Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;–Edgar Allen Poe
Oh, I’m not afraid of the being trapped in a tube (besides, I’m having an open MRI), and I know it won’t hurt. I’m afraid of the contrast they will shoot through my veins to see the image of my brain–afraid that it will find something there, blocking its way.
Okay, before I go being all dramatic–a little background.
First of all, the last time I had contrast shot through my veins (during a routine cardiology test), I passed out cold. And all the doctors in the room acted confused when I woke up, like it was really odd. So there’s that.
I spend much of my time these days writing medical websites for hospitals all across the country. Apparently it is all the rage in hospital marketing to pay someone to re-write perfectly good website text (I’m not complaining). The goal is for the text to be informative and compassionate, and I’m down with the compassion thing. But in order to become informative about things like Syndromic Craniosynostosis and Cervical Cancer, I interview doctors who specialize in these fields. In the process, I get to hear about all the horrible things that could happen to me or my loved ones. Some things are better left to the imagination.
Aside from that, recently Cate’s ballet teacher was diagnosed with leukemia. She is young, devoted to her students, and one of the kindest and most pure-hearted people I have ever known. And yet each day, I read the Caring Journal entries written by her cousin and find that Cate’s teacher is suffering even more. She is enduring the unthinkable.
I’m not telling you all this to depress you. I swear. It’s just that I can’t help but wonder–why should I be okay when all these other people are not okay? Although I fully expect the results of my MRI to show what my doctor already predicts–a herniated cervical disc–a part of me can’t help but wonder why I get off the hook so easily, when others do not.
A big part of me can’t help but wonder if I will pass out again when they inject the contrast. Not from any medical problem, but from fear. And then my imagination is running away from me–sprinkled with truths from the many physician interviews I’ve conducted–and I know this is ridiculous. I know I’m not going to die of fear.
Rather, like Edar Allen Poe, I’ll live, fearing death. But just until Monday….then I’ll be back to worrying about stupid, every day stuff, like laundry and what to fix for dinner.