Wednesday, May 11, 2016


After much fooling around I did finally manage to get my MRI.  (See this Wikipedia article about MRI's if you are uncertain what they are.)  If you haven't had one it's not too strenuous but it isn't that much fun either.  Conventional MRI machines are built in a cylinder form and you are placed on a sort of plank and are slid into the machine.  I had an MRI in a machine like that many years ago and I discovered I'm kind of claustrophobic.  That makes it a very unpleasant experience.  Since then I've required what is called an 'open' MRI.  It's better but not great.  Here's a photo I took of the machine.
You lie down on the surface on the right.  It is raised up and you are slid into the main portion of the machine.  I told my wife it is like you are the meat in a hamburger and the machine is the bun.  So you are in this thing but can see with your peripheral vision and, not a small thing, there is better air flow than in the conventional machines.  Then it starts up making all kinds of bangs and clangs; it is just part of the process.  I was told it would take 19 minutes - I guess so.  I was certainly happy for it to end! 

Then Monday I got to meet with my specialist who told me I have a problem with the C6-C7 vertebrae.  I'm told I have three options:  live with it; get a cortisone shot that relieves the pain for about 6 months or surgery to remove the disk.  Hmmm.  So I'm headed for the operating room one of these days.  It will probably be a while but I'm sure you'll be hearing about it after it happens!

Back at the ranch, the cactus are happy.  We've been getting rain, more than usual, so the desert is perky.  We even had a rainbow - kind of.
Our cactus plants are happy.  These photos were taken a couple days apart.
The cactus flowers will be disappearing soon though.  Our 'spring' is definitely ending with temps expected to be in the high 90's (35C give or take) in the next few days.  Well, that's why we have those expensive air conditioners!  It is also why we don't have trees and lawns.  It's just not the right part of the world for those things.

IKEA is opening a new store in Las Vegas next week.  It is big news for locals, our Fox channel has a reporter out there this morning!  Don't get me wrong, I buy things at IKEA, I enjoy going to IKEA.  In the Netherlands I went there quite often for little things for our home.  I'm sure we'll be visiting the new store before it's a month old.  But putting it on the 'news'?  Really? 

Well, that's the news from this corner of the planet.  Take care and thanks for stopping by.


Croft said...

Think about the Cortisone shot, Don. They say six months but many people have experienced much longer term results. A guy I worked with was on the verge of back surgery when they tried Cortisone and he never had any more pain. A few years ago I had a shot in my ankle which I had shattered way back in the early 80's and it took my pain from a pretty constant level 3-7 to a 1-4 (mostly a 1 unless I do something stupid). Level 1 pain is where you are just conscious of the injury and can't really call it pain. Cortisone can be a miracle treatment!

Don said...

Thanks for the input.

I have to admit I'm having second thoughts. To go directly to surgery is making me uncomfortable. I may have to try all three alternatives. (Smell of wood smoke as I think about it.)

Croft said...

I think you are correct in your second thoughts. Try the alternatives, surgery can wait.

You are getting smoke from the Alberta fires down there, eh? I know Florida is getting it. It is a huge fire, the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history and is having a detrimental effect on the Canadian stock market.

Kacey said...

I had to go through several MRI's myself and I’m certainly grateful that I don’t suffer from any claustrophobia, which is for sure! I have never had to undergo one for back issues but I have known people that have suffered from a similar injury and I certainly feel for you. It's great you are still drawing joy from plants.