THE WHOLE TOOTH  how my health went to hell

Current Status ] [ Advice ] [ Summary ] [ Main Page ] [ Send Mail ] [ Main Health Page ] [ Go To Hell ]

You are here: Hell On Earth / Health / The Whole Tooth / Scanned Again

< Previously: The Tooth Shell Game

> Next: Not Quite Pay Dirt...


Scanned Again

Thursday, November 19, 1998

I woke up with an irritation of the left eye which got worse as the hours went by. When I last visited Dr. Lorenz and got the appointment for my second computer x-ray and MRI scan, the medical assistant explained to me that for billing reasons, I would have to obtain a medical transfer to the hospital which would have to be issued by my "family doctor" or some kind of resident doctor.

After checking with some colleagues at work, I rode into town to ask Dr. Zwickert to be my resident doctor. As fate would have it, across his office there was an eye specialist whom I asked about the irritation -- it's a stye, I was told and given some drops to take hourly. When it rains, it pours.

With Dr. Zwickert, I took the quick route through the medical history of this sordid affair (essentially, an improvised, expanded version of the summary to be found on this web page). Seeing that his head was spinning with all the details I was throwing at him, I asked him whether he had Internet Access at home and when he said yes, I gave him the URL where he could read the full story. So, Dr. Zwickert, if you are reading these words right: Hi. :-)

Every hour, I took my drops and decided to bear the stye (since a stye is essentially acne inside the eye, I was briefly wondering whether I shouldn't use Clearasil drops instead, but I decided against it).

Friday, November 20, 1998

After arriving JIT for my CAT scan at 10 a.m., I only waited for about half an hour until I got my head shoved into the metal ring. The procedure lasted -- according to one of the medical assistants working there -- mere 40 seconds; the data processing would take about an hour, though.

Intrigued, I started to ask questions: what hardware were they using, what kind of a server array processed and stored the data and which custom software was provided, until the assistant, exasperated, had to tell me: "Look, we are only users. If you want technical details, write to General Electric, they built these things." They were running Solaris work stations ("pizza boxes"), by the way, from what I could see. This was a Windows-free zone.

After this, once more I rushed to Dr. Zwickert's office because I had accidentally requested and gotten the wrong form. When I got back, I was told I had just missed my MRI appointment (I hadn't even known there was a fixed appointment since nobody had told me beforehand).

Consequently, I had to wait for approximately six and a half hours in the neurosurgery ward of the hospital. I got hospital lunch and dinner and I began to talk to some of the patients.

This turned out to be a Big Mistake.

The last thing you want to do when you are waiting for an MRI Exam which might determine that you have an itsy bitsy tumor is to ask other people with real problems and half-shaven heads about their medical history. Since I found out the hard way, now you don't have to. Here's a sampling of memorable events:

Now you probably want to read what happened with the MRI scan. Well, this time I was prepared for it and it was quite bearable, actually (I was almost relieved to finally get shoved into the machine because the neurosurgery ward had been so distressing).

For about twenty minutes, I was inside the machine. They had given me earplugs so the droning noise of the machine wouldn't be so loud and a friendly female voice kept announcing the next phase of the scan through a tiny loud speaker: "Now there will be a clicking noise for three minutes, twenty seconds", "let's rest for a moment" and "next, there will be a seven minute scan, please stay perfectly still". And I did.

The disembodied voice was so calm and the noise so distant, I almost dozed off. Even though they gave me an IV, they never got around to inject me with the contrast substance. It hurt more than the IV they had given me two weeks before, but I didn't have two sisters there to force the doctor to change it.

At the end of the exam, I tried to find out whether I could somehow get the raw data (I can and hopefully, I will).

And now, the punch line:

The results would be in no earlier than next Thursday. And you thought it was hard to stay calm while waiting for the current Dilbert cartoon to load into your browser...

Footnotes

Not a computer person? J.I.T.= Just In Time. [BACK TO TOP]

A kind soul has enlightened me via e-mail to the fact that the computer x-rays I have been subjected to are commonly known as CAT scan. Thanks to him and to everybody else: If you find something you know to be an error, please let me know -- that's what e-mail is for. Thank you. [BACK TO TOP]

NEXT: PLAYING PHONE TAG.
"After days of trying to reach the neurosurgeon, finally there is a diagnosis."


Next: Playing Phone Tag >

Previously: The Shell Game <

You are here: Hell On Earth / Health / The Whole Tooth / Scanned Again


"The Continuing Health Crisis" is an 100% true account of MOATMAI's health problems. It is intended to keep all friends and enemies informed about his current status. The Whole FAQ.

First Visit? You might want to check out the summary before continuing.

Current Status: The root canal, it is done. The tooth is dead. And the pain? Well...

The whole mess began in June, 1997. The Whole Tooth starts here.


Content & Form © 2002 by MOATMAI at HELLONEARTH dot COM
This Section Last Updated: 2002/01/02

HELL ON EARTH: Bunnies, HTML Editors, Gallery, Health, Hints & Help, Mad Ideas, Opinions, Site Information