My week began with an early morning MRI. This non-invasive tech has existed for some time but until recently was verboten for me. I have a chunk of shrapnel in my neck, inoperable and resting 1/4″ from my spinal chord. The tech makes any ferrous metals (with iron) vibrate. Several years ago, doctors persuaded me that so much scar tissue had formed, it was unlikely to move or go anywhere else and it appears they are correct. But it still freaks out every technician, for they can clearly see it in the images.

I laughed out loud when asked if I remembered “what year it had become lodged there?” Fuck yes, I remember the day and hour.  I’m not overly claustrophobic but the coffin-like dimensions never escape my notice; I focus my imagination elsewhere.

So for about 40 minutes I underwent the drill. They’re searching for a nerve anomaly that is causing weakness in my left hand. They provide earplugs and stillness is critical. Intervals as short as 20 seconds and as long as 5 and half minutes proceeded to unfold…and the experience and sounds vary. At times, much like being sealed in a 55 gallon oil drum while someone beats insistently on the outside with a baseball bat. At times like being within a wondrous Wurlitzer pipe organ, the harmonics creating celestial sounds of beauty.

The last was the toughest and longest…it began loud and only increased. I was now restless and ready to go home. The machine generated this thunderous, unrelenting ump-ump-ump…and to my ears, I was being subjected to psychological warfare. Fuck waterboarding, imagine an angry mob screaming in your brain TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP… for about 5 minutes! I was OM-ing my ass off!

Hope they find something. No, not a brain, I’m pretty sure that’s still in there…but just barely.