30 August 2012

Why I am flying back to America the next time I need an MRI

This blog post contains liberal amounts of swearing.  You have been warned.

Never, never, NEVER again am I getting an MRI in this country, I do not care what part of my body is falling off, it's not happening.

Some people are terrified of heights.  Some people are terrified of zombies.  Some people are terrified of being in a tidal wave.  I am terrified of all of those things, but I would happily make out with a zombie on the Empire State Building with a tsunami bearing down on me, as long as there were no needles involved.

I don't do needles.  I just don't.  I don't have a good reason to hate needles (unless being poorly socialized counts--thanks, former host mom!), I just do, with every fiber of my being.  It's not so much that I dislike them because they're uncomfortable and offensive on principle, my issues with needles jetpacks it over that line and into the realm of Absolute Blood-Curdling Panic-Inducing Terror.  I can't watch them on TV, I can't read about them in books, I can't see pictures of them, and I sure as hell can't experience them without epic panic attacks and complete meltdowns.  Heroin addicts boggle my mind, not because they're hooked on a drug that turns them inside out and melts their brains into glue, but because they play with needles all day and they're happy about it.  The upside of this situation is that I will never be a heroin addict.  The downside is that there are still needles in the world, and sometimes they come WAY TOO CLOSE.

As a child, I was that kid that took off screaming up and down the hall, required four nurses to hold her down, and could not be placated by even the most impressive lollipops.  One time after a doctor's appointment when I was nine or so, the nurse let it slip that I at my next yearly check-up, I would be getting a vaccine.  I worried about that shot every single day for the next year and  fell asleep on more than one occasion counting down the days until I had to go back to the doctor.  Unfortunately, this is not an over-exaggeration.  I don't fucking do needles.

I am still that child, except in a more adult body, which means instead of screaming now, I just cry if I'm not given enough emotional prep time. Vaccines I can more or less deal with, because I know what's coming and I have months before the appointment to mentally prepare myself for it.  I mean I still have horrible panic attacks where I start to sweat and I can't breathe and the whole world goes white, but at least I know it's coming.  In all of my life, there was only one time when I was okay with needles, as that was when I was lying in a hospital in Bolivia throwing up my guts.  It can be taken as a sign of just how sick I was that when the doctor told me, "We're going to put an IV in, you'll feel better."  I was like, "DO IT PLEASE."  So there it is.  I require either months of advance notice, or I just need to be that ill.  What you can't do is spring needles on me, because I flip shit.

Which is precisely what the MRI doctor did to me today.  I had already decided I disliked him on sight, just because his facial hair was awful, but when he threw in the "Oh, yes, hope you're fine with needles because you have to wear one," I freaked out, like actually freaked out and started crying in his office.  Tina does not do needles.  The doctor, and I quote, said, "After they put the needle in, maybe you should lie down for a few minutes.  You seem like the nervous type."  Yeah?  Fuck you, and the skinned hedgehog you glued to your face.

The nurses were equally as unsympathetic, although thankfully lacking in woodland creatures on their faces.  One who looked to be about seventeen, was a straight-up condescending asshole.  "Oh, just think about your last vacation."  "I didn't go on vacation."  "Where do you like to go on vacation?"  "I'm American, we don't fucking go on vacation and I do not want to fucking discuss fucking vacations when you're sticking a fucking needle in my fucking arm."  "I'm not sticking a needle in your arm.  I can't find your veins."  "That's because they're HIDING FROM YOU."  Then she stuck the needle in.  "There.  Now really, was that so bad?"  "Yes.  Yes it was.  And I hope a dinosaur sits on your rib cage and then asks you if it was really all that bad"  In case you were wondering, the nurses LOVED me.

Then I had to walk around with the needle still in my arm so that the dye shit would go down to my knee.  It was supposed to be for only ten minutes, but forty-five minutes later I was still walking around in circles, anxiety juices going absolutely haywire.  Finally they put me in a room and told me to take everything metal on my body off, including bra and shorts.  I was like, "Cool, where's the smock."  "What smock."  "...I'm not taking my pants off if I don't have a smock."  "What?"  "I'm not walking around in my fucking underwear."  "There's a blanket in the machine room you can cover yourself with, if it bothers you.  You can grab it when you go in." "Allow me to rephrase.  I AM NOT FUCKING WALKING AROUND IN MY FUCKING UNDERWEAR YOU FUCKING BITCH.  GO GET THE FUCKING BLANKET.  THEN I WILL CONSIDER TAKING MY PANTS OFF."  So she did, and I did, and then I got to sit in a giant machine for twenty minutes with a goddamn needle bouncing around in my arm every time the machine vibrated.  Then when it was over, the nurse tried to take the blanket from me, and I was like "OH NO YOU FUCKING DON'T."  "Oh, that's right, you're the one with the blanket."  Yeah?  Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on.

Then they put me back in the room so I could put my pants back on, and as soon as that task was accomplished, I set out removing the needle from my arm.  The nurse walked in as I was peeling off the medical tape  and was like, "Um, can you not?"  I was like, "Listen bitch, you take this thing out of me right now or I will."  She took it out.  I could finally begin to calm down.

The kicker of it was that there's nothing wrong with my knee.  Hedgehog Face was like, "Yes, well, you have a bit of swelling on top of your knee, but that's not where your pain is.  There's also a bit of inflammation deep in the center, which I guess could cause problems  But your knee actually looks really good."  So it's back to the specialist for me on Monday.

To summarize:

Needle+attempts at forced nudity=NEVER FUCKING AGAIN.  I lost most of what should have been a productive paper-writing day to this shit.  Never, never, again.  Fuck everything.


bevchen said...

I read that the Germans make you strip for your smear test as well, and don't provide robes. Why I would need to remove the clothing from the TOP HALF of my body for a smear test is beyond me... which is why I get mine done in England. It's not that I have a problem with nudity as such, just entirely unnecessary nudity!

Tina_in_Germany said...

Sweet baby jesus, I am never going to the German doctor again. I have major problems with nudity, which I blame on the fact that I'm American and we're prudes.