Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

February 9, 2011

My time in a coffin

The walk into the hospital last night was a nice distraction, a puzzle of sorts, or a maze maybe? If you find the MRI department you win a prize!! The Prize? Well, that was the sucky part... you win an MRI. The Little man that came to get me was pleasant enough, though flirting with my mother, when in my opinion he should have been flirting with me! :) My Mom is beautiful,  no doubt about that, but I AM THE PATIENT in need of buttering up!

So, I am forced to remove all my earring's... there is a lot, this was a process. I wouldn't budge on the nose ring... it stayed! I took my pill like a good little girl. Then they gave me that stupid gown, you all know the one I mean, with the open back that leaves you shivering when they are wanting you to be still?! So silly. However I complied. I figured the nicer I was, the nicer they would be... although they weren't nice enough to find some other way of getting the images they needed.

The little man left, and my Mom and I had time to chat, she told me to imagine having all the money in the world to buy any photo equipment I wanted... where would I shoot? What would I shoot?... something to consider while in the MRI. I popped a second pill, I didn't think the first would be enough. The little man came back... it's time.

I have had a number of surgeries, I suffered pain, real agonizing pain and I survived it without too much issue. This was worse than going in for a surgery that I knew would end up with HUGE pain (a C-section springs to mind)! My mind was going in circles, I wanted to come off as strong, stoic, fearless... it didn't happen. They had my lie down on the bed, gave me a cloth for my eyes, put a warm blanket on me then they strapped this box onto my head.... very close to my face... when I put my hands up to get it off it was locked in place. 

'Photo shoot, breathe, where? Venice, bridges with couples snuggling in watching the gondola's slipping by...'
They woman in the ear phones talks to me.. they are about to take the first image, don't move... in my head I realize I can't move, my arms are pinned on either side, only my legs can move.. breathe...
'Photo shoot... a meadow in the Alps, dancing little girls, flowers tucked in their hair, smiles, laughter, falling down... '
Next image.. you okay in there? My hearts is ramming so hard against my chest I feel like it is entirely possible that it will pop right out of my chest. How am I okay? I am in a coffin, having images taken of a brain that I have grown attached too, a brain they are scanning because there may or may not be a problem... breathe...

'Photo shoot... the rolling seas of Hawaii, night time, a luau in the distance, people dancing, lovers sneaking a kiss on darkened beach... catching the intimacy of the moment but not becoming a part of it... standing on he fringes, seeing the beauty, even longing or the romance of it but fully partaking...'
This next image is 5 and a half minutes.. stay still. Frustration is clawing at me. The double dose of sedation is keeping me calmer now, I am able to stay longer in the moments, picturing all the tinier details, the lighting, the lens, the faces, the trees, the shadows, the wind... an then there is this voice who keeps interrupting me, bringing me back to he horror of the box.. this cave that I cannot escape. I want to scream shut up but my fear of confrontation prevents it. Instead I become fully aware of the box, I feel the sides of the holder they have me in, I feel the closeness of the box around my head and I remember that it's locked in place, the warmth of the blanket has left and I am chilled, I open and shut my hands and remember that I have to be still... I can't move, I can't get out...

Breathe... I can't think of a photo shoot... where would I go? Who would I shoot? Nothing... my brain is a fog and the medication isn't helping me to focus, I am blurry and fuzzy and it dawns on me... I am high. This is 'high'... my urge is to giggle?! Really? I am in a tiny box from which I can't escape and my urge is to laugh? I think on this for a few moments before that dreaded voice comes back to remind me that yes, it's a big box, you are strapped in, you can't get out. This is when something new dawns on me...

How rare is it to actually be fully in the moment? How many times do we go through life thinking about what is next, where we have to go, what time we need to leave, who we need to email, chat with or facebook... what we want to do for our holidays, a coming birthday, Valentines Day. We live in the next moment, rarely taking time to sit in the present. This MRI, as heinous as it was, it was keeping me in the moment. I was feeling everything, I was fully aware of my body, fully aware of my fear, fully aware of the woman in the earphones, fully aware of the reason I was there. There was no getting out of that present, no matter how hard I tried to to escape. I had to live in the present for that 30 minutes.

I won't do it again unless I totally have to... but looking back I learned that maybe I should be living in the present more, so that those moments are not just painful scary ones, but the pleasant ones too. The moments with Kaleb snuggling me, or Josh giggling with me... instead of worrying that I am taking time from work, time from the dishes, the laundry etc. Just enjoying the good moments when I get them, and appreciating them for what they are.

All this to say that I am glad I didn't yell at the woman in the earphones, if not for her I would have missed the moment and had nothing to really blog about, other than Venice, Hawaii, the alps and all the shots I could have gotten... :)