January 31, 2012
Month one is one day from being in the books. Let’s re-cap January. It was not the best of times; it was not the worst of times. I neither died nor spent more than a minute or two wishing I had. Most importantly, even though I fell flat on the floor one night trying to, I can make it to the “commode” (my PT’s phrase which was more unsettling than any other she could have chosen, especially since she probably chose “commode” in an attempt to not be unsettling) unassisted and, shall we say, successfully complete my intended transactions.
Let’s re-cap the re-cap. Suckiness was moderate. Potty independence!
Yesterday, I ran an experiment to explain a phenomenon associated with trips to the downtown (UAB) Kirklin Clinic where reside my neuro-oncologist, my regular lab, and, in the ineffable horrors of Mordor, that chamber of doom, that sinister capsule of torturous din, that loneliest of solitudes—the MRI machine.
Over the years of my tumor’s tenancy, I reckon I’ve been run through that tube at least 50 times. You might suppose that as an old pro I would be able to make it through the exam with ease. You’d be more than just mistaken, you’d be doing your supposing in a galaxy so far, far away you’d be as likely to run into some droid-peddling Jawas than to comprehend the terror I undergo every single time for every single second of those thirty minutes that I am suffocating! paralyzed! trapped without recourse! in that whirring, whomping, Armageddoning tomb.
In short, magnetic resonance imaging is not my cup of tea.
Back to my experiment. I wanted to test the degree to which various factors of my doctor’s visits resulted in my typical cyclonic stomach activity. Were there any Pavlovian triggers? Any particular moment/ site of dread-inducement?
As a baseline, this data: I usually leave the house feeling fine, start getting a little nervous as we approach our final turn, detect a stirring of butterflies when we park, and then, invariably already late for my scan, the cyclone. Invariably too . . . the commode.
My hypothesis: Since I had no MRI scheduled for the day, my dread would either be non-existent, negligible, or minor. My secret expectation: the mere association would riddle my guts with buck-shot.
Conclusion: Dread—non-existent upon entering the premises, minor at labs having blood drawn, negligible during the doctor visit. Turns out, my hypothesis was correct and my secret expectation was unwarranted.
Geez, what a gas-- conducting unnecessary experiments and reporting the results to you, my exasperated reader, using extraneous, nay, superfluous, yea even a turgid lexicon.
That being said, I’ll keep today’s report on point. My physical therapist was slightly impressed by my improved gait and muscle control. I was rewarded by graduating to one of the big, bouncy, therapy balls [new visuals]. I had assumed that my personal regimen would never include those things. But you know what they say about assuming . . . it makes an ass out of you and ming.
All assumption aside (which makes an ass out of you and mption), my ass got introduced to a big, bouncy therapy ball. Was it a little scary at first? Yes, me being a fall risk and all. Was it difficult to exercise on? Yes, me being a weakling and all. Was it kinda awesome? Yes, yes it was.