the news of your accident and…”

A knocking at the open door hooked our attention.

“I’m Doctor Jum Pei, your neurologist,” said a small and dark skinned man with a strange accent. I have your film here to show you, yes, and my opinion. And you are?” he asked of my wife.

Wobbling a thumb at me, my wife said, “His spare brain, also his wife of 47 years, but please doctor, call me Daisy.”

Ignoring my wife’s playfulness he asked,” And how are you feeling now Mr. Thunder? Your chart shows marked improvement.”

I snickered, an obvious indicator of my attitude and improving health, and replied, “I could stomp grapes in a vat like crazy with this beast-of-a cast on my leg. How about that Doctor Jumpy?” 

The doc started to correct my pronunciation but I cut him off, “Just teasing you doctor but come on now. It is funny, you having a name that sounds like jumpy and you being a nerve specialist.”

Not the least bit amused, the doctor opened a manila envelope and removed an x-ray film. Opening the curtains wide on the east facing window, Dr. Jum Pei held up the image and let the rising sun illuminate it as the image illuminated us.

“I’ve never seen such a thing,” he said. “At first I thought the machine had malfunctioned but a thorough calibration test ruled that out. It seems, Mr, Thunder, that your brain has been subjected to something radioactive. Yet, you have no symptoms of radiation poisoning.”

“Looks like someone used light to paint the picture of a flower inside my skull,” I said, squinting hard from my bed. “Yes, it appears to be a Dandelion just after a fuzzy seed ball formed. You ever do that doc, pick a Dandelion, hold it by the stem, make a wish and blow the little seed fluffs loose?”

Daisy weighed in. “Why dear, you’re right, that’s exactly what it looks like, with the stem starting under your tongue and branching out in all directions up inside your head.”

“No, I have never done that,” answered the doc, “but I have seen American children do as you said. The image resembles that shape, yes, like a lollipop, and is truly spherical as captured from all three axis planes.”
Dr. Pei put the film away, closed the curtains, and looked over my chart.

“I must do a quick examination and question you further, okay?”

After checking my eyes and ears, the doc measured my reflexes and asked about any peculiar symptoms. Where would I begin and what might be best left unsaid?

 “Hmm, yes, good,” he said, nodding his head in approval. “You have a history of intermittent and inconsistent seizure activity, Mr. Thunder, but all tests and imaging has shown no injury, lesions, or scarring. What about this? It states here you received treatment for emotional shock and were prescribed an anti-psychotic by your M.D. This was when you were, ah, let’s see, about fourteen years of age, correct?” 

Guarded, and tensing at the question, I answered, “True, I’ve had little unexplainable seizures on and off over the years and yes, I was given medication for a while. My mother died at that time and my father put me through a major move to another town within a few months of her passing. Depression and anxiety got the better of me doc.”

“Seeing that x-ray reminded me of something,” I said, “a severe burning sensation under my tongue right after the car crashed and a couple more times after that maybe. Seems to be gone now.”

As if on cue, the underside of my tongue felt as if a mosquito bit me. I wanted to itch it and told Dr. Pei about it. Using his magnified light he had me lift my tongue.

“You have a small sore there, a slightly infected saliva duct,” he said, “brought on by dehydration.” He closed the chart. “Apart from some bruising, minor cuts, and that badly broken leg, you are doing very well. I presume the coma was residual from much blood loss and perhaps repeated jolting by the defibrillator. I want one more scan of the brain. Good day.”

Daisy shrugged her shoulders at me as Dr. Jumpy left the room.

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