I’ve been claustrophobic my whole life having it worsen as I’ve gotten older. My mother used to make me stay in my room with the door shut for hours at a time so this could be where it stems from, at least 75 shrinks seemed to think so.
I went to see a neurologist because of numbness in my feet. Being a runner for so long it’s easy to assume that’s what it’s from however, the discomfort is becoming unbearable. Enter Dr. Babe, I’ll call her since the ink on her medical license is still wet, and did she have a ball sticking pins all over me.
“YOU FEEL THIS?”
“Yes, and for the record I am not a voodoo doll.”
She’s Asian so it always sounds as if she’s yelling at me. “WHY OPEN MRI… NOT AS GOOD. CLOSED BETTER.”
“Because I am extremely claustrophobic.” She waved her hand in disapproval before saying, “I WILL DRUG YOU.”
“Like, out cold drug me or just a slight buzz?”
Later that day, her office calls to say they found an open MRI facility taking my insurance.
Goodie, I say, secretly hoping they’d forget all about me.
I’m very brave and efficient on the surface, but truth be told, I’m a wreck about most things. I conceal rather than reveal until PANIC strolls in blowing my cover.
I make the appointment for Saturday asking for sedation knowing full well, without it, this isn’t happening. No problem, they say, your doctor already okayed it.
My friend Ed is supposed to go with me but then gets a job. Ed’s like my best girlfriend I can tell anything to, and that includes falling apart in public. Now his wife, who works like a plow horse all week, kindly offers to come instead. One, I feel bad she has to drive into the city on her day off, and two, how can I implode in front of Evelyn? She’ll never let me see Ed again thinking I’m deranged and dangerous making me STUPIDLY decline her offer. Yes, the crackpot has now entered the building.
When I arrive this little drug dealer with boobs that could become legendary snaps,
“Whes yo ez-cort?”
“Excuse me? Am I at a cotillion?”
“Ah can-not give you ana-thin with you not havin an ez-cort.”
“No one told me I needed an ez-cort or an escort. Look, I live a block away. I can sit here till I can walk a straight line. How bout that?”
“How bout, ah dun’t zink zo.” So PANIC has just pulled up to the curb. I decide, hell…fuck it, I can do this. It’s open. It’s 45 minutes. Yes, I’m gonna get this over with today.
“Yeah, sure ya are,” said PANIC toolin in the door.
A cheerful woman named Ursula, the width of a bank, conducting the procedure comes out to get me.
“Who me? Well, maybe just a little.” PANIC, the sadistic shit, starts giggling.
“I thought we could have a test run. You know, I’ll strap you in – give you a blindfold if you want. Just so you can see how it is, because once I put the IV in and you want to get out, I’ll have to do all over again if you want to go back in.”
“Well, I can betcha 5 bucks Urs, once she’s out there’s no way she’s goin back in.”
“Shut up PANIC.”
“Did you tell me to shut up?”
“No no, just talking to myself.”
So Ursula points to a navy gown that seats 6 saying, everything off from the waist up before arranging me like I’m in a coffin short of folding my hands. The machine isn’t even halfway over my head before screaming, “Let me out…LET ME OUT.”
“I’ll just take that 5 bucks please.”
I jump up, run to put on my shirt and coat and am out of there so fast I should win something, like a toaster or tickets to a Yankee game. I then go right to the French bistro next door ordering a double…I’ll take anything…when I hear,
“See, you did this backwards. You shoulda come here first then went over there. Haven’t I taught you anything?”
“Fuck you PANIC.”
To be continued.
A woozy SB