The brain runs along facts like the tongue runs along teeth: a middle-aged man (when did we get to be middle-aged?), not in the best of shape (who is?) has clots in his brain that are affecting his sight and giving him headaches
(How could my friend, who is seventeen forever in my mind, with a bad 80's haircut, have clots in his brain? We swam together during summer camp when we were both eight. How could he have grown up so fast?)
The brain runs along the facts: a week's worth of headaches, a visit to the emergency department when things suddenly got worse, with loss of vision. CT scans and an MRI (MRIs freak him out; yes, they are freaky, I think I know, I think I know) and the discovery of clots in his brain
In his brain. One of my dearest friends, long-lost and finally found, now with clots in his brain that threaten his sight and his mind.
(I know all these things; I know how things tend to end. I know about the Decadron and the pain medications and the nausea and dizziness and the exhaustion at the end of the day after being asked sixteen times, "Tell me where you are." I know the high-pitched, slightly-too-loud voices of the nurses, alert for any change. I know the pronator drift test that you hope they'll pass every time, and the sudden lurch in the stomach when they're too tired, or too sleepy, and the arm drifts down)
And the IVs, and the feeling that this room is the world for you. Did you know that your vision shortens after five days in a hospital room? Oliver Sacks wrote about that, quite movingly.
(Tell me how he is. Tell me he is giggling over the things he reads on Facebook. Tell me his mind isn't gone, that he remembers what the neurosurgeon told him. Tell me he is just the same)
I have never been on both sides of the bed at once. This is terrible, in the old sense of the word: as in, inspiring terror. They have questions, and I have questions, trying to tease out what actually happened and what the plans are, and they want answers.
So do I.