Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Better Living Through Chemistry

I should be working right now, but DAMN, between the gauntlet of headlines on NPR and the despair one feels when they think of how many weeks are left in the semester are putting me into a real funk.

ALSO, I had to have ANOTHER MRI yesterday, this time for my lower back. The first one was for my upper back and the experience of being locked into a noisy coffin with my head LITERALLY STRAPPED DOWN and my face just inches from the ceiling was JUST a bit more than I can handle. That was a year ago and STILL TO THIS DAY every time I think about that cold gray metal ceiling I can feel the panic start creeping up the back of my throat. It is an ACTUAL PHYSICAL SENSATION OF TERROR.

This time, when the doctor said I would need an MRI to see why half of my foot was going numb on the reg, I said there was no way in damn hell I was getting back inside that thing without some pharmaceutical support.

"I'm going to prescribe you two xanax" she said calmly. "Take one on your way there and the second one right before the exam. Make sure you have someone to drive you home." "NOW WE'RE TALKING!" I thought, or perhaps said out loud.

I took one with my coffee at 5:45 AM before I left. By the time I rolled into the parking lot ten minutes later I was like "Hey, man! This is no big deal! I don't know what I was worried about!"

(this is how you know the meds are working)

I didn't take the second pill because I wanted to save it by that point I felt like I could manage the test without it and I wanted to be able to possibly get myself home.

Well. Judging by the way the technician WOKE ME UP after sliding me out of the tube, I'll say that was a successful MRI.

I dressed quickly then headed straight to my favorite diner next door, where I went facedown (figuratively, or as Wes would say "idiom") on a bacon and pear panini.

I think it says a lot that the thing I remember most about the experience was how delicious that sandwich was.

And today the email with the results came in advance of my followup appointment, which is tomorrow morning. There were lots of words like "bulging disk" and "narrowing" and "FUBAR" that were as oddly gratifying as they were sort of scary. I'm mostly hoping they won't tell me to give up rowing and will tell me to just keep taking the geriatric arthritis medication I'm on, because that not only keeps my foot from going numb, it also makes me sleep like a ROCK and gives me a strange fondness for hard candy and wearing slippers in public.

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