Friday, August 17, 2012



I awoke a bit late, so it was a rush to the shower and the car to head up to Gainesville for my brain scan. While it was scheduled for 3:30, I had been informed just a few days ago that I had to be there an hour early for a blood test so they could make sure the stuff they were going to inject me with wouldn't kill me.

Oh happy news! A blood test, needle; and an injection, needle...

To divert any apprehension on the part of the reader, this was a brain MRI just to check some things regarding my eye sight as I have some strange things going on with that, and my last Optometrist thought if we could, it would be nice to take a look at it just to see if there was any physical factor, doubtful though that might be.

I was also curious as my mother had had some long term brain shrinkage that was not discovered until a couple of weeks before her death and had led to about ten years of various "guess-ignostics" so I figured as long as they are looking, to have them check for any signs of that sort of thing.

I raced on up and made great time until I hit the exit for Archer and that was backed up, and it was stop and go for the rest of the 5 miles or so to the VA Hospital. This was midday, and these are three and four lane roads each way, no accidents, just a lot of conflicting stop lights. They really need to address flow issues in that area.

As it had started raining, which seems to be a fairly regular thing for my travels to Gainesville of late, ever since I discovered the arboretum right there and have wanted to return to it, so I was happy to find a spot, the spot, in the handicapped lot closest to the entrance.

Of course, that put me at one end of the very large and spread out building, and both the lab for the blood test and the facility for the MRI were at the extreme other end of the building, so I scooted down long corridors, around turns and back, and eventually up an elevator one floor to the blood lab.

This was the most efficient lab I have ever experienced, which means no social banter, sit down, present your ID, put out your arm and bamm! I did have a little advance warning, as the man called before me reappeared way too quickly.

I now had an hour to kill till my appointment, and also because they wouldn't go until they got the results of the blood work. I moved outside, happening to be at the main entrance which has been significantly reworked since the last time I saw it, and as smoking within 300 feet of the entrance is no longer allowed, I moved down along the building until I found a place where it was okay to indulge.

As I sat there on my scooter and lit up, I noticed a great looking old oak and decided to get the shot. I played with various settings to try to work out the high contrast and get details in the tree without overexposing everything else, or properly exposing everything else without turning the tree into a dark silhouette, but it turned out in the end that "intelligent auto" gave the best result.

Behind the tree, note the pyramid like structures. I mused on what they might be as I sat there, and figured maybe some kind of ventilation system, but it was only when I made the trek back in and went to the MRI facility that I learned what they actually were.

Across the street from the VA Hospital is Shands Medical Center, and across that long distance, and the 6 lanes of road separating them, beneath the ground, runs a tunnel to facilitate workers and patients having to move between the two locations. A few hundred feet down that long underground passage is the MRI facility, placed there to isolate its powerful magnetic fields both to protect them and protect others from them.

And it is those rooms that are in fact roofed by those pyramids behind my tree!

Pretty neat bit of synchronicity!

I won't get the results till Monday- or my Doctor will, but the operator said she did see what came out and that yes, there was a brain there; but beyond that I would have to wait for the Doctor to read the pictures- and that I could also request a CD of the images. She did express some concern about a small spot of Republicanism she thought she spotted, but I assured her that that was a momentary experiment in the 80's but she made a note to the Doctor to check for any possible lasting harm. I'm not really concerned- a lot of us loved Ronnie.



Relieved to hear you have a need for a trip to see the Wizard!

The scooter picture is pretty darned cool.
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