Tuesday, February 23, 2016



Never heard of an MRA? It’s just like an MRI, except it is at the head of the torture list that begins in ‘M’. Actually Definition. MRA is a study of the blood vessels using magnetic resonance imaging.

Having a carotid artery that is about blocked as my dining with the President would be, my surgeon, Dr. Cutabove: sent me to a radiologist to get a read about just how blocked it is. I would rather have a heart operation in the middle of a trash room than have another MRA. Not knowing any better, yesterday I headed to the radiologist to have it done. It was a beautiful morning and besides the house needing my attention, as did my daughter in the rehab facility and preparing for another Board of Directors meeting this evening, I had nothing else to do.

Entering the place you see a sea of people that are all milling around their clipboards, filling out front and back. I go to the front desk and the lady behind the counter says: “I need your prescription, insurance card and form of I.D. So the prescription is tucked in my appointment book, the insurance card is tucked in my wallet, which takes about 3 minutes for me to find, which is shocking since it is usually in my way when I don’t need it and I took out my driver’s license. She will hold these documents hostage until I fill out the 20 pages of forms, both sides that she says I need to fill. With a clipboard, she hands me a pen and tells me to go fill it out, and don’t come back until I do. “The first half is already filled out on the first page, just check that it is correct.”

I return the forms while sticking the pen in my pocket and she then gives me more forms, the first batch being warmup forms for the big ones to follow. “Now take these forms with you when the technician calls you in. The technician calls me in!

Into this small room I go, and there sitting with me is a gentleman about my age, and like me, totally confused. The Teckie asks him what he is here for today. “I don’t know!” She says: “What do you mean you don’t know???” He shrugs his shoulders. I pipe in: He has what I have…” She looks at me and asks the obvious: “What’s that?” Me: “I don’t know!”

Because I was such a smart ass, they took me next. I walk into this large room with a bed like device, and this rather large tunnel that is sitting connected to the bed. I DON’T REALIZE IT. I am eager to lie down on the bed and get some rest while they did what they would do. Then it struck me, THIS IS LIKE AN MRI! I HATE MRI’S!

Being a big boy, and knowing if I cry they will make fun of me, I lay down, they stick me with an IV and I think: “What the Hell, why not?” Then they put ear phones on me, then rest my head in this cranial cradle, then slap down a cage over it and hand me this squeezer in case I want to panic. They think of everything.

Then slowly the bed recedes into the tunnel and you can just about breath, there is no way you can escape, the ceiling inches from your nose. (In my case maybe a little closer) Then the fun begins, as the machine begins to do its work, with loud banging and noises that sound like you are being observed by aliens. (I can make that observation based of some clients I had). This process takes forever, my mind thinking things it shouldn’t as a little bit of panic is trying to break through. I won’t give in, I WILL NOT CRY! No, and asking for my mommy is too late.

AS you go through this procedure, the temperature rises to add to your sense of being smothered to death, just squeeze the damned rubber squeegee and let’s get the Hell out of here. I will never see the light of day anymore I think. No more bright sunny days and fresh air. They will find me dead in the tube, with a bird cage on. Good bye world, my eyes squeezed tight, so long everyone.

I feel the bed as it moves forward or backward or where the Hell it was going, and finally at one point open my eyes, I am being transported back to the real world, alive!

That wasn’t so bad!


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