Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Anti-Ass Says No!

Yesterday, I wrote about wanting to train for a triathlon, where I would substitute the elliptical machine for running and the stationary bike for the real bike. Though my mom denounced the plan as my "imaginary triathlon" and I suspected that my physios would not be pleased, I did the first day of training yesterday: 48 minutes of stationary biking followed by 24 minutes of swimming. At the end of the day, I was feeling all cocky. I was going to do something useful! I would end each day with the pleasant feeling of exhaustion that working towards an intense physical goal brings! I would once again bask in the structure and purposefulness of a training plan!

Yeah, turns out I need to clear some room on my Shelf of Broken Dreams (right beside "becoming an Egyptologist" and "having the toned legs of a volleyball player") because the stay-put triathlon is on hold. In my enthusiasm, I forgot to ask permission from my anti-ass. Is the anti-ass down for more than 30 minutes on the stationary bike? No, it is not. The anti-ass says "hells to the N.O.!" I therefore woke up with a black-and-blue swollen ass so painful that I could hardly sit on it. I'll spare you the S&M similes, but suffice to say that there are more fun ways to get an ass that looks like mine. And those ways involve dungeons.

When I went to physio, even laying down was painful and I sheepishly told the physio of my plan. She rather gently suggested that "perhaps I should put the triathlon on hold until I can walk" and that "maybe I should avoid activities that are going to leave my buttocks black and blue." Good points and life lessons both! She did, however, acknowledge that perhaps I need to spend a little more time around "healthy people" to work out my frustrations (read: not the 85-year-olds with walkers) and should go on a training plan at a gym that involves more whole-body weight training so I feel a little more normal.

After physio, my mom and I headed downtown because the MRI people called me yesterday and said I needed to come in for follow-up images. I've never been called in for follow-up scans before, probably since before you didn't need any precise images to say, "Yeah, Arley's got a hip that looks like something a four-year-old would make out of Play-dough." Considering how the tech at my last scan was bragging about what great images they got, however, being called in again to spend some quality time chilling to MRI-techno is never a good sign. Especially since the radiologist had written "STAT!" in big letters over my chart and the technician referred to my scans (again) as "interesting."

As the technician strapped me into the machine, I for some reason felt the need to bring up my aching anti-ass.
Technician: Does it hurt your hip to lie down like this?
Me: No, it's just that my...buttocks...are a little sore and they're spasming and it's making my hip spasm too.
Technician: *while giving me one of those "you're one of those people who has a safety word, aren't you?" looks* .....did something happen?...
Me: Oh, no, it's just that I was cycling on one of those stationary bicycles and it always bruises my...rear end.
Technician: Oh.
Me: Yeah, so it feels like my ishial tuberosity bones are out of alignment, but really it's just the swelling in my ass...buttocks.
Technician: .... *writing down something in her chart that will probably make the radiologist giggle*
Me: It's kind of black and blue down there!
Technician: So, it's the stationary bike that caused it?

It turns out, however, that my anti-ass saved the day. After the scan, the technologist told me that my ass was indeed swollen (she asked several follow-up questions about the nature of my ass bruising/swelling), but that the swelling might actually have been useful, since it helped the technicians to see the muscles more clearly. That anti-ass: such a considerate little thing.

After the scan, I once again tried to milk information from the technologist and I was once again treated to a big, old "access denied." Probably for the best. Reading between the lines when it comes to MRI techs is a little like reading between the lines when your boyfriend makes some cryptic remark that leads you to believe that he is clearly having tawdry motel sex with some unknown woman, when really he is just playing some shoot-aliens-and-carry-big-guns video game at his friend's house and doesn't want you to know that he's about to spend the next two hours trash-talking his buddies using various anal-sex metaphors. (What is it, by the way, about the combination of men and video games that always results in elaborate homoerotic metaphors from even the most straight-laced of men?)

Anyway, the point is that "reading between the lines" very quickly devolves into "turning into a psycho hose-beast" and it's best not to fear the worst before the worst happens. Who knows what they saw when they peered into the dark recesses of my hip? Maybe they saw an image of the Shroud of Turin. Maybe they found weapons of mass destruction (I knew those lasers would kick in one of these days). Maybe my Freaky Cyborg Hip gave them a little wink and a wave and smiled with its eyes like Tyra Banks. Who knows? Either way, opening the MRI scans on my computer can only lead to, "Oh my God! See that little grey smudge that looks like clouds right beside that whitish-grey circly thing that looks like the wax in a lava lamp? Clearly, it's cancer!"

I will therefore let the radiologists and the surgeons do their jobs, while I'll do my job, (which is making elaborate lists of questions to ask the surgeon when I see him tomorrow. Questions like, "So...what the fuck, man?" or "Does this mean I've broken your streak of hundreds of perfect hip replacements?") Unfortunately, I'm currently doing my job all drugged up on pain meds and resting on my side to take the pressure off my anti-ass. Why do I feel another ass massage coming on?

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