Day 26 Saturday, 10 June, 2006

On the standard “two step forward, one step back” scale, today was a lateral step perpendicular to the scale.

The plan for continued weaning disappear with last night’s fever. Why does this fever keep returning? Aaron has always been sinus challenged. He also has some implants left over from jaw surgery 10 years ago. Both are possible suspected hideouts for festering infection. So a trip to the B-level basement is ordered “Stat” (fancy word for “right away”), where the GE Light Speed CT scanner waits to render it’s damage assessment imagery. (Which just goes to show that some things that appear to go away, really don’t.) The expeditionary force is re-assembled and the flotilla moves down the hall to the east wing elevators, down the elevator to the B level basement, and into the domain Gilbert, who sits in the CT (abbreviation for “Computed Tomography”, which isn’t fancy for anything. CT is an invention whereby thousands of x-ray pictures made by an X-ray and detector orbiting the patient are deciphered and assembled by a computer into a 3- dimensional image of, for example, the inside of Aaron’s head.) control room adjacent to the hulking Light Speed CT scanner. Aaron and his tangle of attendant life lines are shifted by the flotilla crew onto the narrow table pointing like an arrow toward the center the 8-foot diameter doughnut containing the orbiting x-ray. The moving crew leave the room, Suzy and Oded (nurse and respiratory technician) stand in the control room watching the portable vitals monitor at the foot of the narrow table, Gilbert pushes buttons on his control panel and the table moves Aaron’s head through the doughnut in incremental steps as image slices of his head form in the computer and about a minute later, on Gilbert’s monitor.

Aaron returns to his suite, and is reconnected.

He barely settles in before a neurologist begins a series of tests, which consist mostly of annoying questions and painful pinches. In Aaron’s semi-somnambulance and intermittent intersections with reality (at least reality as we perceive it), he is clearly wanting to please his pain-inflicting taskmaster. But when asked to hold out two fingers, Aaron can only manage to slowly lift a feeble hand a little off the bedsheet. He cannot form two fingers, and his determined grimace yields to tears of frustration.

The damage report, confined only to his head since abdominal damage seems now not to be a concern, returns a couple “Stat” hours later. There appears to be a sinus infection.

And some spots in his brain.

The spots demand another “Stat” trip to the basement. This time, Aaron gets a twofer: another CT and an MRI (which is an abbreviation for “magnetic resonance imaging”, which used to be called “nuclear magnetic resonance imaging”, which is a little more descriptive of the process but the word “nuclear” made people nervous so the marketeers conveniently dropped it).

The results of these damage reports will wait until tomorrow.

The results of the day-before-yesterday’s bone morrow biopsy do not wait.

The mutants are back.

Author: a. c. boydston

Aaron is Alive!

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