Monday, May 28, 2012

MRI awkwardness :)

Today I had two appointments at Homolka, the hospital that's working with me and my knee. The first was my first physical therapy appointment. The lady was lovely, however, unfortunately, there had been a bit of miscommunication with my doctor. Weeks ago he gave me some pills and told me to take them if it hurt. I took that to mean... here are some pills that you can take if it hurts.

I was wrong. He meant take them. They were, and I was aware, anti-inflammatory. 

When I met with the lady today she looked me over and said I was still too swollen. SEVEN WEEKS AFTER THE FACT my knee was still too swollen so start PT! She was as surprised as I was, especially since in her mind I was supposed to have been taking those darn pills. She asked me about them and I explained he said take them if it hurts and while it was uncomfortable it wasn't hurting so I didn't take them. (If you know me you know I've had major pain problems and bad experiences with prescribed pain meds and try to avoid them when I can - but do take them when I need to). 

She couldn't do anything for me today so she sent me on my way pretty early. Too early, actually, as I had a few hours to kill before my MRI.

Let's skip all the in between stuff and jump to the MRI. If you go to Homolka for an MRI you should know it's not in the main building. It's downstairs, outside and around the back of another building down a little hill. I knew, based on past experiences, that the recepionists, while well meaning, don't always send you to the right place, so I got there very, very early. As in... hours early. And I was sent to the wrong location. Fortunately a very kind man escorted me through the maze,down and through the doctor's passages rather than the patients'. 

Once I was called in for my exam things took a Czech turn. Modesty, compared to the US, is non-existent. There aren't robes or gowns or drapes. Be prepared to strip down and walk around in your underwear, climbing on and off machines, so make sure you're dressed appropriately. I was, fortunately. I was cool with it until he asked me to take off my "breasts". My first reaction was to say sorry, but they're real, but instead I said OK and took off my bra - which was kind of ridiculous on the one hand as only my legs went in the machine and the metal bits of my bra weren't going to be affected, but was actually reasonable once I remembered how powerful those things are.

They're LOUD. As in ridiculous ear damaging loud. I had earplugs in and my ears still hurt - in fact, one still does now. Despite the volume the machine goes through different rather rhythmic phases. I've had a number of MRIs  in the US; in the past my head and torso have been scanned - I've been given headphones and some music and just chilled out. Today, there was nothing going on. So I fell asleep. The rhythm of the machine put me to sleep - I think having my knee firmly encased in some comfortable foamy thing helped as it was the first time it was comfortable laying down in ... seven weeks.

Anyway, I slept. For a while. I was in there for about 40 minutes +/- and I think I was asleep for most of it. Up until just before the end. And why not till the end? Over the volume of that monstrous machine and the WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP CHIGA CHIGA CHIGA CHIGA WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP CHIGA CHIGA CHIGA CHIGA  - over that earsplitting sound, I woke myself up snoring.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Five and a half weeks on & the first week of finals

I"m still on crutches. Yesterday I had my review and thought I'd be relieved of at least one if not both, or, minimally, at least the orthosis. Nope. No progress noted in the big scheme. I'm getting some mobility back but I'm still numb from the knee down and quite weak. Next real evaluation set for June 4 - MRI and PT both take place on the 28th but nothing will come of that until the 4th. My  hands hurt at the thought of walking down the street. I"ll be really happy when this is over. Since I don't have a car I either have to walk somewhere or pay for a taxi.  I'm becoming a bit of a hermit.

This has been a frustrating week. I've been trying to implement some positive changes for the students and the most flack I'm getting is from them! It's really hard to fight for something when the most resistance comes from those who will benefit.

The kid has her photo exhibit today and she's sick. Finals started two days ago. They finish up on Tuesday. I'm hoping that things will be more settled next week. I think there might be a certain level of anxiety in the air that seems to be contagious - almost every one I've come in to contact with this week has been a bit out of sorts. And the weather's crazy too.

This weekend is the start of the Beer Festival  - this year it's in my part of the city. There's also an interesting art salon in the gallery down the street. I don't know if I'll make it to either but it's nice to know there are options. And we're having lunch with our Bulgarian family this weekend - our friend just graduated from AUBG and is in town visiting family and celebrating - I'm really grateful we get to be a part of that celebration :)