It’s a disconcerting time. Nausea, diplopia, dizziness, normality (normalcy is not a word, a neologism at best), fatigue, strength.
On Tue morning I woke up feeling strange, got up dizzy, stumbled to the bathroom, puked, repeated, got up and looked in the mirror to see two of me. Brigitte asked if I had hit my head (Gehirnerschütterung). Well, matter of fact, the previous day on a stage in Hollywood I had lightly banged the back of my head on a pipe while up high striking a light. This little bit of news scared Brigitte quite a bit, as her older brother had a concussion long ago, six months before a grand mal seizure that changed everything until his death in ’10.
I was feelin’ mighty low. We went to the Westside clinic of the Motion Picture Fund, and the Dr. there was adamant that we get to an emergency room so I could be properly checked out. Not a happy time for us.
This July 3 was a great day to break a leg or be scared by your own body; the ER at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica was damn near empty when we entered. No wait. I was lucky to be in the hands of Dr. Dominique Fontenette in the ER. She looked, listened to me about my recent, uhhhhh, history, and ordered the appropriate (to me, at least) tests. And then scans. Oh yes, my friends the scanners. All I gotta say is, “Thank god for Motion Picture Health and Welfare.”
MRI, CT scan (what’s that, about $8000?) told them I had no thrombosis from any concussion. I tried to hide from Brigitte a printout on thrombosis given to me by Dr. Fontenette, as this is what befell her brother years ago. She eventually saw it, and I tried to downplay it.
In any case, these blood tests and scans showed ………… a fucked up left sinus due to some sort of trauma. Yeah, we know. The rest? – ‘grossly unremarkable’. The end paragraph of the radiologist’s report is my favorite: Normal brain. Love that!
Anyhow, by this time (4:PM or so) I was feeling fine. Diplopia remained, but I noticed it was only when I looked left. Look right – one vertical line. Look left – two vertical lines that got a long way apart. Look straight – almost normal. As I had experienced diplopia (by now you should know what this $10 word means) previously, I knew it was from a nerve injury and the body would heal. What I DIDN’T know was how long it would take. In ’95 I had a motorcycle roadracing crash that left me sidelined about 6 months also, and a case of diplopia that slowly healed over about 9 months. But that was a VERY HARD knock on the head as I impersonated a missile sliding along the ground, until I slammed into a downed bike in Turn 8 at Willow Springs (Fastest Road in the West).
On the way home I told Brigitte to NOT scrap her plans of going to Germany for two weeks (Dad’s 80th b’day, family visit, and surf Biarritz w/ her best friend). And by Fri I took a job on a regular gig, some lame reality show (but a UNION reality show w/ UNION hours toward my Health & Welfare). That day was at the Queen Mary. Oh, BTW, there is no elevator above the Promenade Deck. We had lights and cable up there. I was very pleased (no irony; I actually was glad to do it) to lift and carry those 90 lb. cables up stairs. And then back down later that day.
It is now Sat. afternoon and the diplopia is gone. Oh, the day after our ER drama Brigitte got up and puked her dinner, or whatever was left after a night’s sleep. So maybe this was some sort of virus. A 6-hour flu? No diarrhea, so we don’t know. And just like me, she was fine about 6 hours later.
She got on that SwissAir flight the evening of July 4 and went to Zurich. No problems. The main problem is I’m alone here. Not really; Suzy is w/ me. We’re going to Skype someday soon so she can see me and make funny sounds for Suzy. Suzy actually DOES watch TV, but I wonder if she can make the connection w/ that picture and Brigitte. I might put her pillowcase next to the Mac when we do this.
No new pix of note, so here is one from an ad I put in craigslist. Wanna come and dig up some of our bamboo? Lots left; come on down!