Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Medical Procedures

My Great MRI Adventure | New Year’s Eve 2021

In knee-high socks
And ortho shoes she trips
The light fantastic

Light as a feather
Music spins through soft earphones
To another world

Silencing all noise
Beauty fills every fiber
Of her weary soul

I’m lying on a long, narrow table. A long capsule slides almost silently over my body.

I’ve been up since early in the morning. D is sitting in the waiting room. I’ve been told more than once that the MRI will take 15-20 minutes. My name is called. I’m ushered into a small room with a closet. I answer a barrage of questions I already answered online and in the waiting room. The woman helping me is kind.

She tells me how to put on the two gowns lying on the bench, and where to lock my clothing and belongings. The only things I’m allowed to wear are my knee-high socks and one other piece of clothing I will not name.

I emerge draped in two huge gowns.

I’m directed to a barber-shop like chair obviously made for people larger than I. I can’t lean back or touch the floor with my feet. I sit up straight and hold still while the pacemaker team disengages Lucy Pacemaker and makes sure they can monitor my heartbeat/arrhythmia while I’m having the MRI. This takes at least 20 minutes. I’m happy to say that everyone who worked with me treated me as the Queen I am, for which I was most grateful!

Finally, I’m escort by a female nurse to the MRI room. The male technician who will be in the room with me the entire time has me change my anti-Covid mask for their mask (not as nice as mine). He also has me leave my changing room key on the table. The nurse and technician help me onto a very narrow table.

As fast as lightning, the technician inserts ear plugs, adjusts my head, puts a large cushion beneath my legs and knees, glues and tapes stuff onto my chest to monitor my heartbeat, puts a finger clip on my right thumb, and a rubber ball in my left hand. I’m to squeeze it if, at any point, I’m not comfortable. If I squeeze it for any reason, the MRI will be terminated and rescheduled.

Finally, sheets are pulled up; my feet are positioned just right and strapped down so they won’t fall off the narrow table. The technician assures me that he’ll be in the room the entire time, ready to help me. Then he disappears somewhere behind my head, and the capsule starts sliding over my body. I decided early on to keep my eyes closed and practice relaxation breathing. I was not prepared for either the noise or the heat.

Nor was I prepared for the cacophony of diverse sounds that bounced around me. Sometimes there were lengthy pauses; sometimes only a few sounds. Other times it was like being caught in crossfire that didn’t want to end. I wasn’t prepared for this strange mixture that had no rhyme or reason.

However, somewhere along the way I thought about drum beats I’d heard when D and I were on sabbatical in Kenya. Instead of angst, I had a bit of curiosity and interest, though I was still shocked by the diversity and clamor of this strange machine.

Suddenly it was done. The young man and my nurse helped me back to my barber-shop chair. The nurse handed me a bottle of water which I drained to the last drop. Lucy Pacemaker was returned to being in charge of my heart. I couldn’t wait to get out of there and have D drive me home.

Thanks for visiting today! For 2022, I pray you and I will grow as truthtellers, no matter how difficult or dangerous it becomes.

Happy New Year!
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 31 December 2021
Image found at wfmt.com

Manufactured faces

Manufactured faces gaze
From magazines and brochures
Scattered around the waiting room
Wherever I turn my eyes
‘They’ smile knowingly
If not mechanically
Picture perfect features
Enticing sirens of perpetual youth
White skin gleaming
Radiant in life
And in death

What do they know that I don’t know?
Is this happy heaven or happy hell?
I seem to have lost my way.

It’s Friday, March 25. I’m sitting in a nearly deserted, picture-perfect, calm, shades of blue cool color-coordinated waiting room. Not, I’m sorry to say, the plastic surgery (yes!) waiting room above. A plastic surgeon, on site only once a week, is going to remove two suspicious growths from my skin. Due to unforeseen developments, the wait will be longer than anticipated.

Upbeat music plays relentlessly. Every chair, magazine table, shelf and counter space offers indoor advertising for the miraculous powers of plastic surgery and the good life. I search in vain for a normal magazine or newspaper.

Alas, I didn’t bring a book or even my iPad. All I have is my writing journal. Into which I enter the thoughts above.

An hour later, things finally get underway. I also learn a thing or two. The surgeon is probably in his late 30s or early 40s. I’ve often assumed plastic surgeons are in it for the money.

This one, however, doesn’t fit that stereotype. His primary work doesn’t involve what I’d call elective cosmetic plastic surgery for the wealthy seeking eternal youth, or even for the rest of us with routine things like suspicious growths. He does this only one day a week, at this site. A break from his demanding schedule.

The rest of the time he’s at a downtown university hospital doing what he loves most. A form of intricate, creative plastic surgery. Most of his patients are women who’ve had mastectomies or trauma victims whose skin needs repair. He loves the challenge of each case, and knowing that what he does helps people recover from life-changing events.

I left feeling chastened and grateful I’d heard a bit of his story. Well worth the wait.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 27 March 2017
Photo of spectacular plastic surgery waiting room found pinterest

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