waiting beneath the skylight in the basement for my mri

I’m sitting in a basement waiting room at the hospital. My head has an appointment with an MRI scanner. I don’t anticipate they’ll find anything terrible, but you never know. I suppose something may be in there, pressing on my brain, and making me dizzy. More likely, however, my migraines are just evolving (lucky me) to include severe vertigo in addition to the terrifying confusion and near blindness.

I’m sitting beneath a fake skylight. It’s after 9:00 at night, freezing cold and pitch dark outside, but I’m sitting under a beautifully clear summer sky. It’s kind of three-dimensional. You get the sense that you’re looking up between branches. It reminds me of when Clementine was a newborn and we used to stand beneath the trees in our yard, watching the leaves flutter in the wind. I guess this skylight is supposed to calm the people here, like me, thinking about brain tumors wrapped around their brain stems like little black octopi, and other bad things. Linette and I have a friend that used to work here in the hospital. His job was to design environments that would create less stress. He very well might have put this skylight in. I’ll have to ask him. These days, he’s an interior designer in Chicago. I don’t think he’d admit to it now, but he is, or at least he was, a gay Bush supporter. He is, or at least was, my only Log Cabin Republican friend. Linette is sitting beside me, reading one of their old “People” magazines…

[This is the point where they came for me. I’ll try to finish the story tomorrow night. I’m back home now and I want to go to bed.]

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  1. Posted December 20, 2007 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    i’ve been praying/meditating that you don’t have MS. if it turns out for some reason that you do… copaxone works well, at least for me. the side effects are less annoying than avonex & betaseron. but at $2k a month, i’ll pray also that you have health insurance & a low co-pay.

    best wishes,


  2. Posted December 20, 2007 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Mark, I hope everything goes well for you.

  3. stella
    Posted December 20, 2007 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    You should have said something earlier. I would have recommended taking the Ativan that is usually an option for use during MRI’s.
    Ativan makes MRI fun!

  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 20, 2007 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    From Wikipedia:

    Acute exposure to mercury vapor has been shown to result in profound central nervous system effects, including psychotic reactions characterized by delirium, hallucinations, and suicidal tendency. Occupational exposure has resulted in broad-ranging functional disturbance, including erethism, irritability, excitability, excessive shyness, and insomnia. With continuing exposure, a fine tremor develops and may escalate to violent muscular spasms. Tremor initially involves the hands and later spreads to the eyelids, lips, and tongue. Long-term, low-level exposure has been associated with more subtle symptoms of erethism, including fatigue, irritability, loss of memory, vivid dreams, and depression.

    I tried to warn you to stop taking those hot unicorn blood bubble baths.

    Still, I wish you health. If it turns out you need some kind of brain donor, you can have some of mine.

  5. Dirtgrain
    Posted December 20, 2007 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I hated my MRI experience. I hope you had a better time.

    I was squeezed in the dead midnight shift–Woody Allen nightmare.
    Strapped down, abandoned.
    Her vacuum voice from a speaker:
    “Do not move.”

    Swallowed slowly into the mechanical womb,
    Sardine packed,
    I was fucked by the M.R.I. monster.
    Deafening noises, clicks, whirs,
    spasmodically shrieking–
    midnight air-raid sirens,
    warning of invasion.
    This phallic rigmarole
    humbled me with
    outlandish inhumanity–
    an alien violation.
    Miracle of technology, my ass!
    Not a welcome to the future–
    a warning–
    this progress will fuck us all.

  6. Bob Terrel
    Posted December 20, 2007 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I saw a p-rn film once where a guy was blown while getting an MRI. It looked real. I guess there’s a market for that kind of stuff.

  7. Posted December 20, 2007 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I hope the results of the MRI shows nothing out of the ordinary and that the Doctors go back to recommending fluids and rest.

  8. mark
    Posted December 20, 2007 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    DP, I’m sorry to hear about the MS. I don’t know what else to say. I’ve tried to go about writing this several different ways now, and nothing seems right. Having watched a very close loved one struggle with ALS for years, I have some appreciation of how difficult it can get. I hope, however, that you’re still able to enjoy life in spite of it. Your mention of meditation and prayer makes me think that you’re finding ways to deal with it, and that makes me happy, as does your mention of medication. It’s good to know that some progress is being made in that area. Hopefully there will be more soon. Best of luck.

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