Snap Shot #91 – Jabbed


“You have a long beautiful neck”. I’m thrown. “Wow – that’s a sentence no one’s ever said to me before.” The nurse qualifies herself. “We had a lady in here the other day whose shoulders started here and skull started here.” The distance between her fingers is about the size of a fifty cent piece. “We had a hell of a time finding the right spot to inject. At least with you it should be much easier.” And so for the second time in about a week, my long beautiful neck slides into a metal cylinder. And it slides back out again. This is repeated several times. As the nurse puts it: “Think of yourself as a Paddle Pop stick sliding in and out of a donut.” Another analogy immediately comes to mind but I’m not surprised the nurse resisted it. The goal of all this Paddle Pop sliding is to locate my C6/7 vertebrae via the CT scanner. Once located, the spot will be marked, my neck injected with a local anaesthetic and then with cortisone. This will supposedly insulate the swollen nerve that has literally been a pain in the neck over the past couple of months. At least that’s the plan. But despite being the owner of such a long beautiful neck, the technicians are struggling to locate the right spot. It appears that the nurse spoke too soon. Eventually, after much whirring of machinery, my neck is marked and jabbed. Ouch! What an unpleasant sensation. Then comes the cortisone – pushed through a supersized syringe. His work done, the doctor leaves the room – without having ever said a word. Guess I’m just another neck. The nurse looks down at me. “You alright?” Actually – no. I feel nauseous. “No – not really.” She frowns. “You look pale. Just lay there for a while.” Great. So not only has my long beautiful neck not lived up to expectations, it would appear that I’m also a bit of a wuss – a woozy wuss at that. After a spell on the CT table, I’m moved to a nearby bench as the next neck arrives. The nurse keeps checking me. Eventually I feel well enough to get dressed. I’m allowed to go back out to the waiting room but they want to keep me around. I feel a bit better but very very out of it. After who knows how long, time now a very rubbery thing, I’m ushered back in to be examined by the doctor. “How are you?” Well what do you know – he can talk! “Out of it.” He frowns. “How’s your neck, arm and fingers? Better?” I shake my head. “Nope. Just the same. And my fingers are still numb”. Another frown. “Yes, well – sometimes it takes a while. Are you okay to leave?” I nod. Hoping I’m not a malpractice suit in the making, the doctor lets me leave. I go to the counter to pay, swaying slightly, unable to resist shutting my eyes. I can see concern on the receptionist’s face. Bill settled, I walk out into the rain. Already clad in a black Panama hat, I unfurl my umbrella. Despite the dimness of the day, I decide my wrap around sunnies are a good idea. Rather than take a taxi or Uber, I’m determined to get a bus. I sway in the rain, tunes blasting through my blue tooth headphones. Times bounces on and eventually so does a bus. I float onto it. Standing room only. Or in my case, swaying room. I’m given a fairly wide berth by the other passengers. I imagine I’m quite the sight – an old out of it weirdo in black hat and sunnies. Stuff em. I’m Keith Fucking Richards.