Learning New Things

Yesterday was my day of reckoning.

It was one of those rare days when you wake up, stare at the ceiling and mutter "Shit," before limping out of bed and facing the day.

If there were any way to have avoided yesterday, I would have found it. I'm a highly creative gal. The sheer number of ways I manage to put off and get out of domestic duties would astound and amaze Houdini himself.

But my luck ran out yesterday. My number was called. The jig was up. Yesterday, I had to face the music.

It was the day I had to face the fact I am no longer a young spring chicken, but am instead an aging woman hurtling towards middle age at a speed faster than light can travel and wrinkles form.

Yesterday, I had to go for the dreaded MRI test to see if, having failed a neurological exam, I would require surgery to restore my once super powers of bendiness.

I learned a few things about myself in this process.

The first being, it is never wise to ask your loving husband who may or may not be already annoyed with you for A.)Letting the dogs sleep with him when he loathes my dogs, B.) Not doing a something he has repeatedly asked me for months to do (like our personal taxes) and C.)Not waking him up with an act of wifey love (read: blowjob.) to help you remove certain pieces of body jewelry so that your body doesn't explode like an atomic bomb while undergoing the MRI scan.

I knew I was in trouble when my husband, who normally moans and groans when I ask him to help me do something (like move furniture or build a wheelchair ramp), lit up like a bulb on a Christmas tree and practically tripped over his own feet running to the shed to grab a pair of pliers.

I started to have second thoughts about the wisdom of my decision to ask Boo tug out my nose ring just around the same time he cackled evilly and leered at me with what can only be interpreted as malicious intent and snapped the pliers open and shut a few times mere millimeters away from my nose.

"Hey! Watch what you are doing with those!!" I yelped as I squirmed further away from the pliers.

"I'll be careful. Have a little trust in me, Tanis," he reassured me as he snapped the pliers again beneath my nose.

(Note to self: Next time you put a nose ring and decide to take the ball out and just squeeze the hoop shut remember the sound of pliers snapping underneath your nose hairs.)

So I took a deep breath, nodded to him that I was ready and squeezed my eyes tightly shut.

All went well as my husband delicately opened the metal hoop looped through my nose until I heard a "Whoops!" It was right at that exact moment my nostril felt like it was being ripped off my face. That or my nostril had suddenly dilated to ten centimeters in preparation for the twenty pound booger I was about to give birth to.

"OWWWWW! Watch what you are doing you muthaf**bleep*!!!"

"Sorry! Sorry! The pliers stuck together and then sprang open suddenly. I didn't mean to do that!" Boo half apologized, half laughed so hard the couch shook.


In the end, the delicate removal process of my nose ring was successful if you define success by having the ring ripped from my nose, pliers stretch my nostril out of shape so that my nose is forever lopsided and all the nose hairs yanked from the interior of my nostril by what I highly suspect was NOT an accident.

At least there was no blood.

It wasn't much longer after this brutal attack on my face that I learned another thing about myself.

When strapped to a gurnery and stuffed into a metal tube then barraged with what can only be described as construction noises (think jackhammers and the high pitch whine of a metal saw) I am apparently a wee bit claustrophobic.

By wee, I mean full on get me the f&ck out of this space ship right now before the aliens descend, suck out all the air in my chest and implant alien embryos in my eye sockets.

It wasn't bad at first, if one can overlook the indignity of having to parade around in a hospital gown while her boobs happily flap around and wave hello to all the hot Doogie Howser doctor types who are trying really hard not to make direct eye contact with the crazy lady.

My ego will never recover. And when did I get so old that I became invisible to hot young 2o somethings??? I blame my beaver tail boobs for this.

When I first laid down on the MRI gurney, I was pleasantly surprised to find out this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sure the tube was a little tight, but it was brightly lit, and I had earphones playing 70's easy rock. This was totally doable I told myself as the technician told me to lay still.

No problem. I could lay still. I am a responsible grownup capable of following basic directions.

Then the machine started.

WHUMP THUMP BUMP!! (Why do they give you headphones playing lovely 70's rock when the banging of the damn machine is so loud you can't hear anything other than the noises the aliens make when they are coming to get you???)

Still. I was calm. It was all good. This MRI stuff is a cake walk. I could have a nap I thought, just as the gurney started moving me back out of the long metal coffin tube.

"Wow! That was quick!" I sat up and happily exclaimed to the technician when she came into the room.

"Ya, well we want to try something different to get a better image." Said as she shoved me back down to lie flat on the gurney.

"Did I do something wrong?" I mean, I held as still as I could. My left eye may have twitched but I have no control over that. Surely they can't be upset by the rise and fall of my diaphragm. A girl has to breathe.

"Nope. It's just this is a new magnet and the machine engineer is here and he wants to try something different. This is a really good time to get a MRI. Sure it may take a bit longer as he fiddles, but he's just trying to make sure we get the best images possible. You are kinda like a guinea pig for all the people to follow. Lucky you!"

Ya. Lucky me, I thought as the nurse put a heavy grate type of contraction over my chest, strapped my arms down and smiled at me. "Remember, this may take a bit longer as the engineer gets everything perfect, but in the end you will get more images out of this and everyone will benefit!!!"

If I could have sat up and slapped the overly cheerful smile off her face I would have.

That's when the fun started. Suddenly being stuffed into a long metal tube while being strapped to a table and forced to listen to loud noise wasn't fun. The aliens were coming! I couldn't breathe. I panicked over every breath. The world was ending! The sky was falling!


"How you doing in there, Tanis?" a voice from the Outer Limits asked.

Instead of admitting that a herd of small little demons were taking over my body and eating my brains or admitting I may have wet myself a little from fear, I said, "I'M FINE. GO ON AND CONTINUE. THIS IS FUN!!"

And that's when I learned yet another thing about myself.

Apparently, while shoved into a long metal tube while being strapped down and going deaf from the noise, I'll crack inappropriate jokes out loud to entertain myself and the aliens from the Outer Limits.

I figured it was either amuse myself by pretending to be onstage at a comedy club or go stark raving mad as the aliens SAT on my chest and harvested my brain through a long invisible straw.

By the time the exam was over and I was released from my tubular prison, my hospital gown had pit stains the likes I've never seen before and the nurses were wondering if I needed to be escorted to the psych ward.

After the MRI I had a follow up exam with yet another neurosurgeon. Who came to the exact same conclusion the other doctors already formed without me having to be the human wienie in a MRI hotdog bun.

I'm having back surgery. Whether I like it or not.

Which leads me to the last thing I learned about myself: I cannot bend the universe to do my bidding no matter how strong my will, nor how optimistically delusional I am beforehand.

And they say you can't teach old dogs new tricks. Snort. Just look at how much I learned about myself in one day.

Woof woof.