The Brain Scan
This week I’ve had to get a brain scan done.
For last few months, I’ve gotten dizzy a lot and the doctor sent me to a neurologist.
The latter called for a series of tests and among them was the brain MRI.
My appointment was on Tuesday at 8. I took my brother because Honey had to take the kids to school. So off we went together.
Ever since they told me I had to have the MRI, Honey was telling me about how he had felt very claustrophobic when he had to have one of his spine. He said that the machine makes a deafening noise, that felt the urge to to run out of there. I looked at him as if to say, what a wimp.
I don’t have claustrophobia, other phobias yes, but not that one in particular.
A super nice gentleman guided me into the MRI room and told me not to feel nervous, to breathe calmly. He said that he would bring me some earplugs and that he'd be there in case anything happened. He had nothing more to say then, he explained, because they could hear me through the microphone the scanner has built into it.
I looked at him smiling and said, these things don’t intimidate me, if I fall asleep, let me know when we're done.
So I lay down, put the earplugs in, folded my arms across my torso, he put a blanket on me and everything, and I thought, - "now I can start snoring".
The flat bed stretcher begins to move along the rails into the unit and at the beginning everything is terrific, but once you're in up to your shoulders and you no longer have a view of the outside... What impression that makes!, it’s like being inside a coffin.
Oh my gosh!, I sit up spontaneously and bump my head on the ceiling, which is 5 inches from me and it makes a loud "Booommm".
The flat bed starts to move out. The man looks at me with a smile from ear to ear and says - "What did we say about moving? What a good bump you gave yourself there. "
I say, - "Sorry, it was a reflex response."
"Let me go get a little something and I’ll be back in a minute. Meanwhile, try to calm down. "- he says.
And I thought, "What a nice guy, he’s going to get some ice.".
And he comes back with a helmet, and says, - "Lie down". I lie back and he puts that kind of helmet on my head, secures it to the table, and says, "You don’t have to worry about reflex movements anymore, with this you will no longer move."
Of course, this is much better, now I'm buried alive and latched in. They move me in, I can’t do this, I can’t do this...., I breath deeply, one, two and three, on the three I begin to move my legs like crazy to see if anyone sees me.
The stretcher backs out again, the man looks at me with a smile from ear to ear again and says: "Remember, there is a microphone inside the scanner, you don’t need to move to tell us that you aren’t feeling well."
Now he grabs some straps and ties my legs and while he’s tying me up, he looks at me smiling. What this guy is, is a psychopath. Now I've been bound and I’m alone with a serial killer.
I think to myself, well, at least my I hands are free, and then thee man approaches and he ties up my whole torso at the level of my forearms. All I can do now is scream.
So I start screaming AAAHHHH!. And suddenly I hear, - "Ma’am, you'd better not shout any more and calm down, I’m not going to come get you out any longer."
So, I have no choice but to suffer in silence in agony and despair. When they finish the test and take me out of the machine, the man looks at me with yet another smile from ear to ear and says - "Oh, good, I didn’t think we were going to get that by only the third try". What sarcasm, I think, tying people up always does the trick.
"You can take these results and go see Dr. Suarez on Thursday at 10:30 a.m."
So on Thursday, off I go, to see what’s actually happening to me.
I arrive and the Doctor says, "I've been studying your case and tests are all normal. Vision: normal, EEG normal, CT Scan: Normal. I cannot find the cause of why you get dizzy in these tests." "Please tell me exactly what sleep routine you follow."
And I recount the 15 times I get up at night, going from bed to bed, dealing with each one of my children. I explain that at times I slip and fall because I’m running or I run into a door, and that Honey doesn’t hear anything at all because he has nocturnal deafness, and so I sleep poorly and not enough.
He says, "Right".
He takes out the computer keyboard and starts typing frenetically.
A prescription comes out of the printer, he takes a piece of paper and begins writing something by hand.
He gives me the prescription and says, you are going to take a half of each one of these for two weeks, and then you’ll suspend the treatment.
This paper is for your husband. And he shows me to the door. I say goodbye, I thank him and I leave, quite amazed and undiagnosed.
I look at the prescription, and they are sleeping pills.
I open the paper and read:
"Your wife’s diagnosis is chronic exhaustion, she needs to sleep. If you are not able to hear anything at night, I suggest you buy a hearing aid. "
Dr. Antonio Suarez.