I had my MRI at 7:45 this morning. My friend Anne met me there (The Father Load was unable to come) and I am grateful for her moral support. I also invited myself over to my friend Meg’s house last week to vent and talk for a while. Thank God for good friends! Anne stayed with me while I got gowned up and they started my IV. Then I had to say goodbye and go down the hall with the nurse.
As soon as I saw the hulking machine and heard its humming my eyes welled up and I started to sniffle. Everything seemed frightfully cold and sterile. I desperately wanted The Father Load. The nurse handed me some headphones so I could avoid freaking the fuck out listen to music during the procedure. With her help I positioned myself, but it was no easy task since I had to go face down and plant my breasts into two ginormous holes. I lowered my forehead/face onto a hard piece of crappy plastic resembling a tiny toilet seat (which was ironic indeed because I certainly felt shitty). The best part was the giant ridge in between my boobs that jammed into my sternum. All this while keeping my right arm straight because even with a flexible needle, the IV still ached. I finally laid all the way down and the nurse instructed me to remain still as long as I heard loud noises.
Then the whole table slid slowly backwards, sucking me into its gaping mouth, and although I was face down and couldn’t see, I sensed my close, cave-like surroundings. Just as Aerosmith came on I started to think it might not be so bad, but then I heard something akin to gunshots. And they wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t even hear Steven Tyler. Tears came in a rush and soon the snot was dripping off the tip of my nose and it bothered me that I couldn’t move to wipe it. My own stale breath came back at me with nowhere to go except the shallow toilet bowl I was looking into.
Then I knew I had to separate from myself or I’d never get through the next 29 minutes.
So I closed my eyes and tried to think good thoughts.
I thought about when we snuggled in bed Saturday morning. The girls made a mommy sandwich, one of them on each side of me. Abby faced me, and I listened to the rhythmic suck, suck, suck of her thumb, and
the whistling of air through her nostrils. She flung her right arm over me and patted me gently as if she sensed I needed that. Izzy was curled into me from behind, quiet, the heat of her breath on my back, her cold feet on the back of my legs. There was no talking for a while, no fighting, just precious moments being insatiably in love with my little girls.
They need me. I can’t go anywhere.
Nothing is going to happen to me right now.
The machine’s noises changed and suddenly it sounded as if it was saying “benign,” “benign,” “benign,” over and over again, faster and faster. A high-pitched whinny.
It isn’t my time yet, I thought.
I remembered the girls’ first lemonade stand over the weekend. A milestone. More work for me, but it was worth it to see them flying to greet each customer, take the order, and run back, sloshing lemonade out of the Dixie cups. Red-faced and sweaty from the sun, we lined them up for sunscreen.