Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More fun than I deserved to have

So a little before 10pm last night, I set off on my big adventure: to Lahey for an MRI. The MRIs take place in the little building far, far, far away from the big building. But to make sure you get your exercise (doctors always want you to get more exercise - just like dentists always want you to floss), you have to park in the giant parking garage and walk all the way through the main building over to the little building. One of the few benefits of having such a late appointment, is that I had my choice of parking spaces right by the door.

I arrived, filled in the paperwork, reported that I have no shrapnel in my body (they always need to know this for MRIs) and sat down with a relatively recent copy of Family Circle magazine to read. As it was a tropical 12 degrees when I left my house, I chose to wear my Nanook of the North giant down parka. they finally called me and had me get changed into a Dr. Seymour Butz johnny and pajama pants and had me stick all my belongings in a little bitty locker. I almost opted for a second locker just for my coat but by exerting lots of energy, I managed to squish it in to one locker (remember down is very compressible). Then I sat down to wait again in the next waiting room. Finally they call my name. And the fun began.

First of all, it turns out spinal MRI's are done with the patient's head all the way into the machine. Most of my other MRI's have been feet first so its a good thing I have no claustrophobic tendencies. Then I get the good news. It will only take about 45 minutes. I was over joyed. 45 minutes in a giant test tube. With ear plugs because its loud. How to spend some quality time. I did ask about how soon my results would be ready and say that I have an appointment at 1030 am today to get the results. The nurse seemed a little surprised about this time frame but I said that is what was scheduled. I will be a bit perturbed if I get to my appointment and don't get the results.

So they slide me all the way into the machine and begin the MRI. How to pass the time? I can't see a watch (mental note to self for next MRI ask them to tell you the time in 15 minute increments so you have some idea of how long it has been). I know, I'll just count my breaths and I should have some idea of how long I have been in. So I start counting... one, two, three... Then I start wondering so how many times does a normal person breathe each minute? I have no idea. 15, 16, 17... So how high do I think I will get to before the end of the test... 30, 31, 32, no that's wrong, 25, 26, 27... I am having problems thinking and counting at the same time (its a good thing I wasn't chewing gum as well!) 41, 42, 43... What my neck starts itching!!! AND I CAN'T SCRATCH IT! 50, 51, 52, 53... So how many times do I breathe each minute? 75, 76, 77... Hot flash! I can't believe it! And I'm stuck in here! 92, 93, 94... No that's wrong, 82, 83, 84... I can't keep count. Rats. Where am I? Maybe around 100. Okay, I'll restart there....

Then I started to zone out and really had problems counting and my neck really started itching. 110, 111, 112...But wait I need to move my leg. I really, really, really, really need to move my feet around a little bit. But I can't. I have to stay still! 135, 136, 137... Then I think I dozed off a little bit! They must have known because all of a sudden I hear "WAH-WAH" - think teacher in Charlie Brown cartoons. I have no idea what she said but the table slid down a little bit. Maybe getting close to the end? Then it slid a little more and a little more. Finally, I was done.
I said 'I think I actually dozed off in there'. The nurse said 'I just wanted to tell you the table was going to move'. Well, it did cut in to my nap time but I guess she meant well.

I arrived home just as the clock was chiming midnight. Of course I had to relax a little before going to bed so I watched a little Letterman and then went to bed. Needless to say when the alarm went off this morning, I did not hear it but eventually I woke up. However, I did not get enough sleep. This could lead to general crabbiness later one. Which could be further exacerbated by doctor news later this morning.

Anyway, I am taking my tired body off to the treadmill this morning at the gym. I think a little exercise might help me out. Also, it might relieve a little stress but currently I feel too tired to be stressed. Coffee shall be the beverage of the day. After the doctor, I will go to work and my support group. Then perhaps a predinner nap will be required...

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