April 2018

Friday, April 9, 2010

DAR #27: Another day, Another needle, Another mask

DAR #27: Yesterday I had an MRI to take pictures of my brain so that the doctors can tell whether or not the radiation worked and they can tell me and Ann. We’ll learn the results on Tuesday at 5 pm PST. If you’ve never had an MRI, this is how it works:

I go in to the waiting room (the same waiting room as my radiation: the Cheers receptionists looked befuddled.) A nurse from another room comes in to get me and to escort me back to the MRI machine. I lie on a palette much like the one for radiation. I wear several shirts and a sweatshirt, sweatpants, wool socks and my faux-UGGs because I know it will be cold. Nothing with metal, so I leave my suit of armor at home.

The nurse covers me with a warm blanket to make me feel all cozy and then tries to put a line in my vein for the contrast. This is not that big a deal except that my veins are very small (dainty, I like to think) and they don’t like to be poked. Last time I was here it took this same nurse two arms and seven pokes to get the line in. My arm was bruised like a banana for weeks. This time goes much better: only three pokes and one arm and a hand. No bruise.

The nurse puts earplugs in my ears and lowers a cage much like a football mask over my face. She tells tells me not to move. The palette slips into a large white machine that feels much like a wind tunnel. The nurse tells me how long each scan will take (18 seconds…4 minutes and 20 seconds…) and the process begins. It’s something like lying in a small tunnel where drummers, truckers, and jackhammerists have decided to start a percussion band. Some people find this very hard to take. I do not. Once, I fell asleep.

After a half an hour or so, the nurse pushes a button that pulls me on my palette back out. She tells me not to move, and she puts the contrast in my arm. I don’t feel much: just a cold sensation and the slight taste of metal in my mouth. I go back in the tube for another three scans and then I’m done.

The nurse bandages my hand as if I’ve been in an accident involving sharp blades and I return on my own to the waiting room, where Ann smiles and says that she has just finished grading this set of papers. We go home and, yes, I take a nap.

Have a good weekend and pray or cross your fingers or hold your breath or do whatever you do for Tuesday. Doing all three--Mary


  1. We are definitely related-I have "dainty" veins as well! Fingers crossed for Tuesday...

  2. what is up with this "Your comment will be visible after approval." ??? Isn't that all very pre-internet? I find it offensive and inhibiting (kind of like the first time i was introduced to a "smoking section" in a restaurant. how dare they treat me like that!!! why should i have to sit in a "section" where i would have to be exposed to other people's smoke???)

    dogs are tricky. i always thought i liked them. until i had to potty train one myself.

    holding breath until tuesday...

  3. As a professional in the Interwebs industry, I would like to explain why Jenn needs to wait in the virtual lobby with the rest of the riff-raff. One extremely illustrative representation would be to describe who else she is spending time with in this purgatory state: representatives of dating sites in Russia, male-enhancement pill representatives, people who do not know Mary and like to rant about religion (beyond Mary's group of friends who might rant, but do so in a more inclusive way), and people that sell R0lex watches.

    Jenn, while you're waiting in the smoking section,just don't inhale. It was good enough for one of our past presidents, it's good enough for you.


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