Thursday, November 14, 2019

Good Things do NOT come in small packages

One of the things you get used to with many diseases today is some kind of imaging - there are MRIs and Pet Scans (quite frankly I thought it would be wonderful to send my dog to the imaging - but that is not the meaning of the term).  There is also ultrasound.

I will admit it.  I don't like small spaces.  And as I have aged I am less and less willing to be in small spaces.   In our second house (in the late 1970s - which was built in the 1920s) I actually crawled into the space under the house and installed a very early type of wiring for moving sound and video to two locations in the house (Living room and master bedroom).  The space was so small you could not turn and had to scuttle on your back to get from one place to the other.

I have a good friend in Mexico who is a retired Psychologist who has said to me "we can fix that" - but somehow I think I like being idiosyncratic.  So in theaters and airplanes I always pick an aisle seat.  And I am not likely to do anymore crawl space installations.  Luckily our current house was built on a slab.

The first time I had to do an MRI was in Mexico - I had fallen on the street by tripping on a cobblestone late one Friday afternoon.  I went to the hospital in Queretaro and was told I should do an MRI.   The MRI moves you into a small and very noisy place.  (See image above) The whole process takes about 30 minutes - I thought one way to make the process tolerable was to count on my fingers the time - 30X60 = 1800 units.  I tapped them out on my fingers which were at my side.   But even that small amount of movement made my results unreadable.   When I got back to the US I learned that one can take a form of Valium and lose the claustrophobic reaction mostly.   So for all the procedures that required some kind of imaging I simply took a couple of pills and was relaxed enough to be able to get through the procedure.

Next on my list, after my third infusion, is a series of tests which include a Pet-Scan and an Ultrasound.   Both will give my medical team and idea of whether the Chemo is working.  All of the indicators seem to be positive from energy level (one friend said my cantankerous nature has re-evolved) and blood work.    I did the third infusion yesterday - and it went well.  I usually take an iPad to the infusion - and yesterday I watched Mutiny on the Bounty - the Brando version.  It is long and Brando throughout the film looks like he has been affected by a severe bout of foppishness.   The movie ends, a bit more than 3 hours after it started with Brando saving the sextant and then getting burned in fire and then the death scene with all the melodrama he could muster.   The true story of the bounty is much more interesting (


  1. I come from a long line of M.D.s - dad, brother, uncles, cousins, etc. My family is fond of promoting "better living through chemistry" which, in essence, is our way of saying that there are no brownie points for suffering when meds can help. I'm glad that you've found something that helps with the claustrophobia. I think I would need them also. Hoping for encouraging news from your scans.

  2. Marlon Brando is a mixed talent indeed. Bounty probably not so good. I never saw Missouri breaks but still want to. He is unparalleled in The Godfather pix.I think he overacts in On the Waterfront but hollywood disagrees.

    I just go to sleep in mri’s usually. But why they are so loud when this is just radiation (of various sorts) I have never been able to secure a reasonable explanation for.

    Hang in there==

  3. I agree, by the way, about The Godfather. One Jesuit I worked with held all three in highest regard. When he retired as my chair I was able to get a select Coppola wine with an autograph from Coppola on the bottle plus the Gold Three series set.

  4. I had to take pills too to get my MRI done. I didn't know I was claustrophobic till the test. Its not fun!!! But necessary.

  5. I can't stand that 'twilight' feeling pills offer so I got through the MRI by just paying attention to my breath (thanks to years of yoga), keeping my eyes closed, and a very kind tech who backed me out of that metal sewer pipe between each series. Luckily that teechnique also works for dental work and the occasional biopsy.

    Maybe it's something in the air but recently I've gone back and watched movies I had liked in the past. Funnily enough, the only one that didn't seem like so much drivel was Mrs. Miniver...clearly constructed as war propoganda...If she can get through it, you can too. Hmmm

  6. Do you know if an Open MRI is available? Here's an example of one:

  7. Your expansive personality doesn't serve confined conversation, much less an MRI machine. Arrgh. But you are Bigger than all of this, as you, rightly confident friend, well know.

    Did they give you a Lolly-Pop after?

    A beleated commentary on hair-loss, from one who is an permanent authority, is that, Buck-Up-Cupcake, there are actually quite a few advantages to baldness. One can be a proper dude and not attend to overmuch attention to morning mirrows. Shower. Towel. Done. Greet the world.

    Your (South-Side) Rector has been in a world of shit since your absence, though I am trying not to connect the two coincidental realities. You are totally missed by Woodward. Really, St. Paul's is Okay, and I'm getting a grip, but Fierenze with Quinlan and Thee would have made things much better.

    However, Tax-Man, my Tax situation this year offered wonderful consolation. Padre Jorge+

  8. I have had an MRI every three months on my brain for meningiomas, only had 13 brain surgeries since 2006. I got used to the MRIs after three years and now I go to sleep without drugs. My claustrophobia was the result of being locked in the cockpit for 16 hours from LAX to HONG KONG. However, we did have small bunks.

  9. I am like you, as I have gotten older, the confined spaces are less attractive. I opted for a meditation Nancy taught me, and of course the pills. No problem. I have seen MRI machines which are so tine. I wonder why they aren't used more. Hang in there. This too shall pass.