If you are looking for a different way to spend a morning you might try booking an MRI

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Let’s just say you are stuck for something to do on a sunny summer Tuesday morning. Well, why not go out and get yourself an MRI scan.

That was what I did on Tuesday, and a good time was had by all – not. For the uninitiated, MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. And basically what the scan is designed to do is to find out shit that is wrong with you.

In having the procedure booked for me I only had a vague idea of what to anticipate. My dear former wife who is afflicted with MS gave me some idea a few years ago but I had largely forgotten. So essentially I was an MRI virgin. Probably just as well. I like life to be full of surprises.

Just to set you straight about the matter, I am not suffering from anything dire (as far as I know), but for many months now I have been suffering from balance issues. Not vertigo, just balance stuff in which I am inclined to misstep which can leave me in jeopardy of having a serious fall. What it feels like, when it’s bad, is much like walking on the deck of a rocking ship, or having had a few belts over the line. A phenomenon about which I was very familiar at one time, but haven’t been for 18 sober years. Anyway, that is my affliction in a nutshell and that was the reason for the MRI.

Anyway, I arrived at my appointment well ahead of time hoping they could fit me in early and get the thing – whatever it was look like – done posthaste. No such luck. There was somebody ahead of me. My point is, I detest medical procedures. I am not so much afraid of them than I am uncomfortable with having my personal integrity violated. And if it’s something with which I am unfamiliar, then I am like a virgin on a first date with somebody I fancy. You know it’s going to happen but you aren’t certain what it will be like.MRI-of-the-brain-006

So, I was ushered into the MRI place. It’s a traveling MRI unit by a nice Filipina lady and is situated on a big trailer as it goes from town-to-town on Vancouver Island. A good deal for those who need its services.

I could see the big machine. It didn’t really look ominous, but did look space-agey. I was exhorted to lie down and one last verbal questioning was given to me to ascertain if I had anything metallic on my person that they might have missed. I was happy I had no nipple or foreskin piercings as that could have been embarrassing. They had already stuck me in ugly greenish hospital pants.

So, I followed the instructions which were mainly to lie down and accept the exhortation that I must not move a muscle once the process began. I then had a hypo stuck in my arm (to inject dye to increase contrast for the images), then I had to put on a gauze cap, my eyes were covered with gauze, earplugs were inserted and then earphones were put in place. The tech has to be able to contact the patient throughout. And then music came. It was Ricky Lee Jones offering a medley of stuff. I like her. I can handle this, I thought. But then the noises began. Great clangings and buzzings and crashing at different parts of the process. I wanted to hear Ricky Lee, but she was kind of drowned out by what was happening.

But, I was a good patient and was praised for how still I was throughout. I was only happy I didn’t need to pee and made sure I attended to bladder stuff before it all began.

Then, after twenty minutes, it was all over. I got to leave and go out and get my ‘civvies’ from the locker in which they’d been placed.

And that, dear friends, is what my MRI was roughly all about.

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6 responses to “If you are looking for a different way to spend a morning you might try booking an MRI

  1. I gather they scanned your head? I hope they can pinpoint your problem and treat it.

  2. I assume its all in your head! Ha ha! Could not resist. I have a fake knee so they will not do MRI on that or areas close to it. You might find this article interesting:
    http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance/pages/balance_disorders.aspx

  3. You’re obviously not claustrophobic if you were able to lie there calmly in a giant metal tube for twenty minutes, unable to see and only able to mostly hear the noise of the machine! I’m not sure how I’d fare if it were me in there – but I would hope that an Ativan or two would take care of the anxiety I’m quite sure I’d experience.

    • Well, I was surprised that I felt no claustrophobic discomfort. I just went through it unassisted. My biggest fear was that at some point I’d desperately have to go to the bathroom. So I kept my coffee intake to a bare minimum that morng.

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