The Making Of My Mask

The mask I’m talking about has to do with Radiation Oncology. Kind of a Star Wars thing, I’m guessing nobody I know has had this done and I haven’t had it yet but I’m being prepped for it.

My doctor warned me about it being claustrophobic. Told her yes I am but I think I’ve learned to deal with it. She said its been her experience that people who say that need the drugs. Ok fine, I took the drugs. I have it with me. So I go in today to get my mask made. It is protection and ensures you don’t move. All this was explained. When they said mask – my first thought was SILENCE OF THE LAMB. Then I did some research online and I saw one that must be the first generation of “the mask” because now its way different.

So imagine if you will a 3 X 3 feet piece of webbed plastic. It kind of looks like a super size placement with some hooks or clamps on the edges. There is space between the weave but its like centimeters, very small. So they heat this this piece up in hot water and then put in on my face while I lying on the bed on the CT/MRI kind of machine. Its like a warm hot washcloth being placed on my face, which is nice. UNTIL they hook the edges to the bed of the machine. Then they press on it to mold my head and chest area. The pressure/tightness of the mask pushing on my head made me understand the claustrophobia feelings of this. As the two nurse worked on shaping the material on my face head and chest, I asked; “Don’t you cut a whole for the nose?” The nurse started laughing, signs of claustrophobia. No she says there are wholes all over. I can feel the material molding around my face and head. It is pulled down snuggly on my face. Its kind of like water boarding or water torcher; have you ever seen in the movies where they wrap the persons head in a towel or cloth anden pour water. Same concept. Except they don’t pour water. But I’m thinking somewhere someone is using this stuff for that. It gives the perception of drowning. Well, hence my anxiety.

This is the part my heart started racing and anxiety started to creep me out. But I wanted to see if I could handle it and now I know I can but why if I no have to, right. So anyway they mold my face and make their markings and what not. Ok test run, they slide me into the machine. They slide me out, wait wait wait, we need to add more markers and do measurement. Oh wait, before they slide me in, they put these straps around my wrist that are connected to a board so that my feet are flat against it. I said, “horizontal trapeze?” The nurses started laughing, exactly. I know if I can make the nurses laugh I’m in good hands. I’ve had nurses who don’t laugh, I figure as the ones who don’t get ANY and its cause dey no laugh as why. But I digress….

So that ‘horizontal trapeze’ contraption is so that my shoulders are pulled back. I was like well at least I have something to do with my hands. Cause I usually sit on my hands or whatever position its in it needs to stay that way cause you’re not suppose to move. So holding on to the straps is good. So more in out of the machine, more pictures, more markings. Whoa I did it. Drugless. The first thing I said when they took all the stuff off was: “ok I understand the claustrophobia feeling now.” The nurses just laughed. Do I get to keep the mask? Yup when you’re treatment is done, its yours. Cool – I’m thinking I wanna frame it LOL would have to be in a shadow box, a big ass shadow box. It would look spooky or maybe not, it may look artsy fartsy. It would match the framed pictures of my hysteroscopy. LOL

Dat story is they had to send cameras into my uterus. Dey took pictures and gave them to me, four 5 x 7’s equal two 8 x10’s – It looks very arty fartsy. I mounted and framed them. Its different shades of reds and pinks, its guts. You can’t tell what it is unless I tell you. I told my OBGyn who took the pictures that I framed it. She was like “OMG you are the first and please don’t hang that in the kitchen.” 🙂

So anyway after this mornings procedure, I was very…. what’s the word…. NERjess? LOL I was somehow? Needed to go have lunch so I went to the mall. Ate, shopping looked around a lot. Bought stuff for granddaughter and two pairs of shoes. WTH LOL Retail therapy, good for what ails me. Except this could get expensive if I did this after each treatment. Six weeks, 5 days a week, 15 minute sessions, yeah I betta take my happy pills before treatments to take the edge off and avoid retail therapy.

Ma ke aloha ~ until I write again, bumbye den.


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