I had another MRI to recheck the damage on my cervical spinal cord. Determine the next course of action. See if I can truly continue to push off surgery with steroid injections.
This has all gotten routine. My fear of needles has become a thing of ethers. I no longer hold onto the banister refusing until the doctor bribes me with lollipops. Even as the warm trickle of blood ran down my arm, before the nurse could get the cap on the IV needle, I did’t flinch.
What’s a little blood loss anyway? Talk to me when it is more than 1/5 of my blood volume. Been there, done that.
So into the tube I went. Per usual I close my eyes before heading in and never opened them till it’s done. I’ve found this the only way to stave off claustrophobia. Do not let curiosity get the better of you. Do not open your eyes inside the machine. Seriously, don’t do it- unless it is one of the machines with the mirror that reflects your feet. Otherwise it’s game over.
For me it has become a bit like a massage. Weird I know. I no longer focus on the sounds. I zone in and feel the warmth of the vibration as it ticks along my curves.
Granted I’ve had an avid meditation practice for 16 years to help. At this point my biggest risk is falling asleep and twitching, obscuring the image. But it is somehow comforting to know the dye will feel warm in my throat first and shortly after my groin. Then commence Round 2.
During one of my MRI’s a few years ago I had an idea, a concept for an art installation. A blindingly white room covered in braille poems, a circular bench in the center. With invisible ink I wanted to write over top, the deeper thoughts that barely ever meet the light of day-fears, insecurities, dreams. I’d place a single button on the wall perhaps labeled “speak” or “truth”. Upon pressing it the room goes dark, the subtext visible under black light, revealing all that’s left unsaid.
This time round the art installation again sprang to mind. In the midst of the ping ping pong I envisioned another room next to the original. This room is dark as night. And when you hit the switch the poems themselves are revealed in invisible ink. Here the deeper thoughts, the unspoken, are written in braille.