And, it was all so innocent, too. What I would love to say is that it happened while I was participating in some extreme sport, something daring. But it didn't. In fact, I was just...standing. That's all. You know you are old when you can hurt your neck simply standing.
I blame the entire situation on the bee.
It entered my home uninvited, after all, and, there I stood ready to leave. I didn't ask it to come in. Certainly, the screaming 9-year-old next to me did not enjoy its presence. It needed to leave.
"It's a BEE!" my younger son screamed, as if I didn't already know that. "What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?"
What was I to do? I'd lost the darned thing.
"Mama! A BEE! A BEE! A BEE!" he screamed like a girl.
With my phone and keys in one hand and the doorknob to the open door in the other, I raised my chin to look up to the ceiling just slightly, -ever-so-slightly, so that I could see that blessed bee, and then I felt a current of pain shoot from my neck down through both of my arms and into my hands that felt as though I had touched an active electrical wire, one that, afterward, made brushing the surface of my skin feel like someone was scrubbing an open wound that stretched across it. One that numbed my fingers.
Darn it all, it was also one that landed me in an imaging unit at 6:45 this morning so that I could have an MRI to see what my old bones were doing to my poor nerves. My poor, fried nerves.
"You aren't claustrophobic, are you?" asked my technician, Jeff.
He was a man--a boy really--one that made me realize that I wasn't so young any more. I realized this because, despite the fact that my hair was pulled back into this cute little ponytail and that I was wearing skinny jeans, Jeff, this man-boy, looked like a baby to me. How could he be old enough to have gained the education needed to be my technician? I guarantee that he missed the entire 1980s. I guarantee it.
So Jeff, my new best friend, guided me to the throne where the imaging would take place, talking to me as I followed timidly behind. Dressed in an open hospital gown and strange footie socks, I felt exposed. I kind of wanted my clothes back.
"This machine is very loud," he said while helping me onto the table and placing a set of soft earplugs into my ears. "Try not to get nervous. I'll place this ball into your hand so that you can squeeze it. That will keep you calm"
I looked at the machine, large and round. My perch completely prepared to be encapsulated in the impressive machinery. "So, people really freak out in this thing?" I asked in response to his precautions.
"On a daily basis," my man-boy said. "Please, don't worry. I'll be here to talk to you. Squeeze the ball. Listen to my voice. You will get through it."
A ball? For comfort? Jeff's voice? For comfort?
Well, Jeff, okay. If you say so. I was certainly out of my element. He might have been a mere child in my eyes, but he had to have some training to be in this lab. I opted to listen to him.
Dutifully, I reclined into position. I lay still, and I looked around me as my throne moved me backwards into the machine. It was a small capsule, tight-fitting and round. With the ear plugs in my ears, noise was muffled.
"Try not to move," I heard from...well, I don't know from where. It was my man-boy, Jeff. He had a secret connection into my capsule. He could talk to me, but I didn't know how.
He told me not to move.
That's right. I was lying down, inside that capsule of a machine, and I had been ordered to not move.
I had actually been ordered to lie down inside that machine, the machine that envelope me, that protected me from the chaos of life. And, there, I began to think, what would happen if my kids walked in right now?
Well, you all read it: Jeff said that I had to lie still. I had to be still. Inside this machine. If my kids walked into that room for some impossible reason, well, I'm sorry, it would simply not be my problem. Whatever plugs became unplugged and whatever machines became reprogrammed...whatever person became held hostage to a reptile monologue, whatever vacuum cleaner was suddenly pulled out from nowhere but was now running full tilt in the room...
...I'm sorry, that just would not be my problem. 'Cause at that point in time my man-boy Jeff told me that I was not allowed to move within my new cocoon. I had ear plugs in my ears. And, the test had started.
Loud? Did he say the test was loud? Would any of you say that this is loud?
I don't know. I mean, my man-boy Jeff ordered me to lie down inside of this machine. I was at his mercy. At the moment, I was not a mom. I was a patient told to lie still. I had ear plugs in my ears, and, well, this didn't seem too loud.
With at least 30 minutes on my hands, I did what any special needs mom in my slipper socks and hospital gown would do. I fell asleep. Yes. Yes I did.
This morning, I fell asleep while having an MRI.
"I'm sorry," there was Jeff's voice again, "but your arm just twitched. We'll have to do that test over again. It will take an additional ten minutes. I know it is very difficult to lie still."
Yes, Jeff. Yes it is. That is because I am falling asleep. What else is difficult is when your voice appears out of nowhere and interrupts that cycle. Could you please try not to do that?
"Oh, dear, there was that twitch again," I heard from Jeff. "I'm sure that you are nervous. We will need to add another ten minutes to the procedure and do this test again."
Drat. Another ten minutes due to my "nerves".
I frankly don't even remember the last test. I don't know if my arm twitched. I don't know if my friend Jeff finally gave up on me or not. I was out like a light in ear plugs, white noise and a place where nobody could touch me.
It might not be a traditional view of Utopia, but if it is one thing that special needs parents have learned is to adapt, adjust and find whatever works for the individual.
So, what's wrong with have a little shut-eye in an MRI machine?
I parted ways with Jeff, thanking him for his close attention to my well-being and happily switched into my street clothes. By the time I made my way into the parking lot of the imaging lab, the sun was bright in the sky. People were rushing about, anxious to start their days.
It was just a couple hours earlier that I, too, had started my day anxious to get to my destination. I had prepped our kitchen with our older son's lunch and snack bags, special food items and notes on how to cook for him. Medicines were prepared. I had notes everywhere--mornings in this house aren't for sissies.
I rushed into that imaging lab to beat the clock, and here I am refreshed from my secret nap. The clock doesn't seem to matter so much right now. If only it could be that way all the time.
I smiled and slowly walked to the car. Little Brother was waiting for me at home. We had a full day of home school today. Onward and Upward, my Friends!
This entry was written in response to a word prompt issued by the Group Blogging Experience 2 (GBE2): If Only.