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Zen And The Art of Not Sneezing or My Maui MRI

Alright so here is the deal. I have been suffering from a headache since June 12th. It has not been constant but it has been there the whole time. Some days have been bad, others not so much. I however made the mistake of looking on the internet to find my symptoms.

Let me cover what most said. It is probably nothing but you could also be dead tomorrow. A slight exaggeration but not much. To further complicate the matter I have a dad who had several strokes and died at a very young age. My stress level has been ratcheting up all week. Last night it finally broke. I needed to see a doctor before I took a five hour plane ride over the Pacific.

I looked up some Blue Cross providers on Maui and found one that worked out of the Hyatt Regency. He was able to see me right away, fat lot of good that did. I told him what was going on and described the pain. His response was, “Well there are all kinds of different migraines that could be or you could have a brain aneurysm.” I thought for sure I had one in his office.

He couldn’t help me. He sent me off to the Maui Hospital emergency room where they could do the proper tests. The nurse who checked us in told us they were the best neurological hospital in the South Pacific. I told him that only made me feel better if they weren’t the only neurological hospital. He smiled and said they were but were still really good.

When I saw a doctor he ran me through a bunch of legs, arms, and head tests. I told my story again and he decided that we needed to do a CT Scan, an MRA, & an MRI. Oh joy! I was going to be spending my Saturday afternoon in a Maui emergency room.

They drew blood (twice because the lab messed up the first batch) and sent me to the CT machine. If there is a bright spot to the day the CT machine was cool. I felt like I was in an episode of the X-Files. When I told the technician that I was a teacher he burned the scan to a disk so I could show my classroom. I was happy to have it because now I finally have proof that I do indeed have a super computer inside my head.

The MRI machine was a joy. You can’t be claustrophobic on that sucker. Twenty five minutes of hearing it make loud obnoxious noises will drive anyone insane. Two funny things did happen though. I was about half way through the first short scan when I remembered that I had an implant in my mouth for the tooth that was pulled a couple of years ago. I told the technician and she was very happy that I hadn’t forgot something that could you know, kill me.

About half way through the test I felt a sneeze coming on. This would be a total disaster as they told me under no uncertain terms not to move my head or I would have to do the whole test over. I got very Zen like very quick. I didn’t sneeze and my headache almost went completely away. When I get home it is yoga classes for me!

All the tests came back fine and the doctor cleared me to travel. I don’t have a clear answer on the headache but I know that at least part of it was that I stressed myself out over the family history. It didn’t help that my head wouldn’t stop hurting this week.

I tried to keep a positive outlook on the whole thing because I knew that I would freak Sheri out. I told as many jokes as possible in the hospital and generally feel that most people couldn’t tell what was going on inside my head. On the outside I was calm and confident. Inside I was Jello. I was genuinely afraid. The rational side of me knew that I didn’t exhibit any of the symptoms that go with the really bad results (other than the headaches). The irrational side of me was howling at the moon like a crazed coyote. When I hypochondriac out, I go all the way.

I am happy to say that we still have tonight and all day tomorrow to enjoy Maui. I am defiantly feeling better and need to learn how to stay out of my own head. It’s off to dinner and hopefully a stress free night of sleep. Most people leave Maui with a souvenir t-shirt, I’m leaving with brain scans.

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2 Responses to “Zen And The Art of Not Sneezing or My Maui MRI”

  1. Chris Regan says:

    >Glad to hear you are okay. Hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation.

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