“Who spends Friday night having an MRI of their brain?” I wondered while sitting in the waiting room at 10pm this past Friday. Turns out, I’m not the only one having magnetic resonance imaging in lieu of celebrating the end of another work week. Mine, however, requires the staff to change the machine’s magnet, since those fine little passages of the ear are tough to capture, so I am the last customer of the day. My husband is so sweet to spend this time with me. He even delivered to the technician my old MRI from 1994. Large as a cook top, and weighing nearly as much, these antiquated images wrapped in brown paper caused the staff to wax nostalgic. Nowadays, results are delivered on a sleek disk.
I am confident the new images will not reveal a brain tumor any more than the old ones did. However, because sudden hearing loss at my age is rare, even though it has happened before, tumors must be ruled out. I am sad for all the tones I’ve lost, especially since my mind remembers the way ELO and Super Tramp are supposed to sound. On the flip side, I am delighted by the new sounds I hear. Tinkling wind chimes and rushing waterfalls have filled the void and keep me company when people are talking about things I cannot hear. The wind chimes are occasional phenomenon, same as the real thing. However, I hear a waterfall in my right ear all the time. It is soothing and comforting, and allows me to picture the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen. My favorite will always be the one in “Memory Lake”. “The waterfall reflected a silvery sheen from the sun except mid-center where a faint, dark shape loomed behind the torrential curtain.” We dared to cross a cliff and “…catapulted sideways. The water bent into a million fragmented rainbows,” as we disappeared into the falls. “The walls shimmered in a coppery glow. We howled and shouted, but the thundering fall would not allow our voices to be heard. Its jealous volume dominated.”
I do not have a photo of that prophetic natural wonder of my youth from the Porcupine Mountains, though I suspect it might be among those captured in Michigan in Pictures. I plan to study them thoroughly, searching for the spark of a memory, while hearing my own special sound effects.