Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Brain Day Part I

I had my MRI and neurologist appt yesterday. I am waiting to get the full report from the radiologist so I figured I could string out the day in a few installments.

In the morning I'm excited to drop off  the kids with Grandma and head on down for some "me" time. Me time being me, by myself, lying down. I can't get up even if I want to. Which I don't. I like getting MRIs.
I fill out the paperwork, then pick a chair by the fire and settle down to read the paper.
They call me soon  and give me a dressing gown, only it's pants and a top. And only like 10x my size. Luckily it has a drawstring so I cinch it as much as I can then wrap the cord around several times and am good to go. Next they put an IV port in. I liked the way they did it before. Just come in and give me a shot half way through. But I guess they found the scans were more stable or something if they didn't have to move the person and could just press a button to inject the contrast agent.
Last time the guy putting it in didn't get something quite right and when he tested it blood went squirting all over the floor. This one goes  just fine, with only a small bruise leftover  this morning.

So then we go to get set up in the machine. I lay down on the sliding bed and the assistant coveres me with  a heated blanket. I instantly feel realaxed and cozy and am looking forward to some"quiet time".The technician informes me that they are no longer able to use the music playing headphones, just some small ones for ear protection.

"That's ok. I usually don't have music with mine anyway."

"So you won't be able to talk to me then?" I ask hopefully. It was always kind of jarring when you are just starting to relax and then "OK This one's going to run about three minutes." Or  six minutes. It kind of interrupts the 25 min of meditation I try and get.

"Oh, no. I'll be able to hear you ,and let you know what's happening."

"Actually, I don't need any updates or anything."

"You have kids?" he asks.

"Yep. Four."

"I figured. Usually the people with kids just want quiet."

"Ok" he says, placing the squeezy alarm/eject thingy in my hand and adjusting the IV bag. "I'll get out of your hair and we'll get this done."

I lay back and he straps the head cage across my face.

"You're not claustraphobic?" he asks.

"Nope." I close my eyes." I'm good."

He leaves  and I feel the table slide into the big magnetic tube. Its dark and cozy and I could see how someone might get freaked being in there. But I'm glad I like it.

A few seconds go by and I hear the whirr of the machine with the familiar tweets and knocks. These first ones make me think of little StarWars ships firing at the Death Star in short little bursts.  Pew, Pew, take that Vader.Then along comes the deeper laser beam in long steady pulses. The big ships are coming.

The beeps give way to a series of knocks. Usually  a knock in the middle of the night heralds a wet bed or sick child. Something that requires my immediate action and gets my adrenaline going. But this time I know I don't have to rush to the door and am able to stay calm. And relaxed. I think about how nice it is that they give me warm blankets. I time my breathing to the rythm of the machine. Then I add a prayer.

 Lord Jesus Christ (Knock) Son of God(knock) Have mercy on me (knock) a sinner (knock).

The knocking speeds up and my respiration matches it.
There is a pause. I hold my breath, waiting for my cue. Instead, I feel a cool sensation in my left arm where the needle is. It radiates up my arm and I know they just injected the gadolinium and we are doing the second part of the scan. I'm glad they did not get to interrupt and tell me "Ok, you're going to feel a little coldness in your arm now."

The knocking starts again and I settle down to enjoy the little bit left. I'm thinking fresh warm blanket would be just nice right about now. I wonder if they would bring me one if I asked. But too soon, the door opens and they are sliding me out and unlocking my head. They remove the IV and wrap it tighly with a cotton ball and stretchy tape. She hands me my locker key and I'm glad it has my locker number written on it as I have no clue which one I had chosen. I retrieve my shoes and clothes and get changed. I'm still kind of groggy and looking in the mirror, I regret not having brought a brush. Oh well. At least I brought deodorant. They told me no make up, lotions, or  perfume so I always bring some to spruce up for the neurologist appointment.

Back in the car I realize I  have an hour and a half before I see the doctor. Shane couldn't come today so we could have lunch and I didn't want to eat out alone. So I get my snacks out and finish the newspaper and solve some word puzzles. I'm too smart and it doesn't take long to solve so I drive over to Trader Joe's and contemplate going in to get a little something to round out my lunch. Like caramel corn. There is an espresso stand across the street and I think that would go well with a treat. In the end I decide to drive up to hospital and wait in my warm cozy car, listening to music. It is made cozier by the downpour that is just starting. I guess  a hairbrush wouldn't have made much of a difference. So I opt for some lipstick instead.

I brace for the rain and run to the building. On the entrance a sign announces  "Tully's Coming Soon". I'm so glad. Ever since they moved to the new building I always lament the lack of a coffee shop. I can schedule that into my plans for the next appointment.

The nurse comes and has me do the usual walking test, which I always pass with flying colors. I think about asking her if I can skip, just to make it more challenging. With my luck I'd probably trip and do a face plant and the rug is kind of rough and would probably leave mark, so I don't ask.

She weighs me. I'm happy with the numbers. Then she subtracts three pounds for my jeans and sweatshirt. I say I liked the first number better. She laughs and writes down the second one.  She takes me into the room and takes my vitals. Everything is good. We chat a little. She adjusts the window shades to let more light in.Then she says the doctor will be in shortly and goes out the star trekish sliding doors. I wish they could put something on them so they would sound high-tech. A nice "swoosh" with a little suction sound at the end. That would be awesome.

I remember I didn't put my earrings back in yet and fish around in my purse for them. They are pretty green and gold ones Shane bought me on  his last New York trip. I like that his tastes are more exotic than mine and furnish me with things I would not pick out on my own but really like. I fumble finding the left earring hole. I feel a little rushed and panicky,  like I don't want the doctor to think I dressed up or anything and that I always just look nice and put together. So what if  I have holes in my brain. I just like to take care of what I do have. While I have it.

I get the earring in and sit back to wait. There is nothing to read so I enjoy the view out the  window. It's so pretty with all the green trees. Then the sun starts to peek out adding some gold to the landscape. Hmm. Kind of like my earrings.

No comments: