Half Empty

So, in case you were wondering, the results of the MRI came back normal, yay.

When I went to the appointment, I didn’t think I was nervous at all.  In fact, I actually fell asleep in the waiting room, to the point where I was dreaming and possibly drooling/snoring, and only awoke when the technician, I think her name was Lisa, called my name.  She took me back to a dressing room, told me to change into beige hospital scrubs, open the door, and wait for her.

I sort of liked wearing the scrubs, because it made me feel like I had an important job saving lives, but Lisa didn’t come back for a long time, and I started to worry that she'd never come back.  She finally did, escorted me to the table, covered me with a warm blanket, inserted an IV into my arm, and explained how it would go.  “Don’t open your eyes.  It’s really best if you don’t open your eyes,” she said about four times, making me want to do just that, but I trusted Lisa, so kept them shut.

“Do you have any questions?”

“Yes.  What's your job title?” I asked.  “Are you a radiology technician?”

She looked surprised, and said yes, that was correct.  It's one of the possibilities for a career change, but I didn’t want to tell Lisa that I was angling for her job right before she shoved me into the tube. That didn't seem wise.

Once in the tube, she continued to talk to me through a speaker, telling me how long each episode of what she called the “knocking” would last.  There was knocking that sounded exactly like a séance in the movies.  You know the scene where the medium asks if the spirit is present, and then there are a few random knocks, and it seems hokey, but you aren't sure if you're supposed to actually believe there's a spirit, or suspect one of the people seated around the table is doing the knocking?  And you know what kind of person you are, you're the skeptical sort, so is it just you being skeptical, or is it really hokey?  That's the noise it was.

But there were other noises too: loud fog horns, and the emergency broadcast system, and car alarms, and I heard the noises deep in my psyche, not just in my ear.  I felt incredibly sleepy like I might nod off, even through all the commotion.  And Lisa kept talking to me, asking if I was okay, telling me what was going to happen next.  I tried to be still and pretend I was just in shavasana, but I struggled to take a deep breath without moving my head, and you know that thing where you start thinking about how you can't take a deep breath and it makes you get a little gaspy?  Exactly like shavasana, but with gasping.  Also, a steady stream of saliva was dripping down the back of my throat; I just really wanted to sit up, take a deep breath and swallow properly.  

At one point, she announced that she was going to start the I.V., and my arm felt suddenly cold, as if she were injecting ice into my veins, making me think about cryogenics.  And wondering if the knocking was, in fact, some dark spirit.  It also felt like the IV was leaking all over, because this cold damp feeling permeated from the injection site, and I really wanted to open my eyes, but I didn't, no I didn't, because Lisa told me not to, and Lisa was my person.

After about a half an hour, it was over, and the table I was on slid out of the tube.  I expected to see Lisa, but a man I’d never seen was standing there.  He removed the I.V., lowered the table, and told me I could get dressed and leave.  I missed Lisa, and it seemed weird that I didn’t see her again, reminding me of the past few breakups I've experienced, where men skitter off, saying nothing.   Like, come on, Lisa, you too?  Disappear without a trace? Couldn't we at least talk first?  Do these scrubs make my butt look big?

I felt sort of dizzy and numb, and just weird all over when I got out, and had an unanticipated jag of being really emotional.  I had no idea what was even wrong, what I was crying about.  Nothing, really.  I guess I just wanted to say goodbye to Lisa.

It took a loooonnng time to get the results, and I spent several days imagining the worst,  taking David Rakoff's advice, against my better judgment.  I had resigned myself to a life of drooling in a wheelchair, unable to move, and spent a long time trying to figure out if I would indeed be able to find someone who would update this blog for me if the only communication option available to me is blinking one eyelid.  I am pleasantly surprised that so far as I can tell, that's not my fate.


  1. Enjoyed this post! hahaha!

    I especially loved the part about angling for Lisa's job.

    Glad you are ok though. I would REALLY miss your blog updates!

  2. It's a rough life for the hypochondriac mind! Glad you're not reduced to Steven Hawkins fate. I'd miss your posts too, and it would take you forever to blink out a new horoscope.
    I left you a verrry long response a few posts back because I missed reading it and had to backtrack due to learn why you needed the MRI. I've had more than my fair share too because me too. Sorry I left such a long comment, but clearly I could write a book. I probably should.

  3. Glad it turned out well. It might have been awfully hard to find someone who could translate single eyelid blinks into blog posts, especially if you're a stickler for proper punctuation and such.

  4. Thanks everyone! And Mel, totally appreciate your long comment; I might write for more info if I can't figure this out.

  5. Woot! Happy that the MRI came back clean. I just read your poppy post as well, loved that. Things sound really awful at the permit department.

  6. my favorite part was "Exactly like shavasana, but with gasping." Shavasana is my favorite asana. Glad you are ok. I was going to apply for the position of eyelid blink translator, but good that will not be needed.

    Debi L (Judy's sister)


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