Knowing that I would have to endure at least an hour of a claustrophobic situation yesterday, my motto was "Be cool."
I'm not sure how they keep managing it but once again my appointment was for the coldest day within the 7 day forecast. Not one of the oddly above average warm days, no, it's the days where the high is only in the teens and my appointments either fall well before or after that temperature would be reached. Bundling up for 11 degree weather is not so bad but I was avoiding wearing any metal except what my jacket had. My pajama bottoms, though sporting a cool series of vertical blue stripes, are on the thin side. Knee high socks help but not that much when it's that cold. Yay for heated seats and someone willing to drop me off and pick me up at the door.
I'd been trying to gauge how long it would take based on two past experiences that would now be combined, but I was dismayed when she said an hour and a half. "Are you claustrophobic?"
"Yeah, a bit. I've done this before but not all at once." Be cool.
I wore a different sweater this time, one that wasn't so bulky: a good choice as it didn't push against the sides of the tube I was in.
I know to relax my shoulders as much as possible before we start, and I also know it's never relaxed enough. "Just slide up an inch so you shoulders are against the headrest," the tech said. I'll just say that when you've recently thrown out your back, these are not words you want to hear. Ow.
The cage over me was bigger this time and part of it was resting on my chest which I really didn't like. It's easier to ignore confinement the less you can feel it. Be cool.
"Take a nap if you can," he said before leaving to start the machine.
I closed my eyes but they felt really jumpy. And then the knocking, beeps, and electronic tones started. The sounds vary widely and occur in spurts of varying length with few pauses. All they have in common is that they are really loud even with earplugs and foam blocks beside your ears. Not likely I can nap through this.
I focused on my breathing, keeping it slow and calm. Thank you, yoga.
I should have elongated my neck before we started because I felt like I was at an odd angle making it harder to swallow and periodically stressed out over it since I wasn't supposed to move.
I tried picturing a tropical beach: white sand, blue ocean, a palm tree arching in from the right, listening to the waves, the sand in my toes. But then I thought about the heat, how I always burn, and how I generally like the idea of a beach more than lying on one.
Considered and discarded: a large beach umbrella, a cabana, an infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
Next up my dream library. Red mahogany built in shelves from floor to ceiling all full of books. Can't have it be too dark though so lots of sunlight from skylights and windows. Maybe a view of the tropical beach, perhaps opening out to it.
"You're doing great," the tech's voice said through a speaker. "Are you doing all right?"
I croaked, "Yes," and made a subtle adjustment to my neck. My palm felt a little sweaty loosely holding the call button. The loud clicks and buzzes resumed. 8 more minutes to the first set, then another set, then pulled out for a contrast injection, and then back in for another round.
You know, I bet H would hate this. Well, I don't know if she's claustrophobic, but the loud sounds would almost certainly be triggery for her. But perhaps I won't mention that. On the off chance she ever needs this done, I don't want to prime her for a bad experience.
The library opening out onto the beach wasn't enough, so what next? Puppies!
The off-white puppies were absolutely conjured from the unrated version of Bridesmaids that I had just watched with my dad the night before.
Some things to note: I do not recommend watching the unrated version of Bridesmaids with your dad. Though I haven't seen the theatrical cut, I think I would have preferred it.
But back to my dad who said, "What does 'unrated' mean? That it's for everybody?"
"Uh, no. Think about it: Un. Rated. Use your logic." Once I was done looking at him as though he were crazy, I explained, "Unrated usually means that version of the film is more lewd and gross. Racier."
I should have stressed the gross more, but I still don't think he would have understood because he has no current frame of reference. He hasn't seen any of the now typical guy comedies that seem to hang their humor on grossness. He doesn't really watch TV so he hasn't even seen trailers for those types of movies.
He wanted to see the unrated version though and I was willing to humor him. Periodically during the film when he expressed shock at one thing or another, starting with the first scene!, I found myself just saying, "I told you it was unrated." I felt like he hadn't listened to me.
Despite that and the fact that Bridesmaids is clearly a film aimed at women, he laughed a lot. It did make me laugh but I enjoyed it more for its story about women from a woman's point of view. Though it's taken to extremes, a lot of the emotional content felt true to me.
I was trying to think of any comedies, excluding romantic comedies, that I'd really liked since they aren't typically my thing. I came up with Sister Act, Sister Act 2, and The Blues Brothers, all of which could be classified as musicals rather than straight comedies. So I don't know. It's an odd genre. Ooh, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Anyway, I was grateful for the image of the puppies.
I also thought of Maru, Japanese cat and internet sensation. I wasn't picturing his coloring clearly, so I imagined him sprawled on his back (as he often does) and giving him a belly rub. When I lived with a cat, belly rubs were stealth affairs, both brief and fast if I didn't want to get scratched. Being imaginary though, I gave Maru a good long belly rub. Belly fur is so soft!
I need another fuzzy hoodie, one without a zipper. It'd probably be better without a hood for this too. A fuzzy sweatshirt to pet would be comforting. I wonder if anywhere has those. Hmm, what color to get? Another blue? No, maybe red if they had a good red.
All in all, it took 1 hour and 13 minutes from the time I walked back to the time I walked out. Though it ran shorter than the predicted hour and a half, I was at my threshold for remaining still and in a confined space. As the table rolled out, it took all my patience to wait for the tech to come in and remove the cage over my head even though it only took maybe 3 minutes before I could sit up.
Might be time to invest in a pair of warm sweatpants if I could find some without much elastic.
And how was your Sunday? If you see a fuzzy sweatshirt anywhere, please let me know.
5 years ago on TTaT: Other People