Take a deep breath …

Categories Medical, Sarcoidosis0 Comments
Lung CT Scan

Take a deep breath … and hold. It was all so metaphoric. Also metabolic. And just a little ironic. It was said so lyrically. The words had a cadence, a rhythm, a melody, that were at once comforting, yet humorous. Like Mr Rogers in his little wool sweater conducting a CT scan. “And hold it …” such a silly sing song sound. He had a shtick. He had it honed. Maybe he did standup when he wasn’t doing his lab-technician “thang.” Maybe it was too many years doing the same job … looking inside of people. Take a deep breath ….

And so I did. Many times then, and many times before I even set foot in the “imaging facility.” I hold my breath a little each time I hear, “Hmmm … don’t know what that is.” “Hmm … never seen that before.” “I’m feeling kind of stupid today. Can’t figure out what’s going on.” Those are things I didn’t want to hear. Just holding my breath a little more, a little longer. Maybe everything will disappear. Maybe it will all mystically go away. Say a few chants. Say a few prayers. A Psalm in time saves nine … republicans maybe. Keep still don’t move. Maybe no one will see the dis-ease. With each breath held, a little more life was leaving me. How can that be? A little more will stolen from me. When I did breath, sometimes it was strained. Sometimes I’d cough. But I have no cold. Oh damn .. another upper respiratory infection? It’s all so arbitrary. Maybe Apple nailed it when they shuffled off … “life is random.”

So here I am in the “imaging facility.” Will they change the way I look? Will the technician see the “new me?” Will I catch a glimpse of what the shadow knows … or what the shadow holds? The image I have of myself is changing. I’m newly scarred and newly scared. I see that in the mirror each morning. Two new man made lines in my forehead. One rather clean and precise. Dr B must have been listening that morning in plastic surgery 101. The other a little wider and more significant. A little red “C” with an island of inflammation still around it … even after three plus weeks of healing. Maybe he was asleep while he was making that incision. I know I wasn’t. I heard that Dr B! “Oh … I didn’t want it to cut like that.” Oh … damn … I didn’t want to hear that. But you make a choice … and stick with it. Set a course … and follow the path. See an image … and it sticks with you. That’s what I see every morning now.

In contrast … no … the contrast they shot me up with. That strange feeling, body warming, contrast creating dye now pulsing through my body. Deep breath … and hold. In a horizontal position on a blanketed white bed, I was put in an out of this pulsating tube more times than a porn star trying to sway a republican senator not to change the current reporting requirements. It is all random. Or is it? Lie face up. Hands over head. “Take a deep breath please … hold it.” Click click. Snap snap. Can I get two 8×10’s of those …. maybe a page of wallet size for the family?

Maybe that was the coolest thing about this “warming” experience. The Tech showing me all the images. How this big nasty machine could slice & dice me electronically. How intriguing! My inner-artist was erect! Flipped upside down & then sideways with the flick of a cursor. There I was … in multiple layers … just a few millimeters at a time. Like so much lunch meet stacked up on a virtual table. It was sculptural when he took those stacked shots & clicked here & dragged there. My heart. Damn … I do have one! My lungs. Yup two … check. It was so wild. Here’s just your rib cage. Looks like some of my sculpture! Here’s all the veins & capillaries in your lungs … WILD! I don’t know who was more impressed … my inner artist … or my inner geek. Can I get a QuickTime movie of that? What file format are those images in? Can I get a CD of it all?

Image! Image! Image! It’s all about image! So take a deep breath ….

Joe Streno
artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing in asbury park nj with his two cats rocky & rose & living to tell tales about it

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