The Nothing Report

I thought this was going to be even less than it is, as a week after undergoing the MRI the report still hadn’t appeared. Then it showed up Sunday morning, which seems odd but what the hell.

It says nothing.

It uses a lot of complicated words and two pages to say it, which is typical of the medical profession.

What it doesn’t say is “you don’t have MS that we can see”. It also doesn’t say “aha! THAT’S the problem!” It doesn’t even say “something odd there, we’d better run some more tests”. You know they’re really sick of you when they don’t want to run more tests.

What it does say is there are some minor disc protrusions that aren’t significant and one other anomaly that doesn’t really indicate anything. What it does say is “you are still screwed and we still don’t know why”.

Without a label to put on this thing there’s nothing to blame and no predictability to the future. “You’re going to continue to have bad days” isn’t much help. Well I can make a short cut there as I can’t remember when I last had a good day. This lack of diagnosis has gone too far, and it’s going to trigger more arguments.

Meanwhile on my left foot there are a couple of toes in trouble and I don’t know why. Too much time on my feet? Feet too tired to take the time on them? What do I do? I don’t know. There has been extra strain without having my wife around to look after animals and handle whatever she can. I doubt I can convince her we need less activity in our lives, or a different kind. Yet that seems the only thing that will bring any form of relief.

Yes, I’m still screwed and don’t know why and have no possibility of finding out why, much less doing anything about it. They’ll stick a generic “chronic fatigue” label on me and tell me to go away. That’s what every doctor has done so far; given up.

Maybe I should give up. Life has got too hard already and there’s no chance of that reversing.

MRIonday.

It was actually Thursday, but I save this stuff up for Monday so no one has to look at it.

It was actually Thursday evening, because once they get the MRI machine revved up they keep it going as long as they can. So I drop off the dogs and make the 2+ hour drive into the heat of the Big City. Really; it was like passing through the gates of Hell. Always warmer there than out in the high-elevation country where I live.

Tried to do some shopping on the way to the motel, but the stores weren’t having it. In fact I discovered that one of my favourite snacks is no longer carried by anyone. Why? Because the universe doesn’t like people being happy so it does everything it can to make us miserable, like taking away any small pleasures we might have.

Check in, watch some TV, marvel at how awful it still is and congratulate myself on not having any form of TV service for years now. Not only do I not miss it, there’s nothing to miss. Newton Minnow thought it was a “vast wasteland” decades ago. He had no idea just how inane it could become. 500 channels of pure video dross.

Eventually I wandered over to the hospital and made my way to the MRI department. After hours service is a bit dicey, as there’s no one around to direct you except the cleaning staff. Fortunately this hospital has really good staff at all levels. In fact I’ve only ever encountered one bad employee there, and she got fired. Well I barely had time to catch my breath (literally) before it was time for the test.

Turned out they were going to use the dye, which explains why they tested for creatinine; to make sure my kidneys work. They do, after a fashion. Then into the machine!

Now, they warn you about it being claustrophobia-inducing. No problem. They warn you about the noise. No problem, although the ear plugs they give you do little to alleviate that situation. They warn you about having to lie as still as possible for an hour. Ah, a small problem when you have muscles that act independently, but I can cope. They don’t warn you it’s bloody boring!

Beep! Boop! Tweet! Ratta-tat-tat! Gronk! Gronk! Zing! Loudly. For half an hour. Lie still? Kind of hard when the whole machine is shaking from the noises it makes (actually the noise is from the shaking). Then they stick the dye in and do it again. I’m pretty sure my hearing hasn’t recovered fully yet. There’s room for improvement there, as the noise is a result of vibration induced by the magnetic field. In non-engineering terms, the thing is trying to shake itself apart.

So we have this test which manages to be annoying and boring at the same time. If that isn’t a triumph of technology, what is? In fact it’s a metaphor for society as a whole. One which can be extended to the results which are neither forthcoming nor positive. I expected I’d see them come up on my e-health report, but not a word so far. Well, it is the weekend. When I finally do find out what they found out it will probably be nothing. I have every confidence the trip was a waste of time, effort, and money – just the same as always.

Anyway I didn’t sleep well that night. Messed up schedule and all that. I could have taken a pill, but didn’t want to make the drive back while hungover from the medication. Instead I got up and got out of the city and got back and … failed to get a nap in. Now I’m feeling extra sleep-deprived which I already had enough of to begin with.

Also I’m on tenterhooks waiting results I’m pretty sure won’t be helpful.

The city may be hell, but life is limbo.