Friday 8 December 2017
The world belongs to those who check
I read this sentence somewhere a couple of months ago and it's taken up residence in my brain. As I am a checker anyway - doors, windows, gas off, crossing off elements on lists, etc, the phrase made me feel comfortable with this odd side of myself - someone often rather too spontaneous in other ways.
Anyway, a couple of days ago I had an MRI scan booked in and I didn't check what I was supposed to take until late in the preceding evening. When I did look, there was all the stuff I had imagined I would round up: medical card, forms to fill in, etc, and . . . oops, a product that would be injected into my veins that I had to go and obtain from a chemist.
Arg. Scan at 10.30; not a good idea to turn up without the required fluid as there might be much sighing and 'c'est pas possible!' - ing, from some scary reception woman. Extra stupid also as this could well be some special thing that should be ordered. Why hadn't I checked? I'd thought about it a few times, but kept putting it off until way after shops would be shut. Some internal subconscious revolt perhaps? True, my memory kept presenting me with images and recordings of a small constricted place filled with resounding pneumatic drill noise - something I was not overly keen to revisit.
I drove to a pharmacy and the assistant searched out the required box, placing it on the counter with a frown. 'Madame, this is this bit here on the 'ordinance' but that bit there - we don't have it'.
'What is that bit' I asked. She went to check and didn't know but reiterated that they didn't have it. And then said I couldn't have the first bit as there was no signature on the 'ordonnnance'. 'But it was sent to me like that' I protested, looking a little wild as the scan RDV time was looming. After some more checking I was allowed the box without the other bit. I drove to two other chemists who also didn't have the 'other bit' and then to another where the pharmacist informed me I didn't need another bit as it was all inside the box I already had from the first pharmacy. Mm.
So, I did get there on time and the receptionist was actually really friendly, although there seemed to be some confusion over what sort of scan I was having and why I had an ordonnance for a box of blue fluid anyway. She went to check and nope, not needed, so I donated it to them in case someone like me hadn't checked what they needed to take with them, and took my place in the waiting area while trying to ignore the now vivid thoughts my brain was presenting of potholing and other claustrophobic situations.
'Huh? Oh . . . yes.'
I followed the efficient assistant to a changing room, removed all metal from my person, handed her my carefully translated 'histoire' of what I personally thought they should be looking for in my neck/jaw and then followed someone else to the machine.
Things have changed since the last time I was slid into one of these things some years ago. No music in the headphones (utterly useless as the drilling, whapping sounds overpowered all other noise by 100%); more comfortable, and there was a rubber HELP!' bell, which I'm sure I wasn't offered before.
Weirdly it was quite pleasant lying there analysing the different beats, rather like reclining after one too many mojitos in an (admittedly over-lit) techno dance club, especially as two of the medical team had a quick dance in the adjoining room that I could see into - hands above their heads, styrophome cups waving about as the pitch increased to 'donk, donk, donk, donk, don,don, don,don, do,do,do,do d,d,d,d, baaaaaaarp'.
I was removed, asked if it had 'passed well' - 'bien passé?' and shown back to the changing room.
Out in the reception area after a few minutes I was handed one of the large, beige, scan envelopes. 'No chat with doctor'? It was all in the envelope. 'Au revoir, Madame'.
Had they read my rambling notes? Possibly not. Anyway, there was nothing sinister noted, everything in the right place and no explanation for the trigeminal pains (see a few posts back).
This particular version of Trigeminal Neuralgia I negotiate around every now and then seems to be termed 'Atypical' or in fact, Atypical of an Atypical form, i.e no one has a clue what it is and/or what I can do about it, other than to smother it with fairly hefty drugs every day.
I'd rather just live with the attacks, and work out what's not good to do - another system of checking. It's rather like having a small sadistic personal trainer living within myself - check: don't drink coffee, not too much tea . . . oo, steady on, is that the third cup today? Very little alcohol, check: are you sitting in a good position, check: how long have you been sitting at the computer - enough. Get off your arse and go and do some digging/walking/looking at stuff long distance. OK, sorry. Yes, you're right. I was slumping and yes, it's time I got off this.
MIR scanner with its placid grey coating and one without. Might be more difficult to convince people to be slid into the second . . . and no wonder it's a tad noisy . . .