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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

science fictionista

for these certified night owls, arriving at 07:00 hrs., at cedars, was probably more painful than the idea of a potential biopsy hurtling through our thoughts and palpitating in our hearts...

in fact, even the transplant lab doesn't open until 8 am. now there's a facility after my own heart...or is that kidney?...

we dragged weary limbs and heavy hearts over to the outdoor plaza where a sprightly fountain attempts to detract? amuse? engage? the stressfully sick into distraction as they are poked and prodded inside a sterile (and let me confide, rather stinky, cubicle). one cup of urine later and we were technically "released" until the result came through STAT.
what does one do in a hospital when you have several hours to kill and your mind is racing faster than the "zipper"?
why, you hit up the upscale "clark gable" cafeteria for a delicious bowl of oatmeal of which i ate approximately 2 and a half bites...

i found it unfortunately coincidental that our table was positioned directly under a massive portrait of one jean harlow, the young movie starlet who died of renal failure. ah...irony. you wily woman...

so whether it was stress or the cold i felt brewing in my left nostril, or my intense desire to run screaming from cedars-sinal; naked down the streets of beverly hills, i begged off the remainder of breakfast and peeled off over into the parking lot.

was there ever a more ridiculous sight? nestled fetal in the back of our station wagon; entwined under maggie's blanket; my eyes peeled skyward (roofward?) as i watch the minutes tick away on an invisible clock.

and then exhaustion conquered all and blissful unconsciousness swallowed me whole...then vaguely, far off in the land of hazy thoughts and blurry vision, a chime began to peal...
and once again, kevin masterfully took charge, answered the call, and echoey warble became articulate words i could eventually identify...

"ok...not today...creatinine 1.4...come back monday...we'll do it all again..."

and kevin turned to me and said, "are you happy?"


no. i'm not happy. 1.4 is still the high end of normal for creatinine (0.5-1.4). i am disgruntled by the part-time job this life at cedars-sinai has become. saddened by the realization that i see all my doctors and nurses and technicians more often than my friends. feeling like sisyphus, rolling that boulder all the way up to the top of the hill, only to have it plummet back to the bottom again. the endless game of chronic illness.
and i have 3 different opinions to content with, to mull over, and to dissect.

dr. cinman, my urologist, felt "his money" was on rejection because of the inflammation, not fluid.

dr. dauer, my nephrologist, felt i have fluid that was causing the swelling.

and dr. kawagi, my attending physician at the transplant clinic, felt my increased blood pressure could be increased cyclosporin. OR an occluded renal artery.

and the best part of all is that none of this information is definitive! (this is sarcasm...)

so as dr. dauer has so often articulated...medicine is an art; not a science...

so bring out your paint brushes, my cedars clan, for i'm depending on you to create, fashion and think outside the box (of the textbook). but hey, i'll take a little bit of science fiction as well...actually, i'll take a lot...

i feel like han solo gone underground, frozen, waiting for a rescue that i wish i could provide for myself.

so instead, i go surreal. and pack a bag this sunday night, with the anguished anxiety that may be checking in for a biopsy on monday...
there is beauty in nature and there is beauty in science.

is it too much to ask for a bit of both?

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