And then I was abducted by aliens…
April 29, 2011 § 13 Comments
It’s the knocking and the laying still that are the worst.
Crap. I’m too fat for all my clothes. I’m going to have to wear a too-tight shirt. The one that essentially says “I tried.”
For some people, it’s the claustrophobia. The coffin-like structure reminds too much of impending doom.
“I want to see what’s going on in there,” he had said. “Just to be sure.”
The dulcet tones of Kenny G’s sweet soprano sax waft into my ears in between bangs and squeaks. Somehow, I am not soothed by the smooth jazz. Maybe I should have gone with country. Or even R&B.
“You can have a seat right there. I’ll just go over some quick protocol issues with you. You don’t have any heart issues, no stints, no metal in your body, tattoos, piercings?” I tell the nurse no. “You’re not claustrophobic or pregnant?” Again, no. “No history of surgeries, implants of any nature?” I pause. Back surgery, May 2008, for a herniated disk in my lower back. She jots down the note. Sends me to a room to change.
Laying here, my back begins to hurt. I can feel it tightening. I rotate an ankle slowly, trying not to move, trying not to prolong this process. The banging comes in a specific series. There are pauses. Warnings. Warm-ups. The clicks indicate adjustments. I’m convinced the aliens will come for me soon. This contraption is too bizarre not to be extraterrestrial.
My too-tight shirt and bra are off. In the shirt I got with a gym membership, the one that declares “hey, I tried,” my boobs look obscene. They are a prominent feature. Something to be hidden. I should have done laundry. In the hospital gown, my boobs hold the shape from the wired-bra for a moment before beginning to sag. I realize that I have boobs. Not tits. Tits are smaller, perkier. On prettier girls, slender girls. No, mine are massive, vulgar, udder-like boobs. I sigh and emerge from the changing room.
The banging comes to a sudden stop. Kenny G cuts short his arpeggio run. I hear a faint beep. Something stirs deep in a repressed memory and I wonder if it’s over.
The MRI technician enters the room, all chipper, and exclaims, “All done! You did great!”
“Oh, good,” I laugh tensely. My voice sounds strange in this machine. I can feel my body moving forward. “I was afraid that I might have moved when I took really deep breaths.”
“Nope! You were perfect.” She can’t know this, but an insecure spot deep within warmed up momentarily. “So…when do you come back to read your scans?” Did she hesitate? Did she see something?
“Thursday,” I reply, sharply attuned to her tone of voice and facial expressions. I am reading her. Or I am reading into her.
“Good, good.” She is either pleased that I already have an appointment established, or she knows something.
I laugh. “Why? You didn’t see anything, did you?” I immediately regret what I said. She laughs nervously. “Sorry!” I say, matching her nervous laughter. “I know you can’t say anything…liabilities.”
“Yeah…” she replies, helping me to sit up. “And what level was your previous back surgery?”
“Okay. Okay,” she says. Again, I scrutinize her face. She is indiscernible. I’m frustrated and beginning to panic. “All righty, sweetie, you can go get dressed now. And your insurance has covered the scan for today, so you can just walk right on out! Have a great day!” I offer a feeble reciprocal reply, utterly ensconced in my own worry.
Bring on the six days of self-inflicted mental torture.