Thursday, April 23, 2015

From Harry

I have sent Rachael several posts recently that she has not put on the blog for whatever reason. Some were funny, at least to me. Some were personal. I am a proud grandfather of adorable twins. {Yes, I'm neglectful. I repent. - pixie.)
Anyhoo, I will try once more with a story of terror and unspeakable acts. I give you…


I walked down the hall with a sense of trepidation as well as a feeling of cold air flowing over my nether regions under the hospital gown I wore. They were waiting for me as I entered the room. 

“Here, sit on the table.”

“Lay down please.”

“Slide back a little please.”

“He’s pretty big. Is he going to fit?”

“Raise your arms up. Back more, please.” 

I feel the examination table rise and then move forward into the maul of the giant machine. Further and further I go. My chest is constricted as I breathe in the tightness of the tunnel. 

“It’s tight. Are you okay? Can you breathe?”

“It should work. Pull him out.”

Now things start in earnest. Unspeakable things. 
Friendly Technicians

“Roll over on your side. Relax, (pause) just a little lubricant. Deep breathes now. You’ll feel a little pressure.” 

GREAT JOHN PHILLIPS SOUSA! She calls that a little pressure! But wait… there’s more.

“Now we’ll just pump up the ball a little to hold it in place,” she says with a soothing voice, which is not helping as the pressure increases. 
The Wicked Coil!

MY AUNT SALLY’S KNICKERS! Somehow I believe there has been a miscommunication as to the actual size of the “small coil” to be inserted next to my prostate. I grimace as I roll over on my back again. The inquisitors… er, I mean technicians, position me again. 

“You’re going to feel a little prick…” (I’ve heard that before.) After several intense jabs in my left arm, she moves to the right and starts an IV. Headphones are put in place and I’m given a bulb to squeeze if I need to escape my prison. 

And now it begins… 

As I listen to the soaring strings of a Mozart concerto, the table moves relentlessly into the mouth of the great machine. It stops with my head just inside the opening. 

BARRAPP, BARRAPP, BARRAPP, BARRAPP, BARRAPP. The machine screams in my ears, only slightly muffled by the headphones which are now jammed hard against my head by the tight confines of my prison.

BARRIPP, BARRIPP, BARRIPP, BARRIPP, BARRIPP. The sound pulses rise in tone. The thought of listening to music as I while away the time is now a distant dream. 

I hear an indistinct voice. I push one headphone from my ear. “Is everything okay?” I hear the voice through a nearby speaker. I raise a thumb in assent. 

A technician is beside me to adjust the position of the headphones. I tell him to take them off. They replace them with foam earplugs. Back into the tunnel of torture again, deeper still, more loud sounds blaring in my head as I feel the table jerk and shudder.  

Oh no. I feel an itch around my left ear. I try to ignore it and, of course, it grows more intense. I try counting the number of times a pulse of sound is repeated before it changes tone. I can’t. The ear itch has now been replaced by one in my right foot. I realize I am grinding my teeth and will myself to relax. My right arm seems to be comfortably positioned, but the muscles in my left arm are aching. 

I had kept my eyes closed for the most part, but open them from time to time. I am close enough to the tube to see the lines and scratches in the plastic shell and wonder how they got there. My nose starts itching and I stare at the small microphone above me. I am curious how the paint has been peeled away in places on its surface. The noise shifts in pitch again and rises in intensity. A distant voice tells me that the ‘contrast’ has been added to the IV. Eleven minutes to go. 

How do you count the passage of time when you have no watch? Let’s see my normal respiratory rate is 22 breathes per minute. In. Out. One. Two. One. Two. Oh no, I am counting one breath as two and then repeating myself. I can’t count. 


“Okay, you’re done. Let’s pull you out.”


 “He’s stuck.”

“Push him back. (Pause) Alright, now pull.”

“There we go. The rail was stuck.”

“Okay, lift your knees up. I’m going to remove the coil.” 

GODFREY DANIELS! MOTHER OF PEARL! The (REDACTED) thing feels larger coming out than it did going in. 

The MRI technicians sit me up and help me off the table. They all tell me how well I did throughout my fifty-minute ordeal. As I leave the tunnel of terror I am just thinking of two things. I need my pants and I want a stiff drink!


An occasional reader said...

I was going to make a comment, but just the thought made my eyes water...

Harry H said...

I understand OC. We men of a certain age have to deal with problems that a younger man will just not understand.

It is funny that the biggest problem that the technicians have with the MRI is patients who become claustrophobic while inside the huge magnetic coil of the machine. That has never been problem with me.

I go to my doctor in a week for the results.

roberto said...

Name of the hospital? .... Tomás de Torquemada?

Harry H said...

Haha. Yes. That sounds right.

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