Monday, November 29, 2010

MRI of the Brain

About a month ago, in the evenings, I started to have difficulty articulating words. I always knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn't control the muscles to make the words sound right. I just ignored this for a while and started speaking less. However, the last week or so, this got recognizably worse. I was doing a great job hiding it, but now I started to sound really bizarre, and my husband, Mike, started to notice and show concern. This nightly got worse, turned into difficulty chewing, and the last few nights, I had trouble swallowing. I called a few choice neurologists, and the only appointments available were Dec 15 for one Doc and mid-February for the Doc we really wanted to see. So now begins the testing to get ready for the neurologist appointment. . . let's start with an MRI of the brain, last Saturday morning.

7 AM So it is a brisk morning. Walking from the car towards the hospital, slightly nervous where certain sounds drown out other sounds. I focus on the swishing of my coat and the faint warmth coming from my coffee mug. It's an anticipatory time where you focus on silly things that are often ignored.

"blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be . . ." After the maze of elevators and doors and signs, and after talking to Mike and getting the right direction, I went into the last elevator and as the door was closing, he stuck his hand in and joined me. It was like a prince doctor coming to my rescue. Mike escorted me to my destination and then went to his department.

I was greeted by a lovely lady who had Mary pinned on her blouse with 10 little beads linked by small gold links and had the composure of a lovely devout Catholic, calm and peaceful, reassuring and patient. I had my Spurgeon book with me, which has been so encouraging. I read about how if I was a successful business owner and had ships sailing throughout the night with my products upon them, would my worrying cause the ships to arrive safely or sink? If I let myself get sucked into worry, would it create or diffuse a tumor from growing? Does my worry really have power? What a great reminder of how helpless worry is. What a way to consume the mind with powerless thoughts that distract us from our Sovereign God.

I was finally called in to get changed into the hospital gowns and de-metalize myself. I had a few minutes of waiting in the very quiet waiting room. The kind devout Catholic woman came in, offering me magazines because she said it seems "lonely in here," she said. I reassured her that I was not lonely, "I have God." I think was what I plainly stated. She was slightly taken back and said "Oh, that's nice to hear." What a sweet lady.

I was called into the room. The MRI machine was the size of my living room, and the two techs had the process down pat. Papers to sign and questions about having dye injected in me and how that meddles with breastfeeding, etc. I laid on the narrow platform as several plastic braces were lowered over my head. This was going to take a picture of my brain, after-all. I had a pleathora of encouraging songs running through my mind, meditations of my heart were definitely centered on God. Perhaps the greatest understanding God revealed to me during this time was the omniscient power he has. All this paraphanelia and staff, and pre-certification numbers, and insurance, and millions of dollars of machine to take a few "impressive" pictures of my brain. Who then created it, who knows what my brain was like while I was a child, who fashioned my brain into squiggly pieces and knows it yesterday, today, and tomorrow? What a fascinating attribute of God, and clear picture of His greatness to go through an MRI.

The MRI report was read as "normal." Thank you, Lord. Not that you didn't know it was normal already, before the tests. Before the machine was built using other minds that You created and the report was read by other minds that You created and allowed to develop an understanding of reading these MRI pictures. You know us all, tomorrow, today, and in the secret place. Thank you for this great picture of how powerful you are. It helps me to understand how my whole life and body is in the palm of your hand.