waking up this morning, i was nervous about going to see the doctor. what if what i have is something serious? as long as i don't know for sure, i can remain blissfully oblivious. i got on the subway from porter square. i could tell who were the regular commuters, the ones who ride the trains everyday that they just space out until their destination. i was curious about everyone, wanted to know where everyone was going. times like this i wish i could read minds. by the time i got off at charles/MGH, it was already drizzling a little bit. i made my way to the wang center.

when my doctor finally showed up in the examination room, i began telling him about my symptoms. he looked inside my ears, checked the back of my throat, and felt underneath my neck. i flinched a few times when he touched my sore spot. "wow, you must be in a lot of pain," he said, then apologized. "this could be carotidynia." carotidynia. an inflammation of the carotid artery. to refresh your memory, that's the artery that supplies blood to the brain. anything wrong with that and it's strokesville. nobody knows what causes carotidynia, but it's treatable with anti-inflammatory drugs. "it could also be takayasu." takayasu? isn't there some rule that says you can't be afflicted with any disease that you've never heard of before? takayasu's arteritis is the chronic inflammation of the arteries, not just the carotid. it affects mostly asians, but more women than men by 8 to 1. it could explain the premature hypertension i've had since high school (which has now been treated with drugs, my blood pressure reading was uneventfully normal). he'd only seen one case of takayasu in his life, and that was in a field hospital in china. takayasu is treated with steroids. stop the pain and get big at the same time? sounds like a win-win situation to me.

at first my doctor wanted to schedule an ultrasound. "do you have any metals in your body?" he asked. i thought it was strange question, i answered no. that's when he decided to do a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) instead. that's just like a regular MRI except they inject dye into my bloodstream so they can trace the blood flow, to make sure i don't have any blockage. he was ordering the test on his computer but it wouldn't accept his request because there's no category for "possible carotidynia." instead he had to do a manual override to okay the test. as we were leaving the examination room he said to me, "you definitely win for most interesting case i'll see the rest of the day."

so an MRA in 10 days, then a follow-up visit in 6 weeks. in the meantime, he told me to take 2 alleves in the morning and then 2 more at nights. before i left i had blood taken for some additional tests. i've seen the nurse before, but i wasn't very talkative this time, didn't want her to think i was one of those nervous patients, even though i was. usually i can feel the needle inside my body but this time it was pretty painless.

the rain had picked up since i arrived at the hospital. instead of taking the train straight home, i walked across the longfellow bridge into cambridge and went to the galleria mall. i wanted to get a 2nd wii remote but for some reason i couldn't find the game department at best buy. i got a bottle of alleve from cvs and went to gamespot, pretty sure they'd at least have games. i wanted to get the wii play package, which includes a disc of games along with a remote. they didn't have any on display so i had to ask for it. while the young man was ringing me up, he asked me in a monotone voice (as if he was repeating a rehearsed speech), "while you're here, would you also like to pre-order any games, for instance, mario kart." i told him no thanks and left with my package. i left the mall by the food court entrance and walked to lechmere station to catch the 87 bus to my side of camberville.

i got off the bus at market basket to pick up some groceries. it wasn't even noon yet and the place was pretty empty considering it's usually packed to capacity. while paying for my stuff, the rain started to pour outside. with about a mile away from my house, i had no choice but to walk back home, my arms nearly breaking from all the grocery bags i was carrying, alternating sides every few minutes. it was a real struggle but the masochist in me relished the opportunity to get some exercise. the jacket i was wearing was 5 lbs, an additional 5 lbs for my messenger bag, and the groceries weighed in another 16 lbs. i've never been so happy to be home, 25 minutes later.

i was excited to try out the wii play games. they're sort of lame, more like demos showcasing all the moves you can make with the remote rather than actual games you'd play for fun. my favorite is the find mii game; i made it to 25 rounds before finally losing. hopefully my wii sports disc will arrive soon, so at least i can play virtual bowling. i also made two more mii characters, a girl with pingtails and large glasses, and a boy with weird alien eyes. later i tried the built-in slideshow feature with a 2gb microSD card through an SD adapter. it's pretty snazzy but not a lot of features and some of my jpegs didn't display for some reason.

for lunch (which i had close to 4pm) i made some french toast along with some kielbasa sausages. julie was supposed to come over for dinner but she's been immobilized at home for the past few days due to a pinched nerve, a direct result of an overactive lifestyle. when i talked to her she was just about to pick up her prescription muscle relaxant. i made myself a reuben sandwich.