Patience is a Virtue

Last Thursday, I left you all on the edge of your seats awaiting with baited breath to find out the results of my MRI, which was scheduled to be done tomorrow. As I indicated, the prospects of what could be wrong with my knee was weighing heavily on me, the glass being half empty and all.

On Friday, sometime around 10, I got a phone call from SimonMed, the imaging place that was going to do my MRI. If you can get here by 11, we can get you in for a 11:15 appointment to do the MRI today. Hallelujah! I had no sooner hung up when my phone rang again. It was my orthopedic doctor’s office. We can give you the results of your MRI at a 1 o’clock appointment today, they said. Hallelujah, once again! All of that meant that I wasn’t going to have to spend the weekend worrying about my health prospects.

I grabbed Bill by the shirt sleeve and dragged him to the car to head to SimonMed. The office that could do the MRI was located a half hour from my house. I probably drove by six or seven other SimonMeds to get to the one that could fit me in at 11, but never mind that. A weekend of no stewing about my health.

I have had many kinds of tests and procedures in my life, but I have never had an MRI. The PA in the doctor’s office had assured me that I wasn’t going to be completely enclosed, that, in fact, my head would be sticking out. That was good news as closed spaces and I don’t get along very well.

Soon I was in the imaging room with my leg situated such that it couldn’t possibly move even if I tried. The woman who got me situated was uncharacteristically unpleasant. I say uncharacteristically because my experience with the many, many, many CT scans I have undergone to diagnose my bowel obstructions have all been positive. Well, as positive as you can be when you are being stuck into a cylinder in which you will be shot with massive amounts of radiation. But the technicians have always been kind. This woman was not kind. She was crabby. I did manage to get her to growl out a 15 minutes in response to my question about how long it would take.

And so the procedure began. There was no clock to check how much time was passing. So I decided to say a rosary. No beads, of course, but I can count to 10. I chose to say a rosary because it would distract me from the incredible noise that the radio waves make (ear plugs they give you barely make a dent); it also would help me keep track of time because it takes me almost exactly 10 minutes to say a rosary. Believe me, I have said plenty in my life and I know this to be true.

After I finished the rosary, I still had five or so minutes to kill. My mind drifted to all of the episodes of House I had watched in my lifetime. It was always while Dr. House’s patients were having the MRI that all hell broke loose. Blood gushing from their ears. Eyeballs exploding. Seizures, always seizures.

Just in time to prevent a complete panic attack, the surly technician came in to free my leg, and sent me rushing off to the orthopedic doctor’s office to learn the results.

The MRI showed that I have no life-threatening ailment with my knee. I have an inflammation in the calf muscle that goes up to my knee and separates into two around the knee cap. A muscle strain, treated by just exactly what I’ve been doing: ice and heat, compression, ibuprofen, and patience.

And so, I simply need to be patient. It will be, my friends, a work in progress, and patience isn’t my strong suit, I’m afraid.

 

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