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6/12- Test Day

“You might feel like you’re wetting the table,” the nurse said to me.

“You mean it’s going to feel like I’m peeing on myself?” I clarified. Shocked that at 38 I had a legitimate reason to ask that question.

“Yes, peeing on yourself,” the nurse replied, further cementing this as one of the weirder conversations of my life. “But don’t worry, you won’t be.”

Thank you for believing in me? I guess?

The reason we were having this conversation was because they were about to shoot dye into my veins to make the CT scan I was about to get more effective. Yesterday was test day. I went to three different rooms before I found the right one. Each time they sent me somewhere else I felt a little less sure of my own sanity.

After the CT scan I went back into the waiting room. Of course HGTV was on, and I got caught up in the saga of a Seattle couple buying a home with a budget of $900,000. Meanwhile I’m checking my Chase App to see if I can afford to get out of the garage.

After the Seattle couple decided on the Craftsman house in the northwest suburbs, the nurse called me back for the MRI. She told me to put on my gown, and then this second gown over my first gown like a coat. That was good advice considering this was a day I had decided to go commando.

I took off my shirt and my IV was leaking. Blood was dribbling down my arm so they got some gauze and cleaned me right up.

I got into the gown, slipped the other gown on top, and walked to the end of the hall. The MRI technician put a blue cap on me and told me it would be another 8 minutes. She apologized for the delay and handed me a complimentary parking pass. Thank God for small victories.

They say the clothes make the man. Well my gown wrapped around another gown with a blue cap ensemble was making me feel insane. I looked down at my blue footies. 8 minutes turned into 15. The tech asked me if I wanted music. “Jazz,” I said.

Always jazz.

She brought me back and strapped me on the table. The music started as I slowly went into the tube. It was “Flamenco Sketches” by Miles Davis. His trumpet soared over the shaking and the pounding of the MRI machine. And when the MRI would stop, the music sounded more glorious than ever.

It made me think of artists. We create in the face of the noise. Like shouting from the top of our lungs as a plane goes by, or spitting in the wind. We do these things in spite of everything around us and sometimes, on those rare occasions, the shaking stops, and we’re still singing. Or dancing. Or spitting.

And then… boom. The MRI tech tells us to hold our breath, the shaking starts again, and and we go back to screaming in the wind.

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