Death warmed over

It was gray and drizzly, so we went to a restaurant for Memorial Day burgers instead of cooking out. I told my friend what a shitty, shitty week I’d had. Suddenly, the little dancing lights appeared.

“Oh shit, I’m having another migraine,” I muttered. “This is just not fair. Two in one day? That’s never happened before.”

The pulsating geometric crescent got bigger and bigger. I could hardly read the menu. Then the damned thing switched to the other eye. What the fuck? That never happened before, either.

It felt like my face was swelling up; everything started to hurt. “Shit, shit,shit,” I said. “Why is this happening?”

“Look, you’re under a lot of stress,” my friend said. “All this stuff with your father, you’re worried about money…”

“This is really freaking me out,” I said. “The migraine never switched eyes before. That’s weird.” I confessed my secret fear.

See, I don’t have fused vision like most people. I have a dominant eye, and the other one is mostly for peripheral vision. For years, they didn’t even line up. Then three years ago, I accidentally slammed the side of my head into the car door, and just like that, my eyes were suddenly in line. I was mostly delighted, but also a little wary. How come this happened? What if I had an aneurysm, a ticking time bomb in my head?

I eventually forgot about it – until last summer, when I started seeing double. It got to the point where I had to close one eye to read. As I told the doctor, though, I didn’t think I was really seeing double. It seemed more like my vision was trying to fuse, I said.

He told me whenever there was a vision change, that was important. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I never did get to the neurologist and right now, I need a break. I’m so sick of doctors.

My friend was sympathetic. “Look, your father’s sick. It’s perfectly normal that you’re paranoid about your health now. It goes with the turf. Let’s have some dessert.” So we did.

Yes, I know. My father has cancer and now every little thing is going to freak me out. But what if I miss something important because I’m convinced I’m only imagining things?

When I saw the cardiologist last week, he told me he didn’t think I’d have any problem getting my HDL levels up. “When you face your parents’ mortality, you go into denial mode about your own and you start taking better care of yourself,” he predicted.

Last week, one of my cousins was in the hospital with meningitis – from a sinus infection. (Did you know that’s how Michael Graves ended up paralyzed and in a wheelchair? A sinus infection that turned to meningitis. He was too busy to go to the doctor.)

Please, God, no migraines tomorrow. Please.