Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Next Stop: Two-Headed Babies!

Today, I had an MRI and took another step towards fulfilling my life goal of being able to glow in the dark; (I figure that if my Freaky Cyborg Hip won't shoot lasers, I should have another superpower). Since I was 11, I have been X-rayed, CT-scanned, MRI'ed, bone scanned and ultrasounded. I have had 3D plaster models made of my hips and some weird X-ray that delivers video images in real time. My insides have had more pictures taken of them than Lindsay Lohan after a rough night. It's a good thing that I'm not doing the whole "childbearing" thing yet because I'm pretty sure that two-headed babies are somewhere in my reproductive future.

Alas, however, the neurologist needs to get to the bottom of why my hip flexors are still on vacation and that means doing an MRI. Since my Freaky Cyborg Hip has metal components, however, the MRI technicians weren't even sure if the MRI would show anything, and when I arrived at the office they were (true story) googling "hip replacement" + "MRI" in an effort to figure out what to do with me. (What did medical professionals do without the google? Perhaps they used a magic 8 ball).

I therefore spent a good hour trapped in a tube with my hip straight-jacketed into this little contraption and my feet tied (and duct taped) down, (one more thing in my life that sounds like it could be sexy, but absolutely isn't). The technician offered to let me listen to the radio, but I declined, since I didn't know of a station that wouldn't subject me to an endless parade of elevator music or weak-sauce pop. If there's anything worse than being trapped in a long tube for an hour, it's having to listen to that new Black Eyed Peas song while being trapped in a long tube for an hour. Besides, MRI machines create their own music. Anyone who's ever had an MRI knows that they make a rhythmetic clunking/whirring noise that sounds remarkably like techno. In fact, I amused myself for several minutes by singing that Fat Boy Slim "Funk Soul Brothers" song in my head, since it matched perfectly to the sounds of the MRI machine. I had to remember that the technician could hear everything I said, or else she might have come into the room to hear me getting my groove on, singing, "Right about now...the funk soul brothers check it out now..." (The fact that my only 'techno' reference is a 10-year-old Fat Boy Slim song is a sign that I am not exactly a fixture on the club scene).

After exhausting my mental catalogue of techo songs, I took a little nap. True, the MRI was not the most comfortable spot in the world, and true, the machine was blasting quasi-techno music in an effort to ferret out whatever's wrong with my "broken, damaged body," but at least I knew that if I drifted off for a few minutes, I wouldn't wake up to find a rat sitting on my chest, getting ready to eat my face off. All in all, it was one of the least traumatic MRI's I've ever had, and now I just have to wait for the results. I tried to pump the technician for information, but she would only tell me (rather tactfully) that they'd "found some information that might be useful." I will therefore spend the next few weeks wondering if "useful" means "we found something that has let us know with absolute certainty that you will walk like a zombie for the rest of your life" or if it means "we found something that is easily fixable, since it turns out that the doctor left his wrist watch/scalpel/glasses/shirt button/whatever in your hip socket" or if it means "everything looks hunky dory and in six months you will be more graceful than 60% of the people on Dancing With the Stars." I guess this is a step up from the last time I had an MRI, when the X-ray technicians began whispering, "Oh my God! She can walk. How do you think she walks?" when I got off the table. Baby steps.


  1. It never ends, does it! GEEZ! So, when are you heading back to Chambana. The entire team (who obviously do not stalk your blog like I do) thinks your coming back this Saturday...

  2. Always entertaining (and informative) to read what you write, Arley. Your book is on my to-read list. Oh, and I have also fallen asleep in an MRI machine. Then again I was being MRI'd to make sure that I didn't have a brainstem lesion because of excessive daytime somnolence. Anyway, it's all good now. And btw, you looked great in the pics of S's wedding.
    - Em B.

  3. Yes, I am coming back this Saturday, but only for a week. It's like a little appetizer of Arley before the main course arrives....months later.

    And, thanks, Em! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who's taken naps in MRI machines.