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I Am Never Eating Again

Many years ago a girl I was friends with in college, got sick. The doctor decided to run some standard blood tests on her. I have no idea what they were for. I'm guessing she had low standards. She also didn’t have a car, so I told her I could drive her to the lab.

I had ulterior motives.

I was hoping she would toss me a few bucks for gas and I could get a 6-pack to drink at band rehearsal that evening. As it turns out, she was terrified of needles. The phlebotomist apparently took her damn sweet time finding a vein. My friend fainted. The nurse asked me to come and wait for her to come to.

All this for a couple of bucks, I muttered to myself.

When she came out of it, she was sick to her stomach. They scooped her up and got her into the bathroom. I don’t know what happened in there, but she was pretty sick. Water was coming out from under the door. I guess she put paper towels in the toilet and flushed it.

For some reason, the staff, now busy with other patients, designated me to take care of her.

I just wanted beer and gas money. I eventually dropped her back at the girl’s dorm and drove home on fumes and went beer-less to band rehearsal.

I made the mistake of teasing her about it. We haven’t spoken since.

Why am I telling you this? Just keep reading. Yesterday I was in the hospital for an endorectal MRI (to see if my cancer has spread). If that makes your sphincter pucker, it should. Basically, it is a colonoscopy in an MRI tube.

For an hour!

I didn’t have a driver, so I couldn’t be sedated. That was my first mistake. The nurses get you changed into a Johnny which is probably named after one of my relatives. Fleet enema - I wanted to read the label and see which fleet is was named after. Then you get a shot of glucogen to shut off your bowels. Sort of like drinking coffee and taking qualudes at the same time. Then there is the i-n-s-e-r-t-i-o-n with lots of lubricant.

I don’t know about you, but I think it is a little unnatural.

Despite having a little anxiety, I was doing OK. I lay on my back while they clamped on the girdle to keep my man parts still. I was still doing OK. Then had one arm over my head, and one jammed against the side of the tube. Then they slid me all the way in.

If you have ever almost died, this is not the tunnel.

I have done it four times before, and as much as I didn’t like it then, I am used to it. Besides I had my new little friend in there. I had closed my eyes for the slide in. When I opened them - well I will be damned, the clay colored plastic is right there. I don’t know why this bothers me. I cover my head with the sheets to block the light on a sleep in Saturday. I love that.

This not so much.

I took a deep breath. And danged if I don’t have a freaking itch underneath the girdle that needs scratching now, not in an hour! In fact, I have one on my nose, too! I will say, I do feel safe with the emergency squeeze thingy in my left hand.

I got instructions from the radiologist.

"Don’t move." "It’s going to be noisy." "Sorry, no headphones or classic rock." "Don't move."

"Not a problem, you have me in a vise-grip." I said. I began to wonder where the microphone was. Then I thought, this is like sleeping. No. It. Is. Not. My inner voice said. I thought about being intimate with my wife - oh right, I am not supposed to move. Then I thought about being trapped for days in a building during an earthquake. (The last two thoughts are not related.) Then I thought, what if you were trapped and they find you - after you messed your pants - on TV? I am never eating again.

I breathed as normally as I could.

I thought about my friend who always falls asleep in the tube. Eff him. He's not my friend anymore. For 30 minutes the tube played it buzzing and clunking tune. I was just thinking I would make it, and my left arm fell asleep. I couldn't move it. I started fidgeting with my fingers.

I called them in and the put both arms over my head like a high diver.

I was more than half way through. Then they hit the IV pump to inject me with imaging dye. I imagined my veins filling in with concrete and my heart stopping. Buzz. Click. Click. Clunk. Went the machine. And then it happened. The karma bus came screeching into the tube! I was nauseous and in a sleight panic, squeezed the emergency alert grip.

They came in to save me.

"Are you OK, sir?" They rolled me on my side. I guess I had an allergic reaction to the dye. Something they had asked me on my pre-flight questionnaire. I am going to answer yes, next time. Sir,"are you ok?"

"Don't put paper towels in the toilet," I said.

19 votes + -


BexB42 wrote 51 months ago:
This only would have been worse if the girl you had accompanied was one of the nurses. ;)
Anonymous wrote 51 months ago:
You have a gift for creating comedy in adversity, John. I haven’t laughed to hard in ages!

Stay strong and stay funny, friend. The world needs you!
zimfour wrote 51 months ago:
Been There..Done That...MRI I am speaking of...I did not get sick however...BUT I laughed when I read this Blog of yours!!! You never said...Did you loose bowel function????
dsjohndrow wrote 51 months ago:
@zim nope, well shut down
1theresamcvean wrote 51 months ago:
What a terrible combination. I've had several colonoscopies due to ulcerative colitis and my daughter has had a few MRIs due to a small tumour on her pituitary gland. The two together boggle the mind. I hope you're alright. You must be happy to be out of there!
tberrycastle wrote 51 months ago:'s a bad day. I've had two MRI's now and am quite claustrophobic so almost didn't make it through the first one. I love how your mind works....just like mine. Anxiety, followed by darkly humorous scenarios. My favorite was your blood turning to concrete and stopping your heart. I also really enjoyed the story of the girl you took in for a blood draw as I teach phlebotomy at our local college and have seen some "fun" things over the last couple of decades ;-)
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