After a couple of frantic phone calls on my first full day home, an MRI was scheduled for Thursday evening (May 10) at Stanford and an appointment with my doctor the following day. There's nothing more frustrating than waiting around which is what I did on Thursday until I was checked in at the imaging center at 6 pm.
"Take off just your bra," the male technician said in a stern voice. I felt like a stripper. "What?" I replied. "Just take off your bra, " he repeated, and since there were no loose gowns to slip on, I took off only my bra, put my top back on and waited for him to escort me to the room where the machine was located. I scooted on to the table and laid down. The stabbing pain in my left shoulder, arm and hand escalated to what I would describe as a pain threshold of ten. The position I was put in compressed my already- raw nerves. All the fingers in my left hand were tingling like I had been connected to a wall socket. Tears ran down my cheeks. I wasn't sure I could go through with the procedure, but I really had no choice. I had to find out what was going on, so I could be treated and return to my ride. The technician was sympathetic. Obviously he'd seen patients in agony before, so he made some coil adjustments on the table and I made another attempt. The pain was still pretty bad, but not the same intensity, maybe an eight, so I shoved the rubber ear plugs in and said, "Let's get this show on the road." He proceeded. The next 30 minutes were really challenging. I tried converting the loud banging sounds the machine makes into some kind of tolerable rap music during the two to three minute intervals to help take my mind off the pain. His words "We're all done," sounded like a lullaby. I exited the tube and slipped off the table in a slump. My body ached. I felt 100 not 68.
Bruce put his arm around me and helped me to the car for the drive home. On the way, I told him to hell with the no sugar diet I've been on for a year, so we stopped at Rick's Ice Cream in Palo Alto for a double scoop of creamy chocolate chip cookie dough and yummy salty caramel. I deserved it.