I probably didn't tell you that I had an MRI a couple weeks ago - actually two, in the same day, which was kind of cool because it gave me twice as much opportunity to have a near death House-esque MRI tube experience wherein I begin to spontaneously bleed out of my eyes, seize uncontrollably, and/or go into full blown anaphylactic shock. The technician named David who stuffed me in the tube asked me a lot of questions like "are you claustrophobic", which I considered answering yes to, just because I'm not sure that I'm NOT claustrophobic, and the idea of small spaces makes me very uncomfortable and also I hear you get Valium if you are claustrophobic. But I decided to be brave and go drug free, even though it killed my back to lay flat for that long. David did give me a wedge pillow for under my knees, which I envisioned mostly as an impediment to my rapid escape in the event of a massive power outage that left me trapped in the windowless fuselage-like tunnel. He also asked if I had ever had an MRI and I answered that I had not, but I've watched enough episodes of House to know exactly what goes on in there. He chuckled nervously and asked me not to get any eye-blood on his pillowcase and pushed me into the tomb-like machine.
It really wasn't too bad. My BFF's recent warning to not fall asleep and do the dream-twitching thing because the technician would yell at me, helped me remember not to breathe or make any other perceptible movement. Do I visualized zombies invading the imaging rooms of the hospital and clawing at my feet, dragging me out of the only access portal inch by inch. It kept me awake. I was beginning to wonder if eye-bleeding is merely a side effect of hypoxia from not breathing during the procedure.
David pulled me out of the tube just as I was fighting off dream-twitch land, which was somewhat disapponting, but he rolled me right back in after he affixed a white plastic terminator like armor apparatus to my left shoulder, so I settled in for a little twitchless sleep, and no more zombies.
All in all the MRI was an enjoyable experience. Mostly because I couldn't feel guilty for not moving a muscle, and there was nobody asking what was for dinner or swearing at me about anything. Plus I got new hospital socks and a gown that didn't show my underwear.
I was surprised two days later when the doctors office called to tell me there was nothing at all wrong with me and all of this pain is just in my head - because they didn't. Actually, they called to tell me I did indeed have a partial tear to my left rotator cuff (HA! I knew it!) AND then a bunch of words like "advanced degeneration" and "stenosis" and "nerve displacement" all referring bitterly to the L5-S1 region of my back. Then they told me I needed an orthopedist and a neurosurgeon. I knew it. Just like on House. You go in for a simple MRI and suddenly you find out you need brain surgery, a prosthetic hip and your spouse cheated on you during his last business trip to Guam. At least it wasn't a rare flesh-eating bacteria. Or a tape worm in my brain that had worked it's way up through my bloodstream.
Anyway, I'm saying all of that so that I can complain justifiably about how bad my back hurts, and you can pat me on the back, or head, if you wish, and tell me how tough I am for being totally weaned off of painkillers since my last surgery, in spite of all of my exotic and apparently even REAL injuries. In fact, I have taken three doses of ibuprofen on this fire. That's it. I'm off all pharmaceuticals except my thyroid medicine. And a really mild muscle relaxer when I go to bed. No hydro codone (ok, I forgot to pack them), no sleeping pills. No anti-depressants. That's probably why certain people close to me are questioning ALL of my behavior - because Lord knows how I act with no personality altering substances CAN'T be legitimate. Or is it? This is me, messing with your head!!
I feel good. Except my back hurts. (Enter whine) But even my back isn't bad every day. All day. And when I compare that to what it was like a year ago... Holy Moses. I'm like a new person. Can't complain about that!