Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tin-Pan Banging

Very famous and common epitaph from the 18th Century (I found it myself on an 18th Century gravestone in the Van Slyke family cemetery, a private cemetery adjacent to their farm in upstate New York, and it triggered a lifelong interest in epitaphs):

Behold O Man, as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, you soon must be,
Repent, prepare to follow me.

The origin of the epitaph dates back to Edward the Black Prince, son of King Edward III of England (1330 – 1376), who died before his father, leaving a young son to become King Richard II.  For a history of the epitaph, including several versions, go here: http://www.vastpublicindifference.com/2010/02/remember-me-as-you-pass-by.html

The MRI last Thursday was interesting – and noisy.  The machine they use now has a much bigger diameter, lessening the claustrophobic feeling of the earlier ones.  One other nice thing: they put a helmet on me to guide the rays of the thing, and it came equipped with periscope mirrors, so instead of staring at the blank rounded ceiling of the machine, I could look out past my raised knees to the technician behind a tinted window operating it.  I also got a big pair of earphones that played classical music at me, but which was constantly interrupted by a wide variety of thumping, brrrr-rupping, ding-brrrrr-ding-brrrring, fast rapping, tin-pan-banging and other noises that lasted from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.  The tech tried to warn me of each noise through the earphones but had her mouth too close to the microphone so most of what she said sounded like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons.  The procedure lasted about forty-five minutes.  The nurse had a clever way of helping me sit up when it was over: she stood beside the table and took my right hand with her right hand and had me grasp her right shoulder with my left hand.  Then she took a step back and voila! I was sitting up. 

I’m hoping to get the results this week.  I hope, if there is something wrong in my brain, it’s fixable.

Winter arrived with a bang Monday morning in Minneapolis.  A few inches of wet snow fell overnight, melting into slush on landing on the roads, where cars tramped it down and it froze, then it snowed some more, making driving very hazardous.  My drive home from my early morning water aerobics class, which usually takes fifteen or twenty minutes, took nearly an hour.  Later the snow turned to sleet, falling as tiny pebbles of ice, twickety-twickety on windows and car roof.  I was surprised that the big snow plows were not in evidence on my trip to or from the pool.  Normally, three flakes fall from the sky and they roar into action, scraping the roads’ surfaces and spewing ice and salt in all directions.  More snow fell overnight and they’re out with a vengeance this morning - and it's still snowing, but very lightly..

Happy Veterans’ Day!


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Linda O. Johnston said...

My fingers are crossed for you, Monica, that the results of the MRI are all good. Sounds like quite an experience. And I've been hearing the reports of early snow in your area. Stay warm and safe!

Betty Hechtman said...

Like Linda, my fingers are crossed that all is well. I think you deserve a reward for getting through 45 minutes in the MRI machine. I was getting squirmy just reading about it.

It sounds like winter made an early arrival where you are. It has been very warm here until today. It was cloudy with a high in the low 70s. It's hard to imagine fighting snow and being bundled up. Stay warm!

Tracy Weber said...

My fingers are crossed for you, too. I've had a few MRI's in my life. I try to think of it as the happy straw!