Ok, the next time someone tells you to go get an MRI with contrast... just say no. Really. Not only no but Hell, NO!!!! Actually, it isn't the MRI itself, it's everything else.
So, I have to have 2 MRI's yesterday. My hip hurts and it's one of life's little mysteries why so the doc says, MRI for you. Ick. So, the day arrives. I am scared to death as I envision this black coffin like box that they will strap me into then, once they have gagged me into submission, they'll slam the door shut and I'll be a prisoner for 2 hours. Ok, my imagination runs wild at times. But nothing really prepared me for the actual event.
I get to the hospital and my Hunnibunni is with me. What a sweetie. I'm keeping him. He even bought me a cookie and said I could have it afterwards if I was a good girl. Poor HB, I think he thought I might bite someone. :D
I sign in and they call my name. We toddle down to the imaging section where they place is empty of other patients. Ok, this darling Filipina comes put and wants information. She needs to "update" me. I go to her counter where she pulls up info on her computer. Oh NO!!! She looks at me from under beetle brows and says, "You are lactose intolerant!" It sounded like she was saying, "You are a North Korean spy!" YIKES! Whoda thunk lactose intolerance would be as awful as being a spy? Anyway, without further ado I admit it. Yes, I can't do dairy. I tell her that I am vegetarian and can't eat dairy. She stares at me a while muttering, "hmmm, lactose intolerance...." I have NO idea what the punishment for this transgression is but I will find out shortly.
Then she wants to know, in gory detail, what happens if I eat dairy. I tell her. More muttering. Then she springs from her chair, all smiles and tells me, "come, we go and I put in IV". OIKS. Now, I despise IVs. I detest having my blood taken too. The reason? I have awful veins. Nobody can ever find them and when they do, they find they are made of old rotten tissue paper. :( When I get blood taken I have to have the baby butterfly needle. What a wuss.
Now, before we go to have the IV port stuck into my veins, I have to put on hospital clothes. Man. She gives me a pair of shorts made for a 12 year old boy, an open back smock and a bathrobe that probably came from the old Soviet Union. Maybe right after the overthrow of Czar Nicholas. Actually, ALL the clothes look like peasant wear from some 3rd world country. Everything is blue.. yuck. Three different shades of patterned washed out threadbare blue. Do any of the patterns match? Of course not. I now look like a refugee from North Korea. Nothing fits and everything is floppy, except the shorts which are too small. Ok, I don't care. I follow DF to the injection table.
So, DF (darling Filipina) tells me where to sit and spends a fair amount of time making sure my feet are properly in the spot she wants them in. What? She's going to take blood from my feet? Ok, I put my size 10s where she wants them. I am now pretty scared as I see this gigantic spike laying on her table and just about faint at the thought of her jamming that thing into my arm. Ok, I will be brave. Sure I will. I am a wuss. :(
So, DF sits down opposite me and I tell her about the butterfly needle. No worries she tells me, it will be over in a second and the IV port will be in. Ok, she is such a cutie I believe her. Man, I am too dumb to live. She picks up the spike and I close my eyes and get a death drip on my refugee clothes. I can feel the threads giving way. I am pretty strong and coupled with total abject fear, it is almost a certainty that there will be nothing left of the front of my clothing.
DF ties a blue rubber thing around my arm. WHAT is with the blue? It isn't bad enough that they are going to ram a railroad spike into my arm but everything has to be blue, too? They hate me. I am certain of it. I will be brave. DF is smiling and chatting. She really is a sweet lady. In spite of the fact that she is going to hurt me, I like her.
After several minutes of cutting off all blood supply to my right arm and some serious slapping of the inside of my elbow she tells me, "where are your veins?" I ignore her except to say, "...butterfly needle." Of course, my veins had one look at that nasty sharp metal spike and they ran off screaming to wrap themselves tightly around my ulna. They want NO part of DF and her evil spike.
DF decides that even though she can't see my veins, she will try anyway. kind of hit and miss, yanno? It actually doesn't HURT that much but it's just the idea. Of course, as my veins are in hiding, she can't find one. So, she removes the spike and tries again. I am now quaking and crying. My refugee clothes are in shreds. I am one scared puppy. She removes the spike them gives me a hug and says she'll be back. I tell her to take her time. She thinks I'm kidding. Oiks.
She returns with a guy with an accent that I believe originated somewhere in the vicinity of Transylvania. He kind of floats over to the table and wants to know what the trouble is. I tell him I have no veins. And ask him if he can't use the butterfly needle thing. He says, "vell, shuure ve can" Then he gets something and says, look at this. I make the mistake of opening my eyes. He has this long needle thing that he informs me is what they use on babies and it's plastic. Swell. WHO sticks something like that into a baby???? Do I care if it's plastic?
Then Drac looks at my hands. He and DF both shake their heads. Nope, bony old hands with old lady veins. Then Drac says to DF, "vell, ve can do carotid. I shout, NO! you can not do carotid!' By this time I am creating my own earthquake I am shaking so bad. So, Drac tells me, let's use your other arm. I say, I have a scar there. He looks and says, "Oh vell, dat doesn't matter". As the scar runs directly across the inside of my elbow I think, it matters to ME!
But, undaunted, Drac looks for a vein. Does he find one? He does not. I am now a basket case. Drac says he will try one more time. Oh, lucky me. Finally, he said, THERE! He did it. I can barely stand up. DF asks me if I want water. I tell her no, I want wine. She thinks I'm kidding. Then she asks, do you want to go to the bathroom? You bet. I am hoping they also have wine in there.
I shuffle off to the BR holding my refugee clothes and trying not to bend the arm with the spike. I live in fear of dislodging it and it will ram itself down my vein and into my left ventricle. I envision open heart surgery and more IVs. I'm a wreck.
So, there I am in the BR trying to undo all the clothes and sit without bending my left elbow. This is almost impossible. I also have 2 blankets wrapped around me. Is there a hook? No. Any where to put all this stuff? No. Oh, wait, there is a small hook WAY high on the door. Come on! This is Hawaii! The average height is about 5'4 here. I am 5'9 and had to really reach. WHAT are they thinking??? Ok, I get 3 blankets and my robe on the hook which is totally overloaded. I am trying to undo the shorts while holding the rest up and away from me. With one hand useless. How do you do this? Man, it took a while but I am relieved, so to speak and head back to face my tormentors.
I'm a mess as they lead me into the cavern where the MRI is. But, I gather my reserves and look at the machine. Meanwhile, there is this noise. WHAT is that disco music? I expect John Travolta to come dancing out in his white suit. It's the MRI at rest. Yikes.
So, I get brave and look at the machine. Hmmm, it doesn't look anything like the picture the doctor showed me. Wait until I see him next. There is this giant white tube with a sausage opening. It is open at both ends but I am pretty sure I'm not going to fit in there. It's also about 13 below zero in the room. I am freezing standing there in my tattered refugee clothes. DF runs and gets me blankets from the warmer. She goes out of her way to make me comfy and gets me situated on the sliding tray. Then she gives me ear plugs and puts these huge head phones on me. OY.
All of a sudden there is a voice in my ear telling me that this is how they will communicate. She also gives me a squeezy bulb thing like your doctor squeezes when he takes your blood pressure. This is incase I freak out and have to call them. I ask, "screaming won't help?" Nope. I have to use the squeezy thing. Ok. I get a death grip on it.
DF tucks me in and tells me it's kind of noisy. Now, my doctor has said, "It clicks". Clicks I can handle. Altho, John Travolta is making more noise than "clicks". Ok, I ask her HOW much noise. She laughs and says, oh like construction site. Jack hammer. Swell. I am all set and they all disappear. The tray I am laying on gives a jerk and I slide into the machine. DF has reappeared and is now asking me every 2 inches if I am ok. I am fine I tell her.
No, why you have to be totally in this tube for a hip and lower back MRI, I do not know. But, I open my eyes and see that the ceiling is about 8 inches over my nose. But, because the tube is open on both ends and there are no doors and the light is coming in, I am ok. Then DF leaves and the Voice says, we'll start now. Another jerk and WHAM, WHAM, WHAM! WoooooEEEEEE! Holy shit.
So, for the next hour and a half the machine goes through it's cycle of an amazing array of very loud noises. "Clicks" my buns. ;( The machine sounds like a space ship that is under attack, has been mortally wounded and is trying valiantly to get back into the sky. And failing. But, I am mostly comfortable so I don't care. It wasn't as bad as I had pictured. At one point I was certain I was back in our bathroom as it was being renovated. Same sounds. Hammers and electric things.
We are almost done according to the Voice. But WAIT! I got this thing in my arm and nobody has used it! The Voice also reads minds because as I am thinking this, The Voice comes back and informs me that DF will come put the crap into the port. They have a hospital name for it. Crapius. :D
So, out she comes from wherever the help hides and puts some stuff into my vein. It is freezing and feels as though it is spilling all over my arm. It isn't. Just feels like that. Swell. way DF goes and I am jerked back into the machine and the last of the whams and banging commences.
Two hours have gone by in what seems like about 4 weeks. Think dentist. :( It is over. DF removes the awful thing from my arm and bandages it to match the other arm. I look like I had a transfusion. She takes me to the bathroom again and I am happy. I deposit my refugee clothes in the bin that has a sign that says "Deposit Refugee Clothes Here". Out the door I go and there is my smiling Hunnibunni waiting for me. All is well and he takes me home. I have a nice hot bath and eat my cookie. Later on I will drink some wine. Wasn't that the last thing Df said? Make sure you drink lots of fluids! No worries. I can do that. ;D