At this point in the game, my symptoms are still the left side numbness as a constant and the right side less numb and not as constant as the left. I have a heavy foot when I walk and my short-term memory is pretty much in the toilet. I get tired very easily and the fatigue is a killer. My balance and coordination suck as well. I also experience more mood swings and anxiety. The best part is the shooting pains in my feet and hands (the pain jumps from 1 to 8 instantly, sometimes even worse), and I recently started to have blurred vision periodically as well as I can get periods of being very shaky.
Next up was three hours in the MRI tube and that was rough, it is more like three hours in the tube of isolation. My smart-ass side of me would say it was like the old Get Smart Cone of Silence. I entered the room and the tech ushered me to a room with lockers and told me to remove my clothing and put on the gown to ensure that I have no metal on me. When I was with the technician getting my”pep talk” prior to the procedure, I was told that he would be talking to me throughout the process, and halfway through he would pull me out and inject contrast into the line, and back in I would go. Well, that was a bald-faced lie, not one single word from this guy.
This was my first time in the tube and let me tell you the only thing that kept me sane for those three long hours was a small speck of dirt on the top of the tube, just in my range of vision, if it wasn’t for that speck of dirt, I would have surely freaked out. I remember him giving me the button and telling me that if I need out, I just had to press the button. Sure, that is the easy way out I thought, I’m tough I can take it. Sure enough, I think my brain wrestled with my subconscious the whole time fighting back and forth. “Just press the button and you can be done”, “nope, don’t be a pussy, suck it up”, “but press the button and we can go home”, “but if you press the button, you have to start over”. Then after a while, I forgot about the button and the worst started to run through my head, thoughts like how long have I been in here, it has to be longer than three hours, I mean what if the building fell down around me, hell I wouldn’t be able to hear crap with all this clinking and clunking going on. What if the building caught on fire, I mean how long would I be strapped here going through this hell until someone found me? OMG, just press the freaking button already. If you have claustrophobia then the closed MRI tube is not the place for you, even if you have just a slight touch of it, avoid the MRI, you have been warned.
I think what saved me was just about the time I had about enough, suddenly the machine got quiet and the table I was laying on started to move, what is going on, you freaking mean I’m only halfway done with this shit? When I can see light I see the tech and he boldly asks me how am I doing. I asked, and we only have way done and he said no, I have to inject the contrast and you have like 15 more minutes left. I thought to myself I can do 15 more minutes like a boss. Once the test was done, I was allowed to dress and escape that medieval torture chamber and hopefully never have to repeat that ever again.
But when Dr. Doogie got the results from all the tests, they came back as “inconclusive”. Dr. Doogie diagnosed it with Conversion Disorder just like Dr. C did earlier. OK, time to stop this bull shit, I’m not getting anywhere, time to find a new doctor and Doogie can pop his cherry somewhere else. Nice vintage leather bag by the way doc, but playing doctor doesn’t make you one, I’m out of here. It was after that we discovered that he wasn’t actually in our insurance network any longer, gee, thanks for the larger bills doc.
Around this time the right side started to kick in, I mean why does the left side get to have all the fun, right? That was a rough period for me, I was trying to come to grips with all this and things were really changing for me. There would be periods of time when I would have to walk with a cane for a few days as my left leg was very weak and painful. That was the time when the phantom shooting pains, mostly in my right foot and left, started. These were some of the worst pains I had felt to date and as I stated before I have a high tolerance for pain, but these pains would make me cry.
I remember saying to myself screw this and I threw the cane in the trash, only to be quickly recovered by my son and put in the hall closet. I was done being a wimp and requiring a cane. That is not how I was raised and that is not the Marine Corps way. If I was still in the Corps, the Navy doctors would give me some Motrin, and a bottle of water and tell me to suck it up buttercup.