Fourth Time's the Charm

Back in November, I took a completely pointless fall, wherein I hurt my wrist. Now we’re at the end of February, and my wrist still hurts pretty much all the time. For example:

  • By the time I was halfway through the second lap of the Frozen Hog, it hurt enough that I could no longer stand while pedaling.
  • It hurts by the end of a 90-minute session on the trainer.
  • It hurts when I type.

So late last week, I went to the doctor. I got my cholesterol levels tested again (still high, but not as high as the first test, since I fasted before the test this time), and got an X-ray of my wrist.

The X-ray says my wrist is fine.

So yesterday, I went to get an MRI of my wrist done, at 8:00 a.m., figuring that by doing this early, I’d still be able to get in a full day of work.

There was no line — another of the benefits of starting early. The technician had me lay down on my stomach, with my left arm stretched out in front of me and my wrist fastened down.

Into the tube I went, uncomfortable, but willing to spend half an hour in there because I want answers.

Ten minutes later, they pulled me out. “The machine had a problem and I need to reset it,” the tech said.

Back into the waiting room I went.

Try, Try Again
Fifteen minutes later, they called me back in and sent me into the tube…again.

After a couple minutes, the tech’s voice came over the intercom: “We’re still having some problems, but we’re going to leave you in there and see if we can get this thing working.”

Fine. Let’s just get it over with, I thought, hugely grateful that I have no claustrophobia issues at all.

I tried to go to sleep, but my superpower (I am Instant Nap Man) failed me. Too uncomfortable.

Half an hour later, they pulled me out. “Sorry,” they said. “The machine won’t work. We’ve rescheduled you at an imaging center at 12:00.”

On the positive side, they did give me a couple of movie passes by way of an apology for wasting my time. Which makes me think: what kind of place has a bad enough fail rate that the keep customer-pacifying movie passes on hand?

Fail, Fail Again
So, I had two and a half hours before I needed to be at the imaging center. Long enough that I may as well go and try to get some work done, but short enough that I didn’t have any chance of accomplishing anything before it was time to turn around and come back.

So, at noon, I showed up at the imaging center, where they promptly had me change into scrubs, and then sat me down in a cold room, barefoot, watching the local news channel — a station so bad I have gone to the effort of learning how my remote control works, just so I could program it to automatically skip over that channel.

I sat there for a full hour.

A nurse then came over and said that, as I knew, they had squeezed me into their existing schedule that day, and that they thought they would be able to fit me in at noon, but it turns out they could not.

Could I please come back at 2:30?

“Sure,” I said, now completely convinced that I was being surreptitiously filmed for some kind of Candid Camera-ish show (for those of you who are young, “Candid Camera” is the TV show “Punk’d” is based upon, but with more originality, less meanness, and a lot less celebrity navel-gazing).

So I had an hour and a half to kill. Just enough time for me to drive back to the office and then turn around as soon as I got to the parking lot.

Or, on the other hand, enough time to go to Racers bike shop and hang out for a few minutes.

At Racers
While at Racers, I bought a Superfly.

Finally
At 2:30, I arrived at the imaging center, no longer expecting that I would get an MRI, but kind of curious as to what the next reason for delaying would be.

And so, of course, they promptly ushered me in and did the MRI. I found this machine interesting — instead of a tube, I was under a large convex circle, not nearly so confined. I expect that people with claustrophobia problems would find this much more agreeable than traditional MRI machines.

Also, instead of going in on my stomach, my arm stretched in front of me, they had me lay on my back, my arm at my side.

I fell asleep pretty much instantly, wakened every so often by the voice in the intercom telling me how much longer I had left.

Guess my Ailment, Win a Fat Cyclist T-Shirt
And so now I’m waiting to hear the results. I’m really, really hoping that it’s something that can be fixed, both quickly and easily, with very little recovery time.

Ha.

I tell you what, though: let’s make a contest out of my waiting game. I’ll describe the pain I’m having. Whoever first correctly diagnoses what’s going on get’s one of the cool new Fat Cyclist T-shirts. Men’s or Women’s, your choice.

Oh, and also I’ll start bugging you for other medical advice.

So here’s what’s going on with my wrist.

  • The pain is worst on the left and right sides of the wrist.
  • When I make a fist, the palm side of my forearm — just below the wrist — bulges out.
  • Flexing the wrist — even without lifting any weight — hurts, especially when I bend my hand side to side at the wrist.

If you need additional information, ask in the comments section and I’ll answer the best I can.

I await your diagnosis with both interest and trepidation. And also with a big Diet Coke with Lime, but that’s not really relevant.

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