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“It’s not like I’m going to die,” said no hypochondriac ever in the history of the world. I am an expert hypochondriac, or so I say. I make a good game of diagnosing people with random, non-fatal ailments as a way to produce more good humor in the world. I would never tell you that you have a lung cancer or heart defect sure to kill you; I might, however, tell you that tiny tinny red spot probably means you’re now the home and host to a rare African parasite. You might protest, saying you haven’t been to Africa. I would nod grimly, knowing you’re future is going to be wrapping a worm around a toothpick and gently putting it out over several months’ time because the damn thing will regenerate if you rip its tail off. But I mean, you’re not going to die from that.

If you have a cold, I will likely diagnose you correctly with a virus, a bacterial infection and/or pleurisy. Or the plague. Whichever seems most appropriate.

So, on Wednesday, I wasn’t expecting a call from a neurologist indicating that a MRI of my brain showed an abnormality. The MRI was supposed to be for fun. It wasn’t supposed to come up with anything of interest. I’ve been dizzy and my balance is shot to hell but what amounts to a vascular tumor? Fuck me, check that shit again.

Cavernoma: a cluster of poorly formed blood vessels that can leak both from the inside and outside. Leak as in brain hemorrhage.

Okay, it’s not that dramatic. Here are the facts. It may or may not bleed. It’s not an aneurysm or brain cancer. It may or may not cause symptoms such as dizziness and unsteadiness. It might or might not cause migraines like the one I had in 2011 that was so severe I knew I was going to die in my apartment and my dogs would eat what’s left of me.

Yes, let’s not be dramatic. It looks like a raspberry, a mulberry, or a blackberry. It’s hard to think of berries in a negative way. They’re delicious.

Bryan says as these things go, mine is pretty mild.

He’s right. They’re not life threatening, except when they are.

As I sit and write this, I’m not worried. I have to see yet another specialist later in the month (17 days from today) who will give me the real information I need–location, size, bleeding risk. He will give me options. Mainly, I’m already bored of the whole thing.
There’s not even a little whisper of a barely-there voice that says I’m clusterfucked beyond the defective veins in my head.

Postscript 5/7: brain lesion (cavernoma) has been ruled not a big deal by neurosurgeon.

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Too available

My diagnosis
My judgment

And then
I saw him
looking trendy and sweet
ordering a burrito with guacamole and cheese.
There was no air conditioning
so we sweated it out
while we relaxed in each other’s company.
His hair looked soft
as did his hands.

And as it turned out
soft
is
what they were.

I worry when someone goes into the hospital
Kidneys shutting down
Liver shutting down
We don’t know why

may never know whywhywhywhywhy
haven’t we had enough of this already

once the dying starts, it doesn’t stop

Clogged arteries are blocked lifelines
legs becoming starved for oxygen
good news
he has periphery veins
and leg pains
bad news
if they are cut off, there will oxygen galore
in the form of gaping wounds
exposure and air restored

haven’t we had enough of this already
all the stops have been removed
let us commence with the dying

SOB with me

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