May 30, 2011
A little over a year ago I “bit the bullet”, as they say, and I finally went to find out how bad my hearing actually was, or, more appropriately, is, or should it be isn’t? Whatever. Anyway, in an effort to defy nature and not grow too old too fast I had been determined to put off the inevitable. I knew my hearing wasn’t good but I didn’t necessarily want to find out how bad it actually was either. I had been in denial because of the fact that growing deaf was, to me, another sure sign of growing old. That along with the sagging skin, the grey hair, the uncontrollable hair growth in numerous areas of the body that previously lacked any hair, the expanding midsection, the mid-night runs to the loo and many other indicators, too numerous to mention, which were also being ignored. But constantly saying “huh” apparently gets on everyone’s nerves, including mine, so I had to go through with the full investigation.
It took a year, but I recently got to see a specialist about my hearing, or lack thereof, to be precise. My hearing loss, to “the experts”, is unique in ways I am unable to fully explain. However in an effort for “the experts”, and me, to completely understand it I was sent to have an MRI done on my head.
First, it struck me as extremely odd that in an effort to find out why the hearing in my left ear had deteriorated in such a weird way, (and to also search for the reason for the constant ringing in my head, kind of like the ringing one would hear for a day or two after a good rock concert but mine just never went away and, apparently, not everyone experiences this), that they, “the experts” again, would stick you in a tube that emits noises at a 100+ decibel level to find out why you can’t hear. Huh? Sure, they give you hearing protection, but still!
For those of you who haven’t had the unpleasant experience of an MRI let me inform you that you haven’t missed a thing. They lay you down on a morgue-like table and clamp your head into Hanibal Lecter type head gear and then insert you into a claustrophobic’s nightmare of a place, (THE TUBE), and tell you to be perfectly still, like there’s an option, and then proceed to lambaste you with noises that one could only imagine originating in some science fiction freak’s mind, thus making you want to confess to numerous atrocities so the nightmare will end, all the while they’re giving you indecipherable instructions that nobody, good hearing or bad, would be able to understand, so then you think that maybe you’re doing something wrong or that they’re telling you, God forbid, the machine is on the fritz, or something, or maybe when the technician said, “Wumprh gnadelcrmf dnonble grmxlet”, she was really meaning “We’ll give you some ointment for that”, until they finally slide you out about twenty minutes later ending your terror and leaving you thankful that you haven’t messed yourself.
Yes, okay, you’re right; I may have embellished that a little. Too much literary license perhaps? Maybe the MRI will reveal my too-developed imagination. It wasn’t THAT bad, but it sure wasn’t pleasant either.
The second thing that I was curious about was what the MRI results would show. In between the squeals, siren-like blaring and horn blasts, I was trying to think of something, anything, to take my mind off of the procedure and all I could think about was what Dizzy Dean said after he got hit in the head with a baseball, which was, “They x-rayed my head and didn’t find nothin.”
“It takes about ten years to get used to how old you are.”- Quoted by Raymond A. Michel in The Leaf.