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.
Oh my poor friend. Very creatively re-told, but I’m sorry you’re going through this again. 😦
It’s okay, A.Mo. But I appreciate your support. 🙂 We’re just going to keep trying to be cautiously optimistic until my orthopedist has had the chance to look at the scans. In the meantime…the dissertation should suffice as ample distraction! 😉
Forgive me if I am out of line with this comment (I used a different email address just so that it would come up for your approval rather than automatically posting, just in case), but I’m sure Robert would agree with me when I say that the world would be a better place if it did not make women feel like there was something wrong with having larger breasts. There is nothing obscene, vulgar, ugly, or shameful about, as you put it, boobs, and the only similarity any breast shares with an udder is that both can produce milk in the right circumstances.
I’ll shut up now. I’m sure it won’t take much for you to imagine the shade of my face as I write this. Hopefully that image will give you a bit of a laugh, at least, while you wait for the follow-up visit.
Oh, Tim, thank you for your discretion and for blushing–you’re right. It made me laugh! Lol…I just remember all those times I purposefully said fairly vulgar things about our readings and such just to see how purple you could get. And you would get pretty purple! Hehehe…so funny.
And I appreciate your kind words. Robert’s pretty upset about the way I feel about my body…but he put it pretty well to me this afternoon when we were talking about it. He said, “You know, I just feel like someone has to get upset on your behalf.” I guess that’s what marriage is, isn’t it? When you’re busy tearing yourself down, your spouse can serve as an advocate in order to defend you against yourself. I know that you’re both right…I shouldn’t feel negatively toward myself or my body…but in many ways, it is extraordinarily difficult. Especially on days when I can’t fit into the majority of my wardrobe.
I like to refer to mine as Ba-oobs. They deserve an extra syllable and a complimentary breast reduction 🙂
Sending healthy, healing thoughts your way, Mrs. H.
We’re here to sludge through the next 6 days of worry with you 🙂
LMAO, Tori! So funny! I absolutely know what you mean!
And thanks so much for your support. 🙂 I knew I could count on you guys to help keep me going through these next six days. I’m hoping I have good news coming down the pipeline soon…like about a job interview. That’d be wonderful.
Gosh, sorry to hear about your back. Hang in there, my friend. (But I love the way you told the story!)
Thanks, Kathy! I appreciate your support (on both counts). 🙂 As I always say, creative writing is extremely difficult for me…so it really means a lot to me when people enjoy it.
I’ll be sure to keep you all posted when I find out what’s on those scans. 🙂
Herniated disks in general are pretty god-awful. I’m hoping that this is just nothing. But it’s kind of a lot of pain for nothing. In the meantime until I have answers, I shall continue to buckle down and do work…and maybe take a pain killer before bed. (Or maybe drink a few glasses of wine. ;))
You write the most amazing blog posts! I always feel like I am right there with you.
I hope that the scan results turn out well and that you hear some good news and at least can get your back to be feeling better. I’m sorry that you are going through all of this! I’ll be thinking about you over the next few days!
Aw, thanks Tawnysha. 🙂 That means a lot, coming from someone whose writing I truly respect.
And thanks for your support and encouragement–the best case scenario would be if the scans revealed that there is no herniated disk and we’re just dealing with an inflamed nerve. If that’s the case, then the therapy is more meds and possible specific stretching. I’m crossing my fingers for the best case scenario. I don’t have time to have back surgery again! Lol.
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