With Ken Martin

A SMALL MEDICAL ADVENTURE: I had a very minor stroke a few weeks back (I’m fine now. Thank you for asking). Naturally, this led to some medical tests to determine just what did and didn’t happen.

First was an Open MRI. I don’t know why they call it “open” when they put your whole head in a cage, which was more that I could tolerate. I’m sure glad that they didn’t send me to the “closed” one!

Next, since I had chickened out on the MRI, was a CT Scan of my brain, which, if nothing else, proved that my mother was wrong. She always said that I didn’t have a brain but the test indicated otherwise.

Finally was an Ultrasound Test of the carotid arteries. I must have a brain. All that blood has to be going somewhere!

While doing the ultrasound, the technologist (more on that word later) asked if I had the time and would be willing to serve as a practice subject for some technologist trainees. I agreed and was soon surrounded by a half dozen young people in appropriate medical attire.

As I lay there with the probe being stuck into various parts of my head while the screen showed sundry veins, I began to hear some unsettling medical terms. These people also spoke appropriate medical language.

The first was “tortuous”. I thought they were referring to the discomfort from the probe but found out that it only meant that the vein followed a very circuitous route in my head.

Next I heard “inferior”, which I took to be a critique of the quality of my head! Not so, I was assured. It only designated an area that was lower than or behind another area.

I really became concerned when I began to hear “terminal” repeatedly! I always figured that if I were going to die from some outside cause, it would have to be something more lethal that an ultrasound probe! Ultimately I was assured that it simply meant the end of something, such as a vein. I was sure glad to hear that!

When the exercise was over, I asked if all these people were trainee technicians. One young fellow replied, “No. We’re technologist trainees. Technicians fix machines. Technologists run them.” Oh!

Anyway, I was happy that I was able to make a contribution to medical science without having to wait until I became a dissected cadaver. This way was really more fun and added immeasurably to my meager understanding of medical jargon.

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