Wednesday, July 21, 2004

It's not the landing I mind so much, it's all this falling...

Yesterday I had the CAT scan (yes, I know it's a CT scan; in this house it is and will always be spelled as it is spoke: CAT.); first, I had to get an injection of a dye, which was a truly miserable experience; I won't make you suffer the details, but years of illness have left me with very little in the way of usable veins in my hands and arms, and those that are there are very painful to use.

Then they led me into the Star Chamber. First you lie down on the machine; then they put one of those puffy blue surgical hair-coverings on you (or as they are known in Canada, "le Duceppe". "You want fries with that?" I cracked wise at Husband, who was observing); then they put a fabric helmet on your head over that, kind of like the ones the Mercury astronauts wore under their helmets, remember, the black ones with the white middle stripe? Then they settle your head tightly into a snug little head-cup attached to the bed-part of the whole unit. Then they fasten a strap around your forehead. Then they fasten two more from somewhere behind your ears criss-cross across your chin and fasten them off over your shoulders. Then they wrap a strap across your chin horizontally, right to left, and secure it. Then they put a big heavy lead apron over your shoulders and entire torso. Then, they lean over you and say "Don't move!"

They also tell you to shut your eyes, which makes you think of nothing so much as how much you are not not going to be able to keep your eyes shut.

You are inserted into the machine (whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr) and there's a lot of thumping and banging of equipment which feels like being on a Tilt-a-Whirl or a Scrambler only in sloooooooooow motion, for ten or fifteen minutes, and you're done.

I didn't notice it, being a) too wound up and b) still in too much post-venal-assault pain, but Husband told me later the thing was just covered in massive garish "GE" (General Electric) logos. Oh well - their motto is "We bring good things to life" so I suppose it could be worse.

Today we went to see Dr. Henderson (Husband came along; at this point the information at the appointments is getting increasingly complex and, besides the moral support, it is very helpful to have someone who can converse one-on-one with the staff and clarify for me at leisure later). Dr. H. said the CAT scan is completely normal, which will be greeted by a healthy dose of surprise if not outright skepticism from some of you who have known me longer than others.

(No suggestions with regard to the tinnitus, unfortunately. I am still looking into acupuncturists, looking for someone local who is reputable and certified by the Canadian Association; I haven't had acupuncture since I moved here but it was extremely effective for me for both abdominal and toothache pain in the past, and I have found out it is used to treat tinnitus.)

Dr. H. also showed us the letter of response he has gotten from the Coclear Implant Evaluation Unit in Halifax; they agree I'm a very good candidate (yay!) but they want an MRI first (boo!) which has a six month waiting period (BOOOO!) but Dr. Henderson may be able to get me in in two months (yay?). So, in the end, it's still a waiting game.

I am trying so hard not to be impatient but the suspense of not knowing if I am permanently deaf or if this is just a temporary detour in my life is killing me. So far, I have been able to keep the whole thing kind of 'at arm's length' with the thought that it may not be permanent... but I need to know and, no matter what the answer is, the sooner I know, the better.



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