MRI in Fez

I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about Morocco after I leave it. Leaving Turkey just about tore me apart and I have been trying, almost desperately to get back (which I think it will be possible. I just need to figure it out). Every traveler has a country they “imprint” on, like geese almost. It doesn’t always follow a natural logic, but I have many friends in similar positions. On what grounds does a Puerto Rican fall in love with China, a New Zealander with Iran, or a Moroccan with Japan? The circumstance is the same: you’re always moving, but there’s one special corner in your heart reserved for that one country, that one city which you will at all costs return to whenever possible even for a short while. Istanbul is my “imprint place,” but that doesn’t mean I love Morocco any less. I’ve been granted just enough time to realize one thing: I’ve successfully  scratched the surface. To do well, even this can be difficult, however ‘scratching the surface’ is far from the aim of exploration. I’m not ready to go, but I will be back. I will absolutely come back.

In the meantime, I plan to either mail or give away the bulk of my things so can travel as lightly as possible. The knee dilemma will help in that respect because I won’t be needing to pack my sports gear unfortunately.

By the way, I’m in a hospital right now, in the receptionist area. Just finished an MRI. I wasn’t  really concerned until they asked my about metal, and insisted I remove everything. I have metal in my other knee from an ACL surgery, which. When it dawned on me that MRI stood for Magnetic Resonance Imagery I had a horrible vision of the metal in my leg being ripped out by the massive magnet of the MRI. I refused to go in until I got the translation down. My confidence in French is parfait regarding in “Category:Food” not “Category:Health.” Then I remembered a brain MRI I had after I was fainting too much after my races in High School track. Post-ACL surgery (metal and all) and I was fine. I figured the machine itself was not likely to have been produced in Morocco, and was probably purchased from the United States or elsewhere like it. Either way, it would adhere to the same permissabilities and limitations.

P.S. The music offered for the duration of the MRI was traditional Fezi. After asking a few questions about it so I could look it up later, and the male nurse disappeared into the back and brought out the CD for me to keep. Very sweet. My most enjoyable MRI yet. I’m going to keep the it forever.

PPS. Significantly less crowded than last time around. Before, they had me wait in a patient room, waiting for Doctor Mrini to be available while various other patients were treated in the room. A man getting his blood pressure. A large middle aged woman on a stretcher who was having trouble breathing. I struck up a conversation with the nurses in French, and they were so amused by my story that they brought in a random person (whom I at first thought was the doctor, but wasn’t) just to hear it:

Je me suis blessé  mon genou dans un mauvais match du rugby. Apres un jour de pause, j’ai corré un demo-marathon dans les montagnes du Chefchouen. Après sa, je suis allée à Taghazout de faire du surfing. Même si je souffrir mal, je le sens que j’alimenterait. Mais, par le fin de mon temps en sud, une moto est tombé sur ma jambe. Il y trios semaines depuis ça. Je peux marcher mais c’est raiment impossible pour moi de faire du sport. Et maintenant, je suis ici!


The two nurses I was talking to. The bandages were there before I arrived.

The cover photo is one I took of a tannery in the Fez medina, however the hospital is closer to the outskirts of the city. I took the former photo several months ago, but felt it added context. Fez is an ancient and beautiful city, but the medical care system is a mess. Later, I was asking the nurses about their work and they were nothing but frustrated with the situation; the hours, the pay, the lack of space, organization, resources, etc. Several of my teammates, after asking me about the progress of my leg and hearing it still injured replied, “Yes, that’s Morocco. Things heal slowly or they don’t.” After talking with the nurses… their words make a bit more sense. I felt almost guilty for even being in the hospital because even though I know I’m not fine, I can walk well enough. And there are definitely people in need of immediate care who should (and did) take precedence. Their priority mentally alleviated the 1h 45 minute wait to be seen.

P.S. Merci beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup to Meriem Benomar who went to the end of the earth to ensure that they didn’t turn me away!

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