Tactical Diversions and Spontaneous Entertainment

I’ve been told I never write about what it is like before my MRI’s. That I simply update after the fact with the results and maybe my readers want to know more. Well, my immediate answer was pretty swift. Well, “It feels like I’m playing Russian Roulette with a loaded gun”. How’s that for summing it up?  

Paul has always been my chaperone on these excursions, but this last time it was Karen who was tasked to chauffeur me to Emory. Karen, who had only lived in Atlanta for a month, and would likely admit to being directionally challenged, was responsible for getting us there and back. The Type A me, lived up to her expectations, handing off a highlighted map with to and from directions all typed out. She laughed and we agreed it was going to be a little bit of the blind leading the blind on the way home. Loopy from the sedation, the accuracy of my ability to find my way home was not guaranteed. 

I always get anxious in the days before the MRI’s. Who wouldn’t?  You get past one, get a thumbs up and start settling into a bit of normalcy only to come to a screeching halt as you anticipate the possibility that the normalcy will not maintain itself. 

I am a firm believer that you should always have someone with you when you go to all appointments. I am not preaching here, do what you want, but you never know what they’ll tell you. Need I remind you I was alone when I first learned that I had a brain tumor to begin with? Stupid, I know. 

Karen was my tactical distraction. She knows well enough not to make empty conversation and not be a “Perky Polly”. So when I am sitting quietly in her car a few miles from the hospital, staring out the window and comment that “I can’t believe this is my life”, she knew I didn’t want a response and just drove. Thank god.  

We were off to a good start providing lots of entertainment in Radiology when I could not get my XL powder blue scrubs to tie around the waist and I just tied them in a big knot.  Having failed to remember to bring socks, I debuted my powder blue Barney look with black open toe sandals. We could not stop laughing and began to plot our empire designing fashion scrubs that actually fit! We finally got the ties to work, passed the metal detector scan and started on the Q&A.  The, what other parts of your body are falling apart, do you have…, have you ever had… , and then came the following dialog which I must say, drew a great amount of laughter and continues to provide laughter…

nurse: “Do you drink?”

me: “Huh? What? Yeah, I do.”

nurse: “One Drink?”

me (laughing): “An hour?”

nurse (laughing sort of): “A week?”

me: “Well, yeah, no, well… it depends. Come on.”  Looking at Karen, “I mean there was Saturday night.”

Karen: “She is not an alcoholic, trust me. She didn’t drink before we came here!”

me: “Seriously. I don’t drink everyday, but I do have a brain tumor, two boys and three dogs, so yeah, I do drink, but not in excess.”

nurse (laughing): “Ok, sounds good.”

20 minutes later, we were done with the medical evaluation, they had started my IV and escorted Karen back to the waiting room and at least 4 medical people had dropped in to see what all the laughter was about. As my nurse walked me into the MRI room, everyone was all smiles and we were laughing. She said it was a pleasure and the  laughter was a bright spot in her day. I stopped, looked at her, thanked her and said, “Shit. I’ve got a brain tumor. If I can’t find humor in all this, life would be pretty pitiful. Now let’s get the show on the road and light this head up.” She grinned, hugged me and I walked into the room in my XL powder blue Barney scrubs and black sandals.

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