Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Questions to an X-Ray Technician...

So I moved my rheumatology appointment up two weeks, because I've had really bad back pain lately. Usually it's mostly in my hip joints and lower back, but the stiffness was the the point that it was throughout my entire spine in the morning, culminating in me not being able to touch my toes or move my head around to look past my shoulder. I went in today and had about a dozen x-rays taken of my back and hips. The technician was so polite. He kept saying sorry every time he had to adjust my hips for the image. Eventually I told him it was okay, he didn't need to apologize, I'd had enough x-rays done over time I knew the drill and it was okay.

And then, as I was lying on my back looking at the muted orange pot-lights that seem to line all of these diagnostic rooms, I thought "I guess this is not everyone else reality." Which is kind of dumb that it's somehow taken me this long to realize. I think I know the x-ray set up in every hospital in central Toronto. I know which hospitals have the nicest staff at their ER's. I can tell you how long you'll likely be in an ER depending on the location and the time of day. And when I think about moving, I think about proximity to hospitals and doctors. Anyway, that's just a tangent... Back to the x-rays: I was lying on my back looking at the lights and for some reason being in a clean gown (no matter how fugly it is) and lying on clean linen and being gently proded around I suddenly thought, "I feel like a baby." And then I almost started to cry... But then I thought, "OMG, Virtue, don't you dare start crying here" and tried to imagine the uncomfortable converstation that would ensue with the very polite technician.

In the end, I got up and asked my standard x-ray technician question: Do you look at people differently after being able to see their insides all day? (It's part of this stupid experiment I have going. There's no real purpose to it, I think I figure if diabetes changes how I look at all things food related, then maybe taking x-rays does the same? I also wonder how people get their heads around seeing someone's bones, but then having them as a real person in front of them. It just seems weird to me. Don't know...)

This round's technician's response was a little different, because I think I was kind of nervous after nearly breakind down in the room... I think he thought I asked if all x-rays looked the same regardless of person? At any rate, his response (and I'm paraphrasing, of course, so take that into account) was that people pretty much look the same in x-rays, unless there is obvious trauma; just some people are bigger and some people are smaller.

I just realized, as writing this, I think he was actually a really good technician. I don't think I would have felt like I could feel emotional and present about things if I wasn't comfortable/feeling safe with my surroundings.

(I covertly took this picture for your viewing pleasure!
Apparently it is me/patient carrying an old TV with my bones in it!)


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