"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Testing. Testing. 1, 2, 3.
That’s what the neurophysiologist said on Monday after he’d given me some mild electric shocks to test the nerves in my foot. He also had to put two rather large needles into my foot. The one in the top of my foot hardly hurt at all. The second one went into the more sensitive arch of my foot had hurt quite a bit when electricity was passed through it. Fortunately that was the last of those tests, a good job too as that was when I almost passed out. “You’re not the first to do that” said the doctor. I’m not surprised to hear it. I may have had more painful visits to the dentist than this but I’ve also had much less painful visits to the dentist than this. However, I was expecting it to be worse than it was, but it was bad enough for a whimp like me.
The weird thing about the large needles was that they were wired up to a computer and you could hear the sound of the nerves in my foot reacting to the electricity. It was a bit like a Geiger counter but much faster. I asked if he could e-mail me the sounds but he couldn’t. I would have used them in an installation, never mind.
Well, I wanted proper up to date, proven medical tests rather than sheep’s bladders and seaweed and that’s exactly what I got.
Anyway, his opinion was that I’d be in much more pain if I had Morton’s. He asked me if I had back trouble. I don’t. So what the hell have I got? Does anyone have Hugh Laurie’s number? Jonesey is being lovely and reassuring reminding me that it’s most likely a benign neuroma and not anything “serious”. The neurophysiologist said the neurologist would be able to make a diagnosis after the MRI scan, which I had later that same afternoon.
The MRI scan was much more fun. Jonesey and I waited in this sterile, bare, white waiting room and we both thought it was a bit like something out of the film 2001. It got more like that when I went in for the actual scan. I had to lie down and the radiologist gave me a pair of headphones to cut out some of the noise (MRI scans are very noisy) and then she placed a sort of visor thing over my head. It was a bit like wearing a space helmet. Then I’m slid into the machine for about ten minutes while they scan my head. It was brilliant, I enjoyed every minute of it. It was quite like that bit in 2001 when he’s in his space helmet and you can only hear his breathing, except you could only hear my breathing when the scanner stopped making a noise.
Then I’m slid out, the visor is taken off and in I go again for a twenty minute scan of my spine. I’d brought ear plugs as I knew the scan would be loud. Before I was slid in for a second time I put in the ear plugs then replaced the headphones. This took the edge of the noise and as all I could do for the next twenty minutes was lie still, I just relaxed and almost fell asleep. The time whizzed by and before I knew it, it was all over. What a fantastic experience, easily the best thing about this whole business so far.
Then this morning I went for a blood test at the local surgery. I should have the results from that by next Monday. I’m not sure when I’ll get the results from the MRI. So it’s just a matter of waiting, nothing more to be done at this stage.
My brother is a diamond geezer and has offered to lend me the money to fly to New York for a few days to get away from it all. How brilliant is that? I shan’t take him up on this incredibly generous offer but I owe him one just for the suggestion. Anyway, although I am concerned and can’t help but think about worse case scenarios, I’m not going to sit at home brooding about it. Until I know for sure what is going on its life as normal.
On the plus side, Jonesey and I went to a friend’s birthday dinner at the weekend and had a really lovely time. Ben (the birthday boy) and Caroline are great. They’re brilliant musicians (check out these links you’ll be glad you did: www.myspace.com/darkerdogs - www.myspace.com/carolinemartinsmalldog - www.myspace.com/thecedar - www.myspace.com/rogertarry) and they asked me if I would DJ at their wedding later in the year. I was so chuffed to be asked, I can’t tell you what an honour it is. I don’t normally DJ at formal events as I tend to clear dance floors with my, how shall I describe it? Let’s say individual music selection, however, there is no way I’d pass this up. I am totally made up about this. I’ll be sharing DJing duties with Nick who drums in their band and they will be supplying a playlist, so hopefully, I shouldn’t go far wrong.
Suggested listening: Darker Dogs EP