I believe mentioning I went for a radioactive injection to enable my doctor to see just how much alleged inflammation this besieged body really has. After you’re loaded up with this ominous dye, you wait 48 hours before the scan.
What will they think of next?
Mount Sinai is a pretty nice hospital located on upper Fifth Avenue. I’ve become an expert having been to so many. The people in general are much nicer which helps as you’re cursing, careening to your next test.
A sweet, older black man who volunteers, walked me to neurology. His name was Sam.
“Ya look war-rid Miss. Don’t be. Wes got the best here at Mount Sinai.”
I shook his hand to thank him.
A young Latino girl at the desk welcomed me like an old friend, having already been there two days prior filling out my life story on a clipboard. I notice how everyone smiles on this floor.
Then a strawberry blonde with outstanding posture comes to get me along with my claustrophobia that’s just been awakened by the sight of the scanning machine resembling a coffin with no lid. Hmm, one stop shopping if something goes wrong. Yes, gallows humor tagged along too, I mean what the hell. Why leave him home when he’s such a riot.
After stripping me of all metal…belt, watch, spirit…she tied me up in the machine. Yes, I kid you not. It’s so important you don’t move, she made a sling for my arms and taped my Nikes together. I looked like a big package FedEx any minute was picking up.
The top of the machine hovers close to your head for five agonizing minutes. “Think of something nice,” Enid the technician suggests. A double vodka came to mind even though it was barely 9 in the morning.
Then it travels down, the little fucker, to scan every little nook and cranny. After 36 minutes, like a roast, I’m presumably done providing the doctor viewing the film doesn’t feel more is required. I wait, arms tied, sneaks taped, thirst not yet quenched.
Yes, they want more. I figure, like a mammogram, this is no big deal. They snap two more shots then you’re outta there. Not this test…I’m now tubing it for another 40 minutes. My panic light goes on asking to speak to the doctor.
A stout Indian woman no more than 35 enters the room. “Is anything wrong?” I ask, trying not to unhinge. “Did you see something to make you want a second scan?”
This is when the wheels fell off the coffin.
“Your doctor thinks there is something seriously wrong with your brain…you appear to have a very rare condition…I want to give her as much information as possible.”
When we regained consciousness, my brain and I, neither of us could contain our anger. “How dare you say that to me…blurt out a prognosis you have no right to give. You’re not my doctor…you read film dammit…how irresponsible of you.”
Have you ever seen an Indian pale before? Stunned by my outburst, she apologized, but the harm was already done. BEDSIDE MANNER GANDHI. I don’t care how outrageously politically incorrect that is. Think before you open your mouth is the tag line to the Hippocratic oath you over educated Smurf in a lab coat.
Then, like the Calvary, the sweet girl who gave me the original injection came into the room. We had hit it off after I asked if I’d light up on the way home. Humor can be bonding, especially with a needle in your arm.
She said, nine out of ten times, they give the second scan while the patient is in the machine, that way if their physician needs to see more, they already have it. It’s not necessarily because something suspect showed on the film.
I would have hugged her if my arms weren’t still slinged.
When it was over, I ran out… couldn’t wait to be in the air. Sam, the volunteer, was perched at his post. “Evra thin go o-right?”
Yes, thanks, I lied.”
“Do ya know, yous got tape on your shoe?”
I didn’t, but it seemed the least of my problems.