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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Phobia

Today is the second appearance of "Bob & Al". They first showed up on BuckToonz a few weeks ago. If you would like to see it again, just scroll back a little ways to June 30th. Bob & Al are a dysfunctional pair of friends, who spend a lot of time on the phone with each other.

I'm not one that's prone to phobias. However, I get uneasy with anyone messing around near my eyes and I'm also quite protective of my gonads. But I suppose those are relatively normal survival instincts. I can get a little claustrophobic, but only under certain circumstances.

For example, I had to get an MRI recently. I've had MRIs before and never had any problems with the procedure. These devises have plenty of room inside for the patient, and there are even "open" MRIs with no enclosure to speak of. The noise level is really quite tolerable too. However, for this most recent MRI, I got what must be one of the very last remaining "old school" models. This machine had a dark, small, ten foot long tunnel, that I was to be inserted into. I didn't realize how small it was until the nurse put me inside the thing.  I'm not a large person, but this was a very tight fit. My shoulders were wedged into the sides of the tunnel, and my nose was only three inches from the top. When the nurse turned on the machine, the noise level was startling. It sounded like the world was coming to an end, even with earplugs on. After about a minute of this, I signaled for the nurse to let me out. She did so right away. My heart was racing and my respiration was shallow and fast. This is very unusual for me, and it felt like some sort of mild anxiety attack. This was certainly not like any other MRI experience I'd ever had in the past, and I was surprised at the intensity of my fear. So, I knew it would require some mental preparation on my part, if I was to endure the 25 minute process. I asked the nurse to give me one minute so I could get my head together. That's all the time I needed to apply my "Super-Ninja-Kung Fu-Mind-Over-Matter-Method" (Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2011 etc.). When the nurse returned me to the bowels of the MRI again, it was no longer a cramped, dark, noisy, tunnel. In my mind's eye-- it was a much happier place. I saw myself lying on a grassy hillside, watching puffy white clouds pass slowly over a perfect blue sky. There was a light breeze of sweet, fresh air. I smiled, and all was well. The next thing I knew, the machine stopped it's rattling, whirring, and knocking sounds. The 25 minutes was up. To me, it seemed that only about 10 minutes had passed. The nurse slid me out of the MRI, and congratulated me on my ability to "get my act together" so quickly. As I walked down the hallway I saw another MRI machine that was clearly designed for very large people. If there is to be a next time, I'm asking for that one. Then I stepped outdoors into the real light, and freedom.

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