Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Composition 101


What do you do with those Notice of Privacy Practices you get when you sign all those papers at the doctor, dentist, or imaging offices? Do you simply sign yours and give all the papers back to the receptionist? That's what I did until today. Today I took the copies. I paid for them. 

Have you ever had an MRI? Have you ever had a bad experience when you went for an MRI? Well I did. I'd tell you all about it but it will take too long, plus I cannot sit and type that much. I will tell you this: Midway through the first MRI the tech brought things to a screeching halt. They were doing an open MRI. It was the wrong procedure. They hustled me out with an apology. No one bothered to read the orders beforehand. I was sent away to another facility. Things went from bad to badder. I ended up with an MRI of my shoulder. Only. Not an MRI of my cervical spine. It took so long my left hand grew numb. The machine burned my right elbow. Explanation: Oh, yes. Your body gives off heat and the machine gives off heat. Let's put this pad between you and the machine. She laughed. I was in and out of the scanner three times before the fourth and final time when I called a halt to the torture.

I can just see some of y'all rolling your eyes, thinking: There she goes again, telling another tall tale. Well you can stop before your eyes get hung up, because it's worse than what you've read so far. I dealt with numbness, burning, muscle spasms, pain, claustrophobia, frustration . . . Afterward, my eyes were bloodshot. I staggered and had problems balancing. I had a serious case of bed head. I got three wedgies. 

At the end of the agony, while making an appointment for today, the tech suggested that I take a pain pill before returning the next day. Like it was all my fault. Today I was in the belly of the beast only once. Yesterday I arrived at 11:15, I left at 1:30. She kept popping me in like I was a toaster strudel. I took the feeder home, slipped into bed, found my favorite fetal position, and whimpered until I fell into twilight sleep. I took a muscle relaxer around 11 PM. I slept through two alarms. The major alarm was set for PM. Is a grand thing that I woke on my own.

I showed up this morning. Early again. I am a trooper. The tech grinned and asked if I took a pain pill. She told me the day before that I it takes an hour before it kicks in. Seriously? I told her that I hand't because I did not want to chance being pulled over and arrested for being under the influence. A muscle relaxer? No. Same reason. She thought it was funny. I dislike people who think they are funny and when you don't act like they are, they try harder.  Today I staggered because I couldn't find the floor after it was over. She said, "You can open your eyes now." She should quit her day job and become a comedian. Seriously.

So, how did I get through the second day? It was easy. I simply . . .


Tonight, I drew it on the bottom half of the folded pages of the Notice of Privacy Practices. I am a Dear Valued Patient, after all. Besides, I paid for those copies. Dear Valued Patient my *&%$. I might not be able to write a letter, but I can do a bad cartoon. Write on.

P.S. I made up my own MRI machine.  :)






20 comments:

  1. Good Lord!! You have truly been through the wringer! I am so sorry they put you through this -- but maybe you won't have to endure any more of them now? Here's hoping!!

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    1. Thanks for the good hope. :) Maybe it's a test. Maybe it's the last of the hard time before the healing. I took it on the chin. :) Hope I never have to do it again. I forgot to make the appointment with my orthopedist! LOL! Thanks for reminding me. I have the DVD on my desk. Gotta go! :)

      Write on. A postcard has your name on it. See you soon.

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  2. What an awful experience! I have never had an MRI, but I did have a CAT scan once - it was uneventful. I am very claustrophobic, so I don't think I could manage an MRI without medicinal help. I hope you gave them a piece of your mind! There is no excuse for treating someone that way, absolutely none!

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    1. Am glad you haven't needed one, Jackie. So don't fall down 15 steps, don't lift weights, and don't yank weeds after surgery. Don't own heavy cast iron cookware and cook too soon after surgery. Wear the special sling every day until your doctor has to darn near cut the thing off. :)

      Even the open MRI is claustrophobic. Open means there's light at the opening. It still feels like a coffin, and no matter how hard you try to keep your eyes shut tight, something perverse tempts you to "just take a peek." And you do eventually. Yes, you wish you hadn't because you automatically think "coffin" or "buried alive." Then the imagination really kicks in. it wonders how you'll get out if the machine malfunctions. You wonder if the tech has forgotten about you. What if you need a do-over because something went wrong, or the images aren't clear. The second they say "Don't swallow" is the instance you need to swallow all the saliva that's collected at the back of your throat. Does it hurt? Uh-huh. Those rigid plastic guards are the latest torture devices. They should use them instead of water boarding. Sedation would help.

      JC knows he could never get through one. He wonders why medical science hasn't come up with a better way of doing MRIs. I second that.

      No, I didn't have a whole lot of mind left to give once I got dressed. Had I, chances are, she would have dragged me back for one more. *sigh* The tech is a big, tall, strapping woman. I figure she will need one soon, and I wish her well.

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  3. I'm sorry your MRI was such an ordeal. At least it's done now and you don't have to worry about it. I liked your drawing of the machine, it looks like a pen; a more friendly vessel.
    Take care.

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    1. How astute you are! I thought I was the only one who saw that. It wasn't deliberate because I didn't see it until I flipped a card over long after it it was printed, trimmed, and ready to embellish. :)

      Did you notice the larger leg? My right leg is shorter and my left side of my back has the scoliosis curve. The larger leg in the drawing didn't irk me until it was too late to redo. LOL. I tell you, my life is a Greek tragedy that morphs into a comedy every chance it gets. Is why I never take the things that happen quite so seriously. There's always something worth laughing or lying about (tall tale time). My ribs are sore today. Too sore to get dressed to drive. The lovely hot water bottle more than earns its trip across the big water dear Anna. How did you know I would need it? Thanks, one more time.

      I think simple things become dramas in my life for specific reasons. Comedy trumps tragedy every time. :)

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  4. Oh Limner...sounds awful. Hope they find something helpful to make you better after going through all that. Ain't modern medicine wonderful? REST up and take it easy.

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    1. Hey Pamela. Thanks. I chalked it up to karma but I did take to my bed. We discovered a firm mass in my upper right . . . I blame it on all that jiggling and thumping from those unnecessary MRIs, and the two I actually needed. Felt like a boxer had thumped me in the ribs for five rounds. I think it's from having my elbow tucked tight against my body while the machine thumped. I understand the need for my shoulder not to move, but it hurts. My doctor is away until next week and there's no one to cover for her. I cannot drive to an urgent care facility, so I laugh and hug the hot water bottles a lot. A fortunate woman has TWO. I have two. :)

      I'll bounce back over the weekend. Hope you're making lovely mail. :) See you in your mail box first chance I get.

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  5. Toaster strudel...I love your way with words but sorry about the misery.

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    1. Thanks, Mrs. D. LOL. Strudel implies fruity and sweet doesn't it? Dang! I should have said a pork butt in a convection oven. Oh, my. Images of cremation just entered my mind. I couldn't do another one now. LOL.

      I learned several lessons from the experience. Laughter eases suffering. And I laughed.

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  6. I am so sorry Limner... It is traumatic on the best of days to be shoved in a tube and left there to suffocate while the operators talk about their husbands/boyfriends and drink coffee, then say, "oh yea...I guess I should turn this on...giggle". The last time I had one I had a hot flash while I was in there and pushed the panic button to ask for more air, they turned the air off instead. I started screaming, (while not moving so I wouldn't have to do it over again). They got the air on pretty quick :) After all that, the doctor said they couldn't find anything wrong. Of course not... that would take more tests, more money and three other doctors. Sigh. It is bad that you had to go back in so many times... there are exposure issues to having an MRI,I hope you are OK. I am sorry that you continue to suffer with your shoulder. Not that I have any idea what is wrong, but I do know that turmeric is a healthy alternative to "pharma" anti-inflamatories and that the essential oil lemongrass, (used with a carrier oil like almond oil or olive oil), works great for connective tissue damage and pain. I hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Dear Elle, I am so sorry. No one deserves to be treated like that. There are some sadistic people working as medical personnel. They think it's funny to see people panic. Yesterday the tech seemed disappointed that I didn't take a pill to get me through. I showed her that I was quite capable of being a patient even if she couldn't do her job properly. Endorphins do kick in, mercifully.

      I damaged my cervical spine and right shoulder when concrete gave way on stairs and the railing broke away. I'd grabbed it to break the fall . I went down 15 steps on my back, in a limbo position. Landed at the foot of the stairs and blacked out. The man who saw me fall just laughed and walked on by. Damaged discs, bone spurs, torn rotator cuff and a host of other bothers have plagued me since. Finally, Dr. M thinks he knows how to help me. Imagine losing feeling in your arms and legs, having spasms that take control of your pen or paint brush and . . . Back in the old days I'd have been labeled a witch or possessed. :)

      It's funny, I've been drinking turmeric teas a lot lately. Thank you. I wish I could drive. I'd buy the ingredients for your remedy. I am allergic to aspirin and NSAIDS. It's why I suffer so. Doctors are reluctant to give prescription pain meds.

      Now you guys know what ails me. I have a busted spine and right arm. Am in mucho pain every day. But I try. So, when I am behind in answering your lovely letters, it's because I cannot write so fast or long or well any more. Most days I cannot even brush my hair. See? This is why I keep it cut short. :)

      I might not be up to letters but postcards keep me in the mix. :)

      Thanks for the good thoughts Elle. Be well my friend. I haven't been able to plant anything this year. The grapes, rosemary, figs and flowers take care of themselves. :) I love Mother Nature. She's always on the job.

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    2. In their defense I don't think the techs turned the air off on purpose. I think they thought they were turning it up all the way and just turned it the wrong direction.
      I am so sorry to hear about your accident. Were you in a public place? Is someone being held responsible for the damage done to your poor body? Good grief! It sounds like you were in an earthquake! The person who laughed will someday find himself in a similar situation, (what goes around, comes around... not that I am wishing that on him...) I sure hope that he will find other to be more compassionate than he was!
      I wish I were closer, I would come and put your garden in for you! It is psychologically very good for you to have growing things around you!
      I hope that the doctor is able to help you! I will keep that in my prayers! For now, take a huge hug and know that you are loved! Elle

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    3. You're certainly fair, dear Elle. :) I misunderstood. The cool air in the tube helps. It give the illusion of open space.

      I fell down the stairs at our apartment. The cement crumbled from the salt used to keep the snow on the steps from turning to ice. I weighed 127 pounds so I slid instead of bouncing. LOL! I fell at the Museum of Natural Science in Houston a few years ago. I flew nine feet before I slid to a stop in the middle of the lobby. Girl, I drew a crowd. JC said, "One minute you were standing next to me. Next thing I knew you were airborne." :) The museum was at fault but life goes on. After my second rotator repair surgery I fell in the backyard. It was tug of war with a big weed in my garden. I promised not to touch it this year, so the only things growing now are perennials.

      You are a love! I'd give anything to have my garden going. All the new seeds stare at me with reproach and I look back with longing. The birds gave me a blackberry seedling. Ahem. You should see how it has multiplied in three years. :) I let them eat all the strawberries they want. I get such joy from your other blog, A View from the Cottage. Do you ever plant cover crops?

      I know, watching my little plants grow and reproduce makes me happier than shopping ever will. LOL. 99 percent of all the photos I take come from my backyard. All the worms, caterpillars, bees, flies . . . Are all local stars. :)

      Thanks for the good Hopes, hug and Love. I have a feeling my life is going to take a turn for the better with Dr. M. I am going to do big things when I am well again. :) When we send out Love it goes through us first, and it returns. We benefit as well as those we send Love to. So thanks, and Love you much, I do. Sincerely sincere.

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  7. Oh brother yes I do know how bad the MRI can be and how they tell me you are so silly when I can no longer bear those god awful machines or the people who operate them . My god I am not a pop tart for christ sake and stop being the toaster and yes I dont touch Mris anymore . they have to do ct scans because I cannot stand an mri at all anymore .my poor Limner , your lucy understands she certainly does and yes those horrible treatments we get from those so called funny people . hello go back to the comedy club we need you to be techs not comedians .... I hope you feel better today Limner my dear Limner ,
    Your always adoring Lucy

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    1. LOL! You find a way to say what I cannot, Lucy. See? Empathy is a good thing. Empathy is simply "Girl, I know what you mean. Been there, done it and moved into the Experience Corner." :) They give you the foam ear plugs then decide to talk to you. Small talk. Nothing important. The machines are noisier than poltergeist having a tantrum, even with the plugs, but some is better than none.

      I do have one other problem but it's not to be mentioned in polite company. :) I need to get dressed. Seriously, but what's the point? I have the rest of the day to drink tea and hug the bottle. :) All will be well, my friend. I am good as long as I can laugh at the situation and myself. :D Life gives me blog fodder and things to chat about with Erin. :)

      Be well.

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  8. I hope you're feeling better soon.

    As for the your experience, it's never too late to provide feedback. The hospital where I work takes customer comments very, very seriously, and you could have an impact by providing your thoughts on the, frankly, callousness you experienced.

    Sending hugs your direction.

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    1. Thank you, Maria. I look forward to my next appointment.

      I know. When I think about writing a complaint, and there are plaques on the walls directing you to the proper channels for complaints, I feel so tired. All this has been and is an uphill battle, but my family says complaining might help those who come after me. Thanks for reminding me that some companies do care. I will write a letter.

      All hugs are welcome, needed, and greatly appreciated. :) And returned. {{{Maria}}} Thank you.

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  9. oh Limner, talk about adding insult to injury! My lone MRI experience (on my head) was okay as far as those things go, but they almost had to start over because I started laughing. before we started they let me select music from their catalog to listen to through little headphones. pickin's were slim, but I settled on a Stones great hits compilation. What was the song that came up pretty much right away? 19th nervous breakdown. so hilariously appropriate I had to stifle my giggles.
    Your experience sounds positively dreadful. I hope today was the last of it and that the results will prove to be helpful to your healing.

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    1. On your head!!!??? Do tell.

      Lol. You got music? Wow. :) And such music.

      Thanks for the good Hope. I have such a funky life Karen. It's seldom boring. The trouble with it is remembering to appreciate the crazy episodes. I always ask WHY me? Mostly I just get over it. :) I still haven't figured out why I had to fall.

      Hope you are well. Your art is like magic.

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