Thursday, August 25, 2011

#88 - An MRI and a Big Fit

Wow, it's been a beautiful day here in Texas. Really, it has because we FINALLY got some heavy rain that came down in a steady pour for quite a long time. I'm sure the parched earth drank it up with a smile.

Unfortunately, I also had an MRI spine study that required me to be inside the tube for nearly two hours, as it rained. I'm not claustrophobic, but no one likes to have their head locked inside sci-fi gear and their body rolled deep into an extremely confining space that makes your eyes criss-cross when opened.

I have such a strong mind that I have learned to calm myself and to take myself to another place during my many, many required MRI's. If you've had health problems like I've had, you don't have the luxury of being get on with it and get it over with as fast as you can. I swallow my fear and move forward.

In the MRI tube, I think of moments with my this time at the rodeo.
I think of pleasant, far-away things instead of the tube closing in on me.
Although, swallowing the fear is not as easy as I make it look, especially since my body is full of titanium clips, bolts, screws and plates from my abdomen to my upper neck. Even though this metal is not supposed to come flying out of your body as the MRI magnets whirl around you, it's still unsettling. I have one area in my abdomen that has a metal clip and it does hurt pretty bad for a few days after my MRI --- I don't think it's the right metal, but I keep my hand pressed firmly in that abdominal zone during the MRI and keep hoping I won't be ripped to shreds.

The past few MRI's with my extensive hardware has found me experiencing a new unwelcomed sensation. During a long MRI study, such as today, I find that parts of my body become very hot and this is PRIOR to contrast IV fluids. It seems to happen mostly around the areas of my hardware, but the warmth spreads and it feels like my insides are beginning to bubble. I can take a lot of physical hardship, scary situations, and a lot of pain, so I just try to be still and get through the MRI without creating a problem.

Me and my dad
months after spine surgery.

I got through it today, again.

Unfortunately, my mind did not drift as easily to wonderful places during the MRI because of stress at home. Living with people who are prone to throw fits is not pleasant. I have enough chaos in my life with trying to battle my daily physical demands without adding ridiculous, immature fits to the mix.

My oldest daughter is coming home for a visit this weekend, she's driving over five hours (one-way) to get here, and I've been super excited. We are getting to spend time together and go to my niece's birthday party together. But, it seems that so many times in my life when I should have been savoring and enjoying precious time with my family and friends, I've instead been involved with a certain person's childish fits and the horrible fall-out it creates for an extended period of time. It's hard to trust someone who can go ballistic so fast.

As usual, the timing for this person's ugly tantrum coincides with a family/friend gathering. Surprise! Like I've never experienced THIS before, ha-ha. Just like that unwelcomed heat spreading through my upper body during the MRI, I have someone who is trying to make my home a spot too hot to visit because no one knows when the explosive personality will emerge. I look at this person and am miffed by their ridiculous behavior, the extreme rudeness is unnecessary, but still this person feels justified.

It occurs to me...Maybe a person who gets their way during childhood by throwing fits is the one who keeps doing it throughout life. The problem is...the fits get more ridiculous, more embarrassing, and more intolerable as I get older. And, I don't feel like writing flowery things when this person is doing MUCH LESS than adding flowers to my day. If I'm going to be accused of being selfish, then dammit, I'm going to write what I feel and let my selfish bone stick way out. I might as well live up to the name-calling.

As for my name-calling, these kids are pretty darn cute.
My girls --- just a few short years ago!

So, back to the MRI...I found myself in this unbelievably small tube, and I was forced to make my mind float away from my circumstances so that I could get through this extensive spine study.

Boom, boom, boom, click, click, click, clomp, clomp, clomp goes the MRI sounds. And I found my ticket, I start to drift away and let myself hear the eerie similarities in the MRI as with the group Pink Floyd. Yep, in my MRI there was a private concert being played, just for me.

I was so happy when it was over. Yippee! I get to go home to my wonderful house that is full of tension. Can I go back into the MRI tube?

This weekend, I'll enjoy my daughter's visit. I don't care if I get to spend five minutes with her...she's my daughter, MY FIRST-BORN, and every minute with her is precious. Maybe I value those minutes even more because I have been confronted so many times with thinking I was living my last few minutes as I was falling comatose. Regardless, I've always had a big neon sign over my front door that says, "All Are Welcome AND Welcome All," --- even though someone keeps trying to bust it out. My mother welcomed everyone into her home ---- big, tall, short, small, wide, snide and full of pride ---- all were welcomed, it was a wonderful lesson in hospitality while growing up.

I'd like to think that the neon sign I've worked so damn hard to put up over my house is still shining brightly, in spite of others trying to yank the switch.

So, I will go back to cleaning, dusting, vacuuming and getting ready. I'm doing all the things a mom loves to do, even if I do it alone and very slowly...with interruptions such as to go lay in an MRI contraption for too long. Can they combine a tanning bed with an MRI? It's a thought.

I can picture the sign:


Okay, I've been a medical patient far too many times...I'm slightly warped and I'd be a perfect writer for the show, Saturday Night Live, but I'm content with my little blog. Unless you work for Saturday Night Live...Call Me.

I just keep remembering that I've been blessed to have multiple second chances and that no one can take away my joy, well, not for more than a few minutes at a time. And as I am vacuuming, I'll try to ignore the big, grumpy dust-bunny in the corner; besides, I am becoming more and more allergic by the day.


  1. Take care of YOU !
    I'm a bit worried.

  2. Hey Beth...I'm doing great, but this was really a rough day. Augh!!


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