Tuesday, October 27, 2009

there but for the grace of god (m)

Today was a "red letter day" on my calendar....the MRI.  I shopped around the state of Massachusetts until I found a truly open one.....open on all four sides..... versus a larger tunnel as some call an "open" MRI.  Still, I woke up with a pit in my stomach.

For moral support, I dragged my brother Phil with me.  While we were waiting in the lobby, we saw a young woman in her twenties sitting there, watching television.  I asked her what she was there for and she said that her doctor recently discovered a spot on her liver.  She is a former smoker and very concerned.  I felt like a huge baby, dragging my brother to accompany me for a knee scan while this poor person had to go in the closed MRI, head to toe, with no one there for support.

Phil and I tried to distract her.  An infomercial came on for a jet hose...powerful enough to clean your gutters, wipe away grime on your aluminum siding and get rid of pesky dirt between the grout in your cobblestones.  It had that woodpecker's name all over it and I made note to put it on my Christmas list.  I said I thought it would cost about $99.  Phil and I turned to Laurie (the young woman) and asked her to guess.  She said "$19.99."  Actual price: $19.95.  Phil instructed me to get the bowl of Halloween candy from the receptionist's desk and have Laurie select a couple of pieces for her prize.  He told me not to even think about taking any for myself.  She seemed distracted enough and was laughing by the time they called her in.  There but for the grace of God go I.

I won't bore you with my little moment of panic as I was moved in towards the magnet.  Because of my weight loss, the fit was not an issue even though most of me was under the machine. One of the segments was 4 minutes long and I counted one short program in figure skating (2 minutes thirty seconds...I hummed the music); one thirty-second tv commercial ( Gillette: "The Best A Man Can Get") and one 60 second countdown (60..59..58..).  That helped the time pass.

My husband made dinner plans with a business colleague and his girlfriend who is from Peru.   Restaurants are tough for me in that you have to kill alot of time NOT eating. The woman was very nice, but her accent is thick and the restaurant was noisy so it was a struggle to understand her.  I asked if she had any kids and she said that her husband was killed in a car accident when she was 29 years old. She said she would have liked to have had kids, but life didn't work out that way for her. There but the grace of God go I (she was, however, thin and beautiful so I didn't feel too sorry for her).

I had to leave dinner a little early to run back to the Skating Club to pick up Harrison and take him to an evening appointment.  I parked in one of those multi-level garages with all the black marks along the walls testifying to the tight fit up and down the ramps.  I was headed to my car when all of a sudden, another car came careening up from the lower level.  I couldn't move fast enough and screamed for the driver to stop.  I threw my large purse in between my body and the car to cushion the blow.  He stopped...but not soon enough as the fender brushed my right leg.  My leftover swordfish took flight as did everything else.  I'm okay, but I really thought I was going to be killed.  There but for the grace of God go I.

Rattled, I got into the car, drove to the rink, picked Harrison up and took him to his appointment.  I sat parked along the sidewalk while he was inside.  I avoided the new Berry Freeze store (fat-free, tart frozen yogurt with fresh fruit toppings) which was directly across the street.  I'd like to say I didn't get the yogurt because of willpower, but at that point in my day I thought I would be tempting fate and probably would be killed by a trolley while crossing the street if I did.

Instead of eating, I put on an extra coat of bright red lipstick and fluffed up my zebra print black and white scarf.  My hair still looked a little wild from the trauma, but I was content to be safe in my car.

Harrison got in the car 30 minutes later, took one look at me and said: "You look like one of Pagliacci's clowns".

I didn't care.  I'm just happy to be alive and well.

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