The trials of getting older are tough to handle

Published 8:23 am Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The nice lady at church made her comment in a very innocent manner. She had no idea that what she said had hit very close to home.

I had been telling everyone about the dizzy spells I had been having. Even in the middle of the night, my head would begin to spin round and round and to rise up would bring severe nausea. I did not realize how many medical experts there were in the world, but everyone had a diagnosis.

“Vertigo,” said one. Another said it was probably an inner ear infection.

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“Could be a small tumor,” someone said. I did not like the sound of that. One person told me about the small rocks in the head that, if they got out of balance, bodily imbalance would result.

“So, are you saying I have rocks in my head?” I asked. “And they are just rolling around up there?”

The nice lady who spoke innocently began, “Well, as we grow older…”

I stopped her and laughed. “Are you trying to tell me something?”

I went to the doctor, a neurologist. He was a very nice guy, and he talked to me about what was going on and said, “It’s probably inner ear related, but since you’re here and since I have all these machines paid for, let’s do an EEG, an MRI, and a couple of MRAs.”

I said, “Well, since it is the Christmas season, how about a partridge in a pear tree.” He didn’t laugh.

MRI is the acronym for Magnetic Resonance Imaging and is a medical technique that allows a look at the inside of the body without actually opening the body. I don’t know the principle behind it and have no desire to learn. All I know is that medical people talk about it as if it is like “falling off a log.”

“Oh, we’ll just do an MRI to see what’s going on,” they say.

All of the tests, they told me, would take a little over an hour and I would have to lie still as the MRI and MRA is taking place. No problem, I thought. I could use an hour of rest.

Many people have had MRIs and, if they could do it, so could I. Little did I know that I would be shoe-horned into a tunnel just a little larger than a sewer pipe. Be still? No problem. There is no room for movement.

Claustrophobic? Before the MRI, no. Since? Well, let’s just say, I am looking for another house. Possibly a warehouse with no walls!

The biggest problem was when the lady’s voice came on and said, “This segment will last about 10 minutes. It’s important that you not swallow.”

Immediately, my saliva glands began to act like Niagara Falls, except there was no place for the slobber to go. It began to well up inside and drool out the sides of my mouth. That was after two minutes. I only had eight more to go!

Well, long story short. I got through all the tests and await the results. Ah, the trials of getting older.