(read: pain-in-the-ass)
Appointment: 02/19/02 @1:00 pm

The Day Before: The doctor reiterates the severity of the problem on hand. He prescribes narcotic painkillers, stronger muscle relaxants and sleeping pills. At 4:00 pm, I take the narcotic painkiller and muscle relaxant. At 4:05 pm, the world starts spinning around me.. spinning at 186,000 miles per second. I use up a huge towel to wipe away every single drop of sweat that my body was producing at a rate of 100 globules of sweat per second. Even horses don't sweat this much. The palpitations were the next step followed by frantic phone calls to the doctor, who (very conveniently) couldn't come to the phone as he was "with another patient". I laughed/cried at the news. I became hysterical. I ran around the house holding onto my head (thinking all the while it was going to fall off). I sighed and moaned and groaned. I crashed on the couch. Unfortunately, neither Ma nor S was at home. A tried to comfort me. He turned the air conditioner on high cool and set two fans on high, rotating to cool my whole body. It still didn't help. I fell asleep out of sheer fatigue, waking up every now and then to see if I was alive or if I was having an out-of-body experience. Funny. At one point, my body was burning so bad that I thought I was going to be a SHC freak. Eventually, I realized I wasn't going to die. A few words of thanks to God and I was happy. The problem was I could not stand or sit for longer than 5 minutes. If I didn't lie down, the whole spinning saga would start again. So, after dinner and some email checks, I finally gave in and crashed around 12:15am.

An hour before: I opened my eyes. I saw the time. I closed my eyes. FUCK! It was fucking 12:05 pm. It was afternoon. It was only 55 minutes before my appointment.
Brushing teeth......= 02 minutes
Shower...............= 10 minutes
Finding clothes.....= 05 minutes
Eating brunch.......= 10 minutes
Surfing the net.....= 20 minutes!

Yikes! I had only 13 minutes to get to the doctor's office. But lucky me, I found a parking spot right next to the doctor's Lexus (read: right outside the door).

1:00 pm, I walked in pretty pleased at my punctuality only to find that the doctor was with a patient doing a MRI. So I specifically signed up for a 1:00 pm appointment as I wanted to be in time for a 2:50 pm class. Stupid me. I will never learn. So I wait patiently.
1:30 pm, I see the doctor talking to Pfizer salesman. I hover around that area, vying for his attention. He finally glances over at me. I smile. He acts as if I don't even exist. 1:50 pm, and I feel weak. The office is full of patients. No place to sit. Not that I can sit because if I do, I'll start bawling right there. I notice a shooting pain in my right hand. I use my left hand as a support for the right hand. I pace to and fro. This spanish firefighter offers me a seat. I give him a disgusted look. I pace the length of the office. I sit next to the spanish firefighter and apologize, making pain the excuse. He smiles. I smile. I see the time and I wince.
2:25 pm, and I just can't wait anymore.
2:30 pm, "Foolmaker, the doctor will see you in the MRI section."
There is a God.

I walk in, look around, only to find that there's no doctor around. Well, ok. Out comes this man, bearded and middle -aged, throwing at me two faded cotton owns. "Please remove your pants, top and brassiere.. the bathroom's that way". Oooookkay. I take my shoes off.. and one clothing item at a time. No, I wasn't practicing my strip tease act. I was prolonging the inevitable. I'm done wearing the gowns. I look at myself in the mirror, conscious of my body. I walk out, my hand twisted back to hold the gowns and cover the little skin that was visible.

He smiles at me.. and now he seems relaxed. He adjusts the cushion panels on the sliding wood I was going to lay on. The doctor comes in. Gives me this look of sympathy and reassures me that I'm in good hands. They try and find the smallest belt-like contraption (for my mid-riff area) to hold me in place. The smallest one was huge for me. So they make it a perfect fit by stuffing a pillow between my tummy and the belt. After I'm all strapped and settled, the bearded man gives me one last smile and slowly starts to push the sliding panel. I panic. I see this huge, round tunnel-like chamber. Of course, I panic. I go in head-first. It felt so painful - everything was disappearing very slowly. I see the door disappear, then the pretty Sausalito painting with soft soothing colors vanishes followed by the edges of the huge machine I was being shoved into! Even my thoughts were vanishing. I wanted to yell (fear of the unknown will do that to you). Then I realized that if I want to be an astronaut, I would have to get used to living in cramped miniscule spaces. I took a deep breath and smiled. I fell asleep. I dreamed of magic and music, of power and beauty, of prince charming and kisses, of Mulan and Cinderella. And I remember the dreams to the detail.

At one point in time, I was lost in this beautiful music being played on a harp by this angel I knew, only to be disturbed by some harsh, ugly sound - the bearded man's voice - "10 minutes more and we will get you out of there". Sigh. He had to butt in right at the moment when I rescued my prince from the evil corporate rats. Fuck him. I wanted to yell "Let me sleep for a few more minutes". Those 10 minutes were probably the longest - I knew I didn't have enough time for another dream and I didn't know what to do. I hadn't even realized that the bearded man had the radio tuned in to 106.7 litefm. I guess I was as happy as a vampire vacationing in his coffin. So those 10 minutes were spent listening to the likes of NSYNC, Britney, Jessica Simpson etc. Those were probably the worst 10 minutes of my life.

As I left the chamber, I felt sad. I wanted to go back in there and cuddle up with those soft pillows and wander off with my prince. Alas! this world is jealous. I put on my clothes and the departing words I hear "The results will be available in 4-5 days".

I say "Thank you" and walk out.


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