Friday, September 29, 2006

Lost in translation - why it sucks

Yep, posting after a long time. It took something like today's event that brought me out of the forced blogging hiatus.
So, a few days back, I finally got to see the orthopaedist for my arm . After a lot of prodding and hitting and all that torture, he ruled out Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Instead , he went, for further diagnosis, he'd need me to take an MRI exam. He went on to ask if I was claustrophobic. I told him I wasn't but I was decidedly uncomfortable in cramped noisy places. So, that was that. It was decided that Bilbo would undergo the MRI.

On the designated time, I was on the designated spot. All changed and on the table. I got earplugs for my ears as the machine could be noisy ( talk about understatement). The MRI machine was definitely designed with a Japanese person in mind and my 5 zip but large frame was sqeezed into it . I felt like toothpaste at that point. That was the moment of reckoning. Before the techs slid me into the machine, I was handed an emergency button, to be used in a moment of emergancy , duh!!! Would I use it or not. That was to be seen.

I thought, I could keep my eyes closed and try to go to sleep. Or, recite the gayatri mantra. That usually works to calm me down. Not this time, not in this baby. It was noisy. Constant clicks that varied in length of time they played for. It felt like a headbanger's ball conducted by a bunch of tone deaf people. This was the first time in my life that I struggled to hold on to my thoughts. for each time I had a thought, a fresh set of clicks or beeps would chase it away.

I was sposed to be in the machine for 20 minutes. From my time spent on the treadmill , I know 20 minutes don't go away that quickly , especially when you want them to. Especially when you can't move. Especially when you feel like you are drowning and your mind is telling you that you are no where near water.

So yeah, my life did not flash before me, or anything so dramatic. I just felt like jumping out of my skin each time a new set of noise started and I could not do that. I had to lie still.

Finally , thankfully, without Bilbo using the emergancy button, the techs pulled me out, and this is when the fun started. One tech started asking me where it hurt and all I could say was ," get me out of this." I had to repeat atleast 3-4 times before they finally relented and let me up . Now there were three of these guys, two techs and one doc. So while one tech started apologising profusely, the doc started asking me where it hurt. At this point, I realised they 'd made some mistake and I'd need to go back in. I was a hair's breadth away from going ballistic. Getting my temper in control and barely succeeding, I managed to ask what my ortho had filled out on the form. when that got me no response, I had to tell them where it actually hurt. Thats when we started the negotiations. With the techs wanting me back in the darn thing, and me wanting no part of it. " Ten minutes", they said. No way , was my response. Finally, knowing fully well that I had no other go, I agreed to go back in for 5 minutes. I'd decided I'd count till 60, 5 times and then press the darn button. Fat chance. I lost count at 20. Restarted and then lost count again. Again , no success at keeping my thoughts together. I do think they kept me in for the 10 minutes they wanted .

This time they let me out , the apologetic tech started apologising again and did not stop till I finally left the premises. What really irked me was that the apology did not really cut it. I felt like the bad guy for resenting the apology but they should have made sure of what they were doing before they made me spend time in the MRI machine. They wasted their time, their valuable resources and definitely caused me discomfort if not outright trauma. By the end of the first session, I'd begun to sweat and I was hyperventilating. I needed a drink of water and some calm time before I went back in and this was absolutely not required , had they got it right the first time.

Not my first time, being lost in translation, but definitely the most painful.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Random musings

Haven't been posting for a while, but I guess this could wait. Had a lot on the plate and then on the mind. Am done with some of the actual work but when does the mind really take a break.

In the last wk, got diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Did not really want to tell the folks about it , but they did learn of it via bro the tattle tale. Was asked to quit and come home. Makes me wonder, if my dreams mean something only to me and nothing to any body else. They definitely merit less than my health. Am I really whole , if I am perfectly healthy but not actively striving to achieve what I dream of.

A friend left for home and some time really well spent came to an end. Wrote to another friend about it and she called at the first opportunity she got. Just words , some written some spoken and some still in the mind, yet, a connection was re-inforced. So was the feeling that all said and done, we are human and will not survive in a vacuum. Be it, material or emotional.

Was late in returning home yesterday and as it had become a habit to call a friend on nights like these, I almost picked up the phone to call, realising just in time, that in this instant, the call won't get picked up. The habits we get into and the time we spend to get out of .

And that brings me to my commute to work today. Another metro moment, another Tokyo memory or a snapshot of life, that I can cherish in my mind and smile back at. A lady, trying to and eventually succeeding in capturing a long green grasshopper in a starbucks paper bag for her little daughter. Having the grasshopper safely ensconced in the bag, she looked up to see her lil daughter clapping for her and me smiling at her. She smiled back.

And now am at work. You can get back to it too. :)