August 13, 2008

Step 1 - The MRI

My new, stronger pain medication definitely helped me sleep better. I woke up at 8 in the exact same position I'd fallen asleep in. The drawback to this is how stiff I felt, but then again, I think I would have been stiff regardless. I was planning to sleep in but my phone had been ringing so I checked to see who was trying to reach me so urgently. It was my orthopedist's office calling with my MRI authorization so I was immediately glad I'd gotten up. I jotted down the number and called the radiology center expecting to have to beg for an appointment this week. To my absolute surprise and delight, they offered an appointment at 7 p.m. tonight. I happily accepted and promptly went back to bed.

I woke up at 10:30 with a splitting headache, which I think is a side effect of the pain medication. It faded after being up for about 30 minutes. I got on a regular schedule with the meds today and it helped tremendously. I was able to move around a lot more comfortably and feel semi-productive. It lifted my spirits a lot to be up and around, even if only to sort through my mail and do basic tasks. I'm not a lay-on-the-couch kind of person so these past few days have felt long and depressing.

I had to venture out during rush hour to get to my appointment. I have to say, I was shocked and appalled by how rude and inconsiderate people can be. Here I am with visible stitches in my face, cuts and bruises, a big sling on my arm and walking with a pretty pronounced limp. Regardless of the obvious indicators that I'm injured and likely in pain, countless people slammed into my shoulder - the one in the sling, the one that's likely broken - in an attempt to get past me as quickly as possible. Even if they were just racing to get to the corner to then wait for traffic, they still felt the need to cut me off and practically shove me out of the way. Then a young girl and guy actually tried to beat me to a seat on the 5 train. I'm not looking for the sea of people to part in front of me and for people to stop and help me cross the street or anything, but it would be nice not to be plowed over while trying to walk down the street. I always clear the way for people who need a little extra room and I give my seat to pregnant, elderly or otherwise needy people on the train. I just think it's the decent thing to do, but apparently the feeling isn't as widespread as I thought.

The MRI was surprisingly quick. I was thankful for this since I was head first in the tube as far as you can go. I'm not claustrophobic, but the 4-inch clearance is a little daunting after 30 minutes or so. I had classic rock on the headphones to drown out the noise and pass the time and the technician couldn't have been nicer. Regardless of how relaxed I am at the beginning, about a minute into an image, I get the uncontrollable urge to move - wiggle a finger, take a deeper breath, shift position slightly. And everything starts to itch. I get this creepy, crawly feeling on my skin and by the end of the image period, I feel like Kate Capshaw in that scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where she's trying to get Harrison Ford and the kid out of that room and the bugs are crawling all over her. Luckily my longest exposure was only about 5 minutes.

I got to have a look at the images on the computer screen. I'm no doctor, but there is a jagged line across the part of my humerus that's suspected to be fractured, the greater tuberosity. The good news with a fracture in this part of the arm is that you don't need a cast and the healing time is relatively short. I was allowed to take the images with me - which explains the cool shot of them - so now I just need to get a follow up appointment with the orthopedist for the final verdict. Even if the news isn't what I'm hoping for, it will be better to know so I can shift my focus to recovery and rehabilitation. But I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for good news. It can't hurt to hope.


  1. Glad to see things are getting better. Be sure you are keeping hydrated and that might help with the headache. I know that works for me if I wake with a headache; 12 oz of water and it is usually gone in an hour. Hope your news is good on the read of the MRI.

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