Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Well that was embarrassing...

"I am so sorry, I am really not sure why I'm doing this."

Stranger wipes away my tears because my arms are strapped in to equipment and I can't move.

"It's okay, you're not in trouble or anything. I'm so sorry I've upset you."

"No, I am so sorry. I am fine. Really. I have no idea why this is happening."

"Well, my guess would be because you are in a lot of pain and stressed about what the results of this test will be, but that's just my guess. You aren't the first person to have this happen."

Well that might be true, but I would guess I was the most embarrassed and maybe the only one shouting in my head, "KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF! JESUS CHRIST DON'T BE SUCH A WIMP!" And maybe the only one who wasn't stressed so much about what the results will be as much as stressed as to what the results won't be, or more specifically that there will be no results. That there is nothing that can be fixed. That this is just not a real thing and I am being a baby about it and just need to suck it up and get over it.

That was the mid-point of my MRI today. The part where they zoomed me back out of the tube because the results they were getting weren't diagnostic. Too much movement on my part. And I swear to god I wasn't moving. I was holding still. Relax she says, breathe evenly but not deeply. How in the world am I supposed to relax and not breathe deeply? Shallow breathing is going to make me pass out. Right? I've spent my life learning how to belly breathe and now you want me to take shallow breaths? How is that even possible? And how am I supposed to relax when I'm worried about my breathing? And take these fucking headphones away. They are giant and uncomfortable and annoying. There isn't room in that tube for me, the equipment, the bolster pillows AND these fucking headphones. 

Yeah, I was starting to get a little tense. Because I am REALLY good at blocking things out. I am good at ignoring pain. I am good at reading in a busy space and never hearing the world around me. I worked in an open office with 4 people on 4 different phone calls and a small space creative meeting in the "living room" behind me without ever missing a beat. I am great at "not being there" but what I am apparently not great at is holding still for long stretches of time.

I was a pro at keeping still while they injected the dye. The stinging shot of the lidocaine got an extra deep breath and that was it. The needle in to the joint capsule (the tech told me "I tell people it's kind of a twinge but I've been told by people who have had it done it's a little more than that." Umm... yeah, It's a little more than that. Holy shit.) and the dye filling the area. All of that I went through like a statue. Even when they had to figure out creative ways to keep my boob out of the way. Sorry, you made me take off my bra and put me on my back, where did you expect it to go? I even sneaked a peek at the x-ray they used to guide the needle and show that the dye had filled the capsule. "Does this bother you? Some people get a little squeamish." "Oh heck no, I think it's fascinating."

Then came the first round of the MRI, "Are you moving?"
"No. I'm still."

"Because we are showing a lot of movement. Just really relax and keep your breathing even and we will try again."

And so they did. Which didn't work. Which led to the conversation outside of the tube. Where she told me the images were shit and not worth anything and I needed to KEEP FUCKING STILL, but she said it really professionally and nicely and I broke out in to tears anyway. This is where you came in.

So I apologized for crying. She apologized for making me cry. I told her the headphones were more uncomfortable than they were helpful. She took them away and put plugs in my ears. Which, just so you know, having people mess with my ears is one of my least favorite things ever. So that was a little extra treat. Then she zoomed me back in the tube where I concentrated on not moving, on not breathing deeply, but not holding my breath either, and wishing I was someplace else, but not losing focus on where I was because I didn't want to twitch at all, and trying really hard not the think about not twitching, because thinking about not twitching only makes it almost impossible to not twitch. 

They did that series of scans, zoomed me out, put me in a different position, thank god, and then did another series of scans. Then they let me go. Of course she treated me with kid gloves as she got me off the table and escorted me back to my dressing room. Which PISSED ME THE FUCK OFF. But once you cry in front of someone for no reason you can't really blame them for assuming you are a fragile flower who might break down at any point. 


I get it. I really do. As a former therapist who studied chronic pain, and what it does to people and then worked on people who suffered from it, and know people who suffer from it, I get that I am broken down from over 3 months of daily pain. I get that I am probably, as Brent put it, in more pain than even I realize. Because I have a high tolerance. But because I have been tolerating it for months now I have nothing in my tank for anything else. I have very little patience for other issues. I have a short fuse as far as my temper goes. I am not feeling creative at all because all of my resources are being used in managing the ache in my shoulder. I get it. I understand it. I know why it's happening. But oh holy shit it didn't stop me from being so embarrassed I wanted to crawl under that fuzzy blanket and hide but couldn't because THAT WOULD BE FUCKING MOVING AND I WASN'T ALLOWED TO MOVE.

So yeah....

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