Sunday, August 9, 2009

So, what is it like to have an MRI?

It's sort of like being in the middle of an air raid siren. No, I mean inside of the actual siren - the thing that makes all that noise. What else could explain that level of sound and vibration? It's actually comforting that the quality of the sound changes every couple of minutes - from a honking kind of alarm to a jackhammering kind of noise, and so forth.

It's also a bit like being stuck inside of a Squarepusher album, which itself is stuck on one of the more noisy bits.

Honestly, though, it wasn't so bad. I was only doing the cervical spine, so my test only lasted for fifteen minutes. My tech was really nice, and saw that I was clearly anxious. So he let Jonathan come to the back with me, and then had him fill out a few forms so that he could come right on into the test with me.

Laying down on that plank, I sure did want to start crying (again). But they put a nice blanket over me, and a foam wedge under my knees so that it would be more comfortable to lay still. They gave me ear plugs of course. The "camera" for my neck was attached to a crazy contraption that fit sort of over my head and face, and made me feel a bit like those poor kids with headgear that you see in awful 80's teen movies. Before they slid me in, they handed me a sort of ball attached to a cord, and told me that if I needed to stop and come out, all I needed to do was squeeze that ball. It's the kind of shape that's just reassuring to hold in the hand. And of course, knowing you have a killswitch is comforting in and of itself. Then, in I went, into the tube.

And then they pulled me back out. It was a little disconcerting. But they did it to give me a mirror, one that fit onto the thing that straddled my head, so that I would not only feel Jonathan touching my legs, but would also see him. I think it made all the difference.

It was definitely a test of endurance. I am very, very sensitive to sound. It is also terribly hard for me to stay in one position for more than about two minutes, let alone fifteen. But I did a lot of slow conscious breathing - knowledge left over from my yoga days - and for the last five minutes I was counting down. I have a pretty good sense of the length of a second, because of a habit I had as a kid of literally watching clocks.

When it was over I was quite relieved - and quite stiff. My neck hurt for the rest of the day, just because I'd made it stay still for so long. But more importantly, it was over. Now, hopefully, by Tuesday I'll know what is and is not wrong with my neck.

As one of my attorneys (that I work for - I'm not suing anyone) said, let's hope it's just effed up enough to get me some physical therapy.

1 comment:

Tom said...

I wish I'd had something like this done many years ago. I've screwed up on some rather grand scales in the neck/shoulder region, and sometimes I wake up and it hurts so badly all I can do is lay in bed all day for two or three days and feel pain. No one has been able to tell me what's exactly wrong, though car accidents and the like don't leave much to the imagination. The last doctor went with, "Well, when you get older..." Uh, no, doc. It's not quite like that, but thanks for not listening.

I hope you get some good information back, and that it's nothing seriously serious.

My word verification is tometo, but I say "tometo."