One day, an innocent young woman fearfully climbed into a tube and proceeded to have a panic attack. A disembodied voice politely asked her to “stop moving around in there.” She reacted by . . .
But this is not that story.
THIS story happens to involve that same young(ish) woman, who, nine years later and no longer bothered by panic attacks, decided to take a fistful of sedatives prior to her MRI because she didn’t want to get yelled at again.
She shared her nervousness with her Facebook friends, hoping to get some comfort and reassurance.
OK, this is not exactly comfort and reassurance, but it made me laugh, and that is even better.
After one last Facebook comment in which I confirmed that I chose pink underwear, I got ready to leave.
Following the credo “If one is good, five are better,” I prepared my pre-procedure sedation prep. See above. I’m not taking any chances.
I was told that the MRI center is a one-story gray building with green windows. I enter an office park filled with one-story, gray buildings with green windows. Scanning for the building number, I almost hit a flock of geese crossing the road in front of me. Is this an omen? Are geese bad luck? Maybe only if you hit one.
The office is quiet. Thank god. I fill out the forms, which, I’ve noted, have me down for “one spine.” I hope they don’t find two spines, but at $400 a pop, it might be good if they found SOMEthing: a vestigial tail or a half-formed calcified twin or at least one of those cysts with the teeth and fingernails.
My sedation prep is kicking in, and I am feeling super relaxed now. SUPER. Relaxed. Now. Nothing sounds better than a nice cool tube to lie down in.
But still I wait. And wait. I’m downright sleepy. The floor is starting to look very comfortable; after all, it’s carpeted and who would care? I’m here for an MRI, presumably I’m in some sort of discomfort, right?
First I sit on the floor, leaning against the wall. Gradually I slide down. I’m lying on my back on the floor of a waiting room. This doesn’t faze me. If I look up, I can see the lady at the check-in desk peering down on me, but she isn’t fazed either, plus if I close my eyes I can’t see her.
No sooner do I get comfy than I’m called back to the MRI room, where I change into a pair of giant stretchy shorts. I am told to leave my iPod in the locker; it won’t work in the tube. I am not offered headphones OR a complimentary Valium. I’d feel indignant if I weren’t so damn relaxed.
I lie down on the nice, soft bed-thingy and am slid into the tube. I’m relieved to discover that the other end is open and if I tilt my head up, I can see daylight. If I need to, I can claw my way outta there.
The technician gives me something to hold onto — a beeper? — in case I need to claw my way outta there.
The clanging begins. It’s mega-loud. But it’s just noise, after all. I’m not feeling the least bit panicky. I’m not even feeling the least bit awake. I’m not even feeling . . .
“Ten more minutes!”
Wha-a-a-a-a? Yes, I’ve fallen asleep. For at least half an hour.
I feel disoriented and crabby. I needed more sleep in there. The technician stops me before I stumble out into the waiting room in my giant stretchy shorts. Oh, yeah. I’ll be needing my pants. And probably my car keys.
“Um . . . did someone drive you here today? The technician asks.
“Oh, yeah. My mom. Uhhhh . . . she dropped me off tho. She’s not in the waiting room, if you were to check or anything. I’m, uh, I’m meeting her. At Target.”
The technician’s look is a combination of “I know you’re lying” and “I could care less.”
On my way out of the office building maze, I come across that same flock of geese. Although my reflexes are not quite what they should be, I do JUST barely avoid hitting them.
As soon as I get home (but after I nap for four hours), I eagerly check out the MRI CD of my scans.
What in the bleeping bleep is this messed-up mess?
That can’t be me. My hips aren’t that lumpy. Also are those my lungs? Kidneys? WTF?
Maybe a sideview will help.
What’s that white thing? Fatty lining? Did someone leave a deflated ballon in me? Seriously, what IS that?
What are all these white spots? Cancer? Gum? Gas pockets? Probably gas pockets, right?
THIS is why you don’t get MRIs, people!
(“Actually, THIS why you don’t let patients SEE their MRIs,” say 1,000 doctors.)
Oh, didn’t I tell you?
THIS IS ONLY PART 1!!!!
Unless someone can interpret these damn things for me and save me a co-pay.
MRI came from here