Medical Fun

A while ago my right eyebrow started twitching. This was accompanied by a strange throbbing at the edges of my right eyeball. So I emailed one of my sisters who is a surgeon. In a deadly-serious reply she said that because the problem involved only one eye, I might be experiencing the early stages of a Thrombosynastic Uteloid (or something sounding like that). Basically, the main vein behind the eye might be weakening and one day rupture. Apparently this is not good, since the force of the explosion can make the eyeball pop out, which is embarrassing during sex.

The email listed a series of steps I should take and concluded with the words THIS IS SERIOUS, DO NOT WAIT! Doctors are the one category of professionals that I trust entirely and never second guess (unless they’re proctologists, in which case I always insist on seeing another for a second opinion). So I hustled off to a nearby medical center to get an MRI. The technician had me lie down on a sliding bed and then returned to his control console. When he hit a switch my body was fed into a long, narrow tube that was tight and claustrophobic. The machine then started making strange industrial noises that sounded like a trash compactor at work.

Today’s MRI is not your father’s MRI. They’ve been designed to distract you from feeling like you’ve just woken up from a Jello-shot induced coma and find yourself in a storage box down at the morgue. Among other enhancements, they have entertainment piped in. For my hour I chose to listen to NPR. When the show popped on, the NPR host was interviewing an author who had been kidnapped (perhaps by a radical group, but I’d tuned in mid-show). In a slow, shaky voice the woman recounted her harrowing ordeal: she spent days locked in a tiny closet that wasn’t big enough to fully stand up or lie down in. She ground down her fingernails picking at the wood around the door handle, hoping to spring the lock and break free. She thought she’d never get out.

I emerged from the tube an hour later with two new beliefs: 1) There are no such thing as coincidences, and someone from The Beyond was having their fun with me (Dad!). 2) Someone really needs to tell the MRI techs to stick to playing smooth jazz.

In the end it turned out that I just needed glasses.

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5 thoughts on “Medical Fun”

  1. Very funny. Question for you: My right eyelid has been twitching lately but I already have glasses. Thomas, does this mean I’m going to have an optical popitude incident? Quick, call your sister!

  2. Sheeeessshh! I am not at all claustrophobic, but I was having empathic claustrophobia (is there such a thing?) reading this, at the same time that I was laughing.

    If you, the writer, can evoke such contrary reactions in a reader, you have really accomplished something.

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