I explained to the gas station attendant that I did not have chains for my tires and that my car could not get over the mountain. Apparently, many people had expressed similar concerns. The attendant calmly suggested that I drive behind the snow plow that was currently heading up the mountain. I thanked him, left immediately, and followed the plow. On my way up the mountain, I called my brother, explained the sliding and vision issues, and started to tell him that I would call him when I reached to top of the mountain. However, I lost signal midsentence and could not call my brother again until I reached the next city which was more than 90 minutes away.
A couple of days later, when I completed the road trip, my two roommates (both of whom are doctors and friends) noticed that something was wrong – my legs carried me forward in erratic patterns and my hands could not find direct paths to the things that I wanted to touch or hold. The ENT doctor, who my roommates suggested I visit, indicated that an inner ear infection could be responsible for my lack of balance and decreased coordination, but the infection could not explain the unusual vision problems that I reported. As such, the ENT doctor encouraged me to obtain an MRI of my head. I did not recall ever having an MRI, and I could not imagine why an MRI of my head was necessary. Nonetheless, I scheduled one. The morning after my MRI, the ENT doctor, rather than a nurse or aide, asked me to come to her office with a family member. My parents and brother were approximately 1500 miles away, so one of my roommates accompanied me to the office visit.
What happened next will be the subject of the post titled “In the Beginning Part III.”
Thanks to Muffet for providing the MRI picture via Flickr.