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Friday, October 5, 2012

Apparently, Biggest Loser isn't the only thing I'm not fluffy enough for!

Good morning!

Pardon the dangling preposition in the title, but somehow saying, "For which I'm not fluffy enough" seemed a little too formal, given the topic of discussion today.

The sandwich that changed
my life...
Most of you know I was in a car accident two months ago, and since that car accident I've been on a very strict schedule of Physical Therapy, Doctors' appointments, daily headaches and dizzy spells.  Well my doctor finally decided to read my physical therapists' notes two weeks ago, and now we can add MRI and Neuro surgeon to the list of medical professionals profiting from my love of McDonald's McChicken sandwiches.  (which I have not had since the accident, BTW.)

So Wednesday was my MRI.  For those of you not familiar which this process, Medical Resonance Imaging is where they shove the affected area of your body into a large tube which is, I'm told, loaded with magnets and they they take images of the affected area, tiny bit by tiny bit, sort of in layers.  That way, if there's even the tiniest bit of your brain, or your neck, or whatever that's damaged, it will show up on the images.

Not so bad, right?  Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Well let's back up.  Two weeks ago I went to a completely...utterly...and ridiculously pointless office visit with my doctor.  This is the guy who forgets what meds he's prescribed me for my hands, and always seems surprised when he reads my chart.  "Oh, why are you taking Meloxicam?"

Dude, you prescribed it for me..and renew the prescription every other month.

Anyway, after a PT session, the therapist wrote another strongly worded email to Dr. Duh, as I will now call him, telling him, again, that I needed an MRI, that there was something really wrong with my neck.  So his nurse, Nurse Also Duh, told me that we'd be doing an MRI at my next appointment.  At least, I'm pretty sure that's what she said.

No, in reality, he wanted to see if I really NEEDED an MRI.  Or something.  But first, he wanted to be sure I was good an riled so the night of my appointment he made sure he was running more than an hour behind.  We finally get into the room, and I'm already cranky, and he yanks on my head a little and they weigh me...why...why...WHY?  And he says, "Yeah, you should get an MRI."

Doctor Duh...thank you for wasting two hours of my life.

The he says, "And here's a number for a nuero surgeon.  Call him, get on his radar."

That's what he said, "Get on his radar."

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

Well I'm a dutiful soldier, so I called the Neuro guy...and left a message.  Then I scheduled and MRI, for which Dr. Duh had not sent a note for preauthorization to my insurance company as he said he would.  Which mean another phone call to Nurse Also Duh.  All of this from the Culver's parking lot during my 54 minute lunch.  (You now, because Lumbergh won't let me make personal calls during the day and doctors and lawyers don't answer their phones after 4:30 Pm.

A week went by, and no call from the nuero guy.  So I called Nurse also Duh and said, "So what does, 'get on the rader' mean?"

"Oh, you're supposed to make an appointment with him.  Dr. Duh called in a referral."

Clear, concise English.  What a concept.

So, like you're gonna, you know,
like fill out paperwork.
So I call nuero guy again, and this time his Valley Girl picks up the phone.  (For those of you who don't know what a Valley Girl is, look it up.)  Turns out Dr. Duh DID NOT call in a referral, so I have to spend 27 minutes of my 54 minute lunch going over everything with Valley Girl.  But I have an appointment.  All that's left is doing the MRI.

So Wednesday after work I don every piece of clothing I own that doesn't involve metal, right down to the jog bra.  (I've been wearing them more often lately, funny how comfortable you can be when you really don't care how your boobs are positioned.)  Hubby drove me to the hospital, three blocks away. 

I should mention, I'm slightly claustrophobic.  This was something I brought up with Dr. Duh. This was something I brought up with the scheduler. This was something I brought up with the skinny nurse who walked me into the room with the tube.  Someone mentioned sedation...

Skinny Nurse gave me earplugs and the soft ear muffs...very sexy...and she explained the test.  I lay back on the sliding table.  Not bad, there was a picture of mountains and rivers on the ceiling.  Then she handed me a squeeze thingy and said, "If you need anything squeeze this."  Then the table started sliding into the tube.

The minute my hands brushed the side and top of the tube I was able to answer the question, "How claustrophobic are you?"

The answer:  "I AM SUPER CLAUSTROPHOBIC!"

I think I broke the squeezy thing.  I kept saying, "no, no, no I need out of this right now!"


They got me out and suddenly there was this lovely gentleman, we'll call him Gary, standing there.  He had the look and sound of a younger James Earl Jones.  Maybe not, but in my head he did.  He and skinny nurse talked about doing the test a different day, maybe a day when Dr. DUH actually prescribed something for me that wouldn't make me feel like an Edgar Allen Poe character while in the tube.

Then I thought I about all the appointments depending on the results of this test.  I thought about the lawyers and the doctors and the nurses who all needed this information and what a pain in the butt it would be if they had to wait.  And how they could make my life even more jumbled and less my own than they all already have.

I stuck the earplugs back in my ears and said, "Do this quickly."

If you haven't had an MRI, this might be hard to imagine, but it's sort of like being stuck head first in a tiny garbage can while the cast of STOMP is beating the can on the outside, to the tunes of the soundtrack from everything loud, violent video game ever.  There's cold air blowing on your head all the time, I think that's supposed to help the claustrophobia, but it just made my eyebrows itch, which I couldn't scratch because my arms were pretty much pinned to my sides which made the claustrophobia WORSE.

Every so often where would be a break in the buzzing, banging, whirring, pounding sounds and then Gary would say, "how are you doing?"

I wanted to be a smart aleck, but I also wanted out as soon as possible.  So instead of saying, "How do you think I'm doing you sadist in scrubs?  I'm living a nightmare and every movie I've ever seen about being buried alive is running through my head."   I said, "Fine."

I started to wonder why I had so MANY movies about being buried alive in my mental repertoire.  Seriously, it's shocking how many movies I've seen where being buried alive is the central theme.  And it's shocking just how fast all those scenes flicked in my head like they were on a film loop.

I would have rescued Sarah from the
evil tube.
At one point I knew I was starting to feel a bit less creeped out when Gary said, "How ya doin?"  And I said, "Any chance we could get some Rick Springfield music pumped in here instead of all the banging?"

"Who?"

Oh sure...I get the one middle aged guy on the planet who doesn't know who Rick Springfield is.  (Meanwhile, a Facebook friend of mine reports she got to have Rick's music playing while she had her MRI.  Clearly, my medical system is sub par.)

Finally, the table slides out of the tube.  Gary is there and he helps me sit up.  "We3'd better be done,"  I say, "I'm not going back in there."

"No, I'm giving you a break.  We have 15 more minutes.  You were squirming too much."
Sarah...I am your
radiologist.

At this point I'm about in tears.  Skinny Nurse comes in and she says, "How did you do?"

"I don't know, I have 15 more minutes."

"What?  No, you're done...right?"

"No, Gary says I was moving too much, I have to go back in."

Skinny nurse glares at Gary who says, "Uh, I was KIDDING."

Dude, you don't know who Rick Springfield is AND you're joking with me about putting me back in that high tech coffin?  Strike one and two.

I will give Gary this...he came out later and talked to me about the test and about how he is also claustrophobic.  I then asked about the open sided MRI machines I'd seen before.  He told me there aren't many of them around, and really those are only for extreme cases, and the pictures never come out as good. 

What I heard was, "Sarah, you're not fluffy enough for an open sided MRI."
Yes Conda, I can hear you laughing at me.
Oh great...so I'm too skinny to be on Biggest Loser and I'm too skinny to be put in a tube that doesn't resemble a gigantic tampon holder...of DEATH.

So there's that.

And now we wait.  We wait for someone other than Dr. Duh to read the tests.  We wait for Valley Girl's boss to see me.  And we wait.

I hate waiting...

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