"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow." Orison Sweet Marden.
“This is Major Tom to Ground Control I’m stepping through the door And I’m floating in a most peculiar way. And the stars look very different today For here...am I floating 'round my tin can Far above the world Planet Earth is blue And there’s nothing I can do." Space Oddity, David Bowie
As I sit here typing, I can't help but notice the hospital band around my left wrist. I have quite a collection of them now, in a variety of colors. And I also see the little cotton ball from the IV I was given. It's taped so tightly to my forearm. And I think to myself "Damnit. Why didn't I shave my arms?" and "Why did the nurse use so much tape for such a little piece of cotton?" and "WHY THE HELL DID SHE PRESS IT INTO MY SKIN SO HARD?"
Okay. So now you know. The secret is out. I have hairy arms. And yes. I have a hairy back. And yes, when I go to the beach, people ask me why I'm wearing a sweater. I recently traced my ancestry and discovered that I have some Wookie in me. On my father's side.
And with as many times that I have had needles stuck in my arms lately, I should have known to shave my arms. I guess it was the fear of looking like I was wearing a cardigan sweater that stopped me. I'll pay for that decision later today though when I go to peel this little cotton ball and the twelve feet of tape used to hold it in place off of my forearm.
I know it's better to just rip it off in one big pull but knowing that doesn't make it any easier. And in this case, it wouldn't work. The nurse actually wrapped the piece of tape around my forearm. I appreciate her attention to detail but it wasn't like I was going windsurfing. I was gonna be laying on my back in a tube.
Maybe she was an ex-girlfriend.
Maybe she just hated guys with hairy arms.
The IV I received was to introduce a contrast solution into my body so that the images on the MRI would be enhanced. Sort of like HD. Some common reasons a doctor would order an MRI with contrast are history of tumor/cancer/surgery, they are looking for infection/inflammation/cancer, they are evaluating blood vessels, or they are investigating a finding on the pre-contrast part of the scan.
Basically, to me, what that means is that they are looking for something. The fact that tumor is the first thing mentioned in reasons as to why contrast is given confirms my suspicions and Frank's statement about what might be growing on my spine. There's a lot of reasons on that list though. I can't automatically assume they're looking for a...well you know.
I had a rough time in the tube this time. Out of nowhere, I got a tickle in my throat. I hadn't had one all morning. I was fine. Not even a cough. But lying there on my back, as my throat slowly filled up with spit, this little tickle started. Scratching. Ever so slightly at first. scratch. scratch. scratch. Like a mouse trying to get out of a cardboard box. scratch. scratch. scratch.
Of course, before you are placed into the MRI machine, you are told not to move at all and "if you can help it, try not to swallow a great deal." Easier said than done actually because that mouse REALLY wanted to get out of the box this morning. So I tried to let out a little cough which of course started a whole chain reaction. It was like playing JENGA and in seconds, after the dam had burst, I was coughing and hacking and rocking the machine.
I finally couldn't take it anymore. I was drowning and needed to swallow. That damn tickle was driving me insane and I needed to cough. I squeezed the little black ball I had been given in case I needed assistance. After a second or two, I heard a voice, which sounded as if it was coming from all around me ask "Are you alright sir?"
What happened Ray? Did you run out of funding? Just give up towards the end? Were you hoping for a second chance with the all new, quieter, now available in 3 different colors, MRI 500 Part II?
It's a tight fit and the second your shoulders brush against the sides of the machine as you glide backwards, right there and then you wish you hadn't had that second slice of pie for dessert the night before.
So I go to my happy place. I'm not sure where it is, but it's comfortable and tension free. It's kind of like the Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, except there aren't any little orange people singing and dancing. I don't know about you, but those little guys freaked me out. They were creepy.
And there are no tumors. And there is no pain.