Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lost in Time and space

I originally hurt my back about 30 years ago. I was young, in college and foolish. I was working summers selling automotive parts. I’d been with the company a few years and they asked me to go down to a small town south of where I was in college, and convert this independent store that they’d bought, to a company store. I was thrilled, as they informed me that I was the assistant manager. What I found out, was that I was the only other employee besides the manager. We got to inventory the store and send back about thirty percent of it, as obsolete stock. We also got to move every part, clean and paint the place in the company colors, yellow and black. We then got to order all the new stock. All while trying to establish some customer base for the new store. The manager had two race cars, so he and I hit it off. I was still crewing for some other racers at the old Fort Worth, actually North Richland Hills, Green Valley Drag track. I also decided to purchase a 1970 Mercury Cyclone as a project car. What made the car unique was the 429 cubic inch Cobra Jet motor. The car could cruise all day, at 100 miles per hour, with the air conditioning running, and towing another car. Only problem was, it needed rebuilding. So when the Ford service manual said to use a hoist to lift certain parts on and off, being young and dumb, I’d just muscle them. By the end of the summer, my back was in constant pain from all the strains.
My parents had a pool at the time and a pool cover. Think a giant piece of bubble wrap. My dad asked me to help him pull it back on one evening. I don’t remember much besides a lot of pain. I’ve been nursing the back for 30 years.
Two weeks back, I attempted to get up for work, and could not even put on my shoes, the pain was so intense. I worked from home the day and made an appointment to see my doctor. He changed up some prescriptions and set me up for an MRI. Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
I thought I’d had an MRI about 15 years back. But I’d not. I’d had a CAT scan. On a CAT, they lay you on a table and then the table moves you back and forth through this big white donut contraption. You just lay there while the table moves once in a while.
On the MRI, you go INSIDE the machine. First, the technician eye’s you up and down and tells you that anything with metal, has to be removed. I asked him about my dental implant. No big deal. Then, he told me to go remove my jeans and put on this stylish pair of paper pants. He then helped me lay down on the table. He covered me with some blankets and gave me a little bulb to squeeze. “In case you have some issue while in the machine”. Um….OK. He asked me if I was ready and that all I had to do was breath normally and lay there. Oh, and here’s some ear plugs. Since I was “ready” into the contraption I went.
What happened next was an elevated heart rate and increase in breathing. I felt like I was being loaded into a coffin. I understood the bulb. Squeeze the thing to GET ME OUT OF HERE!!! I wondered if this thing was going to transport me, a-la Star Trek, to another spaceship someplace.

The top of this tube I was going in had some string type lights, about four inches from my face. The walls on the side, were brushing down my arms. Then, the machine stopped and the technician came over the speaker and asked me if I was OK. Yeah, I guess I was. I think I know how Jonah felt in the fish! He then said that the machine was going to start making a bunch of racket and to just relax. I shut my eyes. I understood the earplugs next! This thing started making a LOT of racket. It was the revolving magnets on take off!! I kept waiting for this thing to decide that the implant in my jaw had to come out, by magnetic force. This racket went on for 30 minutes. Occasionally, it would stop, the machine would take a coffee break or reload or something. After the first few minutes, I just did my best to relax, lie still, and breathe normally. What joy!

Some 20 minutes later, the machine took another break and the technician came on and asked if I was OK. Sure, when do we arrive at the space station? He said “we” had one more pass to make, whatever that meant.

Finally, the noise ended and the machine started backing me back out. The technician came in, tossed my ear plugs and helped me up. I was so disoriented I had to ask him where my pants were, here or were they still on Xyloton. He pointed me back to the men’s room with my pants, glasses and such. I mentioned to him, that I’d not even got to crush that bulb deal. He just grinned and wished me good luck.

And crawling on the planet's face
Some insects called the human race
Lost in time, lost in space
And meaning.

1 comment:

Schweers' Mom said...

I would have FREAKED OUT. I can't stand closed-in spaces. Egad! They would definitely have had to treat me with valium or Xanax or SOMETHING (a cocktail??).

So did you get the results?

How are you feeling???