Over and done

Well, I’m over and done in many ways (ha!), but most specifically, my MRI is over and done with and for that, I am exceedingly grateful. I must admit it really had my anxiety up, between being claustrophobic and worried about walking distances in the hospital.

Ernie dropped me off yesterday around 2:00 but then I found the regular entrance was closed and I had to walk down to the old entrance which means I would have to walk twice as far to get to the MRI suites. Grrr. Ernie came and found me in the old lobby and we trudged off. Ever since he made jokes about my walker having wonky wheels like a supermarket cart it feels like it does a bit, but I imagine that’s the power of suggestion. I took one break to sit on a bench but we got to the MRI Suites ok. They’d offered me a wheelchair when I entered the hospital but I want to walk as much as possible.

Side note: we now refer to wheelchairs as carts. When Ernie was recounting the story of my fall at Barnes to Ann and Bob he said that they put me on a cart. “A CART,” I yelled, “it was a WHEELCHAIR,” and I kept muttering ‘cart’ under my breath as Ann laughed at me. So now wheelchairs are known as carts.

Evidently, they are trying to make MRIs less stressful so the new area at Carle is known as the MRI Suites and there is fancy “spa-influenced” frosted glass windows. I had to laugh as I sat there because despite all the care with curved lights above and frosted glass walls, they had to succumb to hand-lettered signs on how to get out of the place. Poor designers just don’t see this stuff coming.

When it was time to go back they again offered a wheelchair but I insisted on wobbling my way down the long hallway. They took my blood pressure and evidently it was crazy high. The nurse asked me if I was in a lot of pain and I said no but admitted that I was rather anxious about this, between the walking and the MRI itself. She said she’d take my blood pressure again later. Heh. Then we sat there and had to wait until I got my first Xanax. She asked me if I wanted the second one and I said, “Ohhh, yeah.” I honestly kinda hate pills but any port in a storm. So we waited another half hour and I got another one and then I promptly started to doze off as we waited another half hour until they scooped me into a wheelchair (oops, cart) and took me to the fancy MRI.

Ernie’s a tad bitter as he seems to get MRIs at the drop of the hat but is always in the old ones. I got the fancy white futuristic one. I got to choose my color of lights (although they recommended against red). I stayed with the current green theme. When they asked about music I asked what my options were and they said it was Spotify. I went with Americana. It sounded pretty good. The only song I recognized was Wagon Wheels but it was pretty comforting at that moment. I should have just said John Prine. That would have been perfect. Can you imagine having John Prine in your head as you move through a big white tube with loud noises?

photo courtesy Carle

I dozed on and off but stayed calm, calmer than last time even though I’d had Xanax that time as well. In a sense, I don’t think it hurt that I had slept terribly the night before. I was so relieved when they woke me and scooped me back into the cart. I got back to my little room. The nurse said when it was time she’d let Ernie know to go get the car. Then she paused, looked at me, and said, “Would you like him to come back here first?” I nodded yes like a kindergartner being asked if they wanted a treat. It wasn’t long before they got someone to wheel me out and Ernie picked me up and I was just so relieved it was over.

Frankly, I’ve had a horrendous week on several counts and this was the last hurdle. We got home 5:30ish and I went to my corner of the media room couch. Hattie got excited I was there and sort of creaked at me. She doesn’t really meow anymore, she just kind of opens her mouth and lets out these creaky noises. She curled up on me and tried to bite my clothes. I take this as a sign of love. Who the hell knows. I put on Australian Master Chef. Matt Preston soothes me so. Ernie brought me my belated breakfast of leftover frozen pizza (it had been one of those nights on Thursday). It’s never tasted better. I was sleepy from the Xanax but not sleepy enough to sleep. We watched Matt for a while, switched over and watched an episode of Inventing Anna. Eh. Let’s see. Oh, then I barely managed to stay awake for Top Chef. I requested a bowl of salted caramel ice cream because I felt like I deserved it (I know, I know). I enjoyed every bit of it and even managed to watch Last Chance Kitchen because it’s so short. And with that, I was done.

I went up to bed. Ernie accompanied me as I was feeling particularly wobbly. Mostly Xanax and exhaustion I think. It was windy so my lights were twinkling and dancing. I read a bit of a book about someone who bought an old house in Maine by the water and the story has nothing whatsoever based in any kind of reality, Maine-based or otherwise, but it was comforting. I fell asleep only to find my phone under my pillow in the middle of the night.

This morning I got up to an empty house as Leo and Ernie had gone to the Lincoln Square train show. Yes, it’s BACK! That used to be one of the major events in our life when the boys were little. They just walked in the door and Leo managed to pick up a few nice things. My baby is like his grandfather, he likes original source material. They ran into some of his friends and he’s now headed back with a couple of his model trains to get them in the mix. My sweet pea.