Adventures in Imaging

I am sitting at the computer and struggling with chapter 9 of my book.  It covers over a 2-month span between major events, and despite (or maybe because of) my detailed notes I can’t pull together the minor details into stories worth telling.  I know there are stories there, but the events happened over a year ago now and there are so many other stories crowding my mind.

Naturally this means I have to do something to procrastinate.  In response to a meme on someone else’s blog the other day, I answered a question about x-rays I’d had and she said it was a lot.  I had only included actual x-rays, not other imaging tests, so I guess that means that list would seem even lengthier.

1993 or 1994, I was in my early teens and began having severe headaches.  When I finally had one that left me screaming uncontrollably in the middle of the night, my grandparents rushed me to the emergency room.  I remember nothing of this trip other than lying in the backseat as we went down the twisty road to the hospital, and being embarrassed that they took me there in my nightgown.  I don’t know whether they gave me some kind of medication or if the headache subsided on its own, but they did have us schedule some follow up testing: an MRI of my head and a carotid Doppler ultrasound which felt like they were trying to strangle me.  Nothing was ever determined about the cause of the headaches and they went away after that summer, but based on the timing I suspect they were triggered by exposure to too much chlorine while swimming.

1999, I was in my freshman year of college and taking a step aerobics class.  On the day before Spring Break I stumbled off of the step and sprained my ankle.  I ended up walking several miles on it to go to the local library before finally being picked up by my mom and taken home, where they insisted I get it x-rayed.  As suspected, it was just a sprain and I limped around in an aircast for a couple of weeks.

2001, I was in my junior year of college and doing some work for a local community theatre.  I had climbed up to “heaven”, the area in the ceiling above the theatre which served as storage for costumes and props, and when I stepped out on a beam to reach something my right foot slipped off.  I got two sets of x-rays this time – one on my initial ER visit and a follow-up set back home after the radiologist saw a suspicious line on the first x-ray.  This was also just a sprain, although worse than the previous one, so not only did I get the aircast but I also hobbled around on crutches for a few weeks.

2014, after many years of avoiding doctors, I was in a car accident and ended up getting x-rays of my right knee (which hit the steering wheel when I was trying to brake to avoid the accident) and chest (which got smacked with the airbag).  In both cases, I just had some bruising.

2015, I went to the ER after a day of abdominal pain and got a CT scan that showed gallstones.  A few hours later they also did an ultrasound to get more information in preparing for the surgery that I had a mere 12 hours after seeking help.

2015, I was in another car accident, this time hitting my left knee on the driver’s side door and getting smacked in the left arm with the airbag.  The ER doctor said it was unlikely anything was broken but recommended getting the x-rays for peace of mind, so they x-rayed my knee, upper arm, and elbow.

2015, a couple of weeks after the latest car accident, my nurse practitioner ordered another abdominal ultrasound because I had complained of some digestive issues and pain in the former location of my gallbladder.  I had my money on there being a gallstone left in one of the ducts, but it turned out to be fatty liver.  This doesn’t typically cause symptoms, but I’m “lucky” in the same way that I got symptoms from my high blood pressure.

This little off-topic jaunt has not exactly worked to encourage making progress on the book, so I guess I’ll procrastinate a little more with a snack of kiwi and some raspberries.


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