Thursday, October 04, 2007

worst fear realized

I remember the first time i ever heard the words “spinal tap” (actually I didn’t hear them, not really, it was years and years ago when i read them in William Goldman’s The Color of Light when i was going through my William Goldman phase) but those particular words might just as well have been screaming at me the way they cringed right into the depths of my soul and made me hope to whatever gods there might be that i would never, ever have to have one of those.

But i also knew that, somehow, i would have to have one, at some point, just because i feared it so very, very much (yes i did throw in an extra very there, even though one "very" is overuse enough; i just can not stress to you enough the level of fear this inspires). Let me tell you of a little "party trick" an ex-boyfriend of mine would perform for his friends (he found this one particularly effective just when i was about to make an important pool shot): He would creep up behind me and place his index finger right in the small of my back which would produce a high shriek and one of those straight-up-into-the-air-cat jumps that everyone found so very humorous. I, however, would be in recovery for the next few weeks. For some reason, i can not stand to be touched on my lower back, especially the small of my back~it is like nails on a chalkboard times one thousand inside my body~i have no idea why. (i also have issues with my belly-button~one friend who believes in reincarnation {among other things} thinks i was impaled in a previous life~a theory to which i do Not ascribe)

Apropos of not much at all i also don't like to have my ankles touch each other or rub against things and used to have broken ankles right up there with my worst fears (like that scene from Misery was unbearable) but then i broke both my ankles at the same time and it wasn't as bad as i thought, so...

Actually the spinal tap was about as bad as i thought.

I don't bring up the ankle thing just to further illustrate my insanity (though that does make for more readability, no?) but to try and explain one of the major reasons i remain tattooless~the places i would really want one would be the base of my spine or around my ankles and aside from being passe i could not stand to have the tattoo done...

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. My neurologist, who i love, and trust immensely decides we need to do a spinal tap mainly because i might have to much spinal fluid in my skull causing pressure and pain (= MIGRAINE). Somehow, when i'm sitting in her office, i react to those horrifying words "spinal tap" with perfect calm and say "okay".

For my procedure i had to lie flat on my stomach on an operating table not on my side like you usually see on t.v. or in this pic (though a friend of mine said this is how they did his so maybe they do kids this way? i think it might have been worse to try and hold perfectly still on my side.) You can't take any pain relievers that thin the blood (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc) for five days beforehand (which is ever so helpful for headaches~and trying to relax) but i did take a muscle relaxant baclofen and a xanax i was still gripping the table and clenching my teeth intensely when they were just swabbing me down for sterilization purposes. The rest of it (an x-ray {which i really didn't understand was part of the whole thing~they said something about my spine was normal...} ; the Novocaine-like injection with the Huge needle {and i really don't mind needles~usually}; and then the long tube in which they sucked the fluid out) went on for about forty-five minutes FUN forty-five minutes. Then they tell me i have to remain horizontal for twenty-four hours which was not something they told me

when i had called beforehand to find out what i needed to know about the thing. Somehow i think that's an important bit of information to leave out...

So do i stretch myself out across the reference desk like some kind of 1920s chanteuse?

"How may i help you today?"

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