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I spent the better part of yesterday, 3pm to 12am, in an uncomfortable bed in the Emergency Department of UMDNJ. I felt an exacerbation coming on and went to my doctor, who agreed with me, that the symptoms that brought me to his office might very well be a flare up about to happen, or beginning to happen. As, UMDNJ has the leading MS Clinic and Neurology department in the area, not to mention my neurologist is a professor/doctor there, we decided it would be best to be proactive. 9 hours later I was starting to regret the decision.

It became an extremely detrimental day. First off, I love my father but, being the youngest of his children he goes into ANYTHING involving me as if I was still a toddler. Being a toddler might be something alot of people would prefer but, I’m a 34 year old surviving with MS. First example, after going for my MRI or sausage stuffing experiment, as I like to call it. For some reason the foremost neurological hospital and teaching hospital can’t afford more modern MRI equipment. If you ever had the misfortune of having to recieve an MRI at University Hospital, the MRI machine is a small, small, did I mention small, little tunnel. I had to contort my arms into my chest and get stuck a few times on the way into the machine. My hep-valve, IV start point, dug into my right elbow as I was squeezed, and squeezed myself into the chamber. After a half hour session it was time for another half hour session WITH contrast. I was wedged and wiggled my way out of the MRI tube, injected with “dye” and wedged back in. A horrible mechanical grinding let us know it wasn’t happening a second time. The MRI had been broken the first 3 hours of my visit and the technician didn’t want to risk stuffing me back in, only to have the machine break again while I was IN the machine.

After that hellacious adventure; my father decides to interrogate me, at least it felt like an interrogation,about what they were and were not able to see etc., etc. All things that I have no clue about but, at that moment after escaping my claustrophobic experience, I was supposed to know to please my father. Sorry dad. We get back to my little sliver of the Emergency Department and I need to piss. I tell my dad, “please, get a nurse with a urinal or I’m going to pee myself!!” My dad spends the next 5 minutes saying “excuse me” and ignoring the doctors who stop to listen, because HE NEEDS TO FIND A NURSE NOT A DOCTOR. He finally finds a nurse, gets a urinal, and STOPS short of handing me the urinal to explain to the nurse why he asked her. I tore the urinal from his hand and unceremoniously hid behind the curtain and relieved myself. My dad walks in and has the nerve, or audacity, or lack of urgency of the situation to chastise me for being rude and snatching the urinal from his hand. Long story short he leaves the Emergency Room and gets my mom.

6 hours later, a neurologist walks into my curtained box and tells me the they couldn’t find anything active on the MRI but, I would need to get one WITH contrast to actually be able to tell without a doubt if anything was active, especially if there was slight activity. They prescribe me Prednisone, about 5,000mg’s worth over a 6 day course to stop any auto-immune activity that may be present and send me on my way.

When I say that I couldn’t have made it through the experience without my parents and friends texting me the whole time, it’s not just being cute. I would have gone insane without them. The Emergency and Trauma wards of University Hospital reminded me of the hospital in The Misfits “Scream” video, AFTER the zombie band come back

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