I never, ever want to do that again

posted in: Life and things | 4
Doctor examines results of MRI scan
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

I had an MRI the other day. It was ordered as the final check to make sure my medical episode several weeks ago, where I suffered temporary blindness in my right eye, was not the result of a stroke. I explained all that in a recent blog post (click here). I wasn’t particularly anxious about the result of the MRI – I’m sure if the doctor still had concerns, the MRI would have been carried out before I was allowed to leave the hospital.

MRI means magnetic resonance imaging. The MRI scanner uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate signals from the body. These are picked up by a radio antenna and processed by a computer to create pictures of the soft tissue inside your body. Or in my case, my brain. It all sounds pretty straight forward.

Folks, I hope I never, ever, ever have to have another one of those things.

First things first. The nurse explained the machine was very noisy and gave me ear plugs, the sort you squish with your fingers before you put them in. I lay on my back on the machine’s bed with my head on a cradle and with a pillow under my knees for comfort, and earmuffs over my ears. I was given a buzzer to press if I became uncomfortable during the procedure.

That was when the heart started beating just a little faster.

Not as fast as it did when they put the mask over my head. I could still see through a slit but the intent was to keep my head still. It’s not a great feeling.

The heart rate went into overdrive when the bed slid into the machine. I reckon there was no more than five centimetres between me and the ceiling. I’m a bit claustrophobic. Being stuck in a lift is decidedly uncomfortable, as is sitting in the very backseat of a six-seater aircraft. The panic bubbles in my gut, lurking just below the surface, ready to surge up if I let it or if I can’t prevent it. I clutched the panic button in my right hand and thought about pressing it. But then I gave myself a talking to; it wouldn’t be for long: I could handle this: breathe… in… hold… out. Deep breaths. Concentrate on breathing…

Then the noises started. Loud clicks. Clunks. A deep vibration that shook the whole bed like one of those massage chairs but not in a good way. All interspersed with long moments of silence. All the while I could see through that slit in the mask so I watched a blurry version (no glasses) of what was happening in the control room. People moving around, probably chatting.

The nurse told me she’d let me know when the procedure was half done. It felt like forever, but then I heard her voice, “you’re doing really well.” Was I? Not long to go, then. Breathe. Watch the woman in the control room wave something. A spoon? Feel the clunks and thuds and vibrations.

All the noises stopped. I concentrated on the control room. The nurse stood and disappeared. I focused on the handle of the door into the chamber. It opened. And then the bed slid out. She took the mask off my face and the pillow from under my knees. I don’t think she realised how shaken I felt. I said I never wanted to do one of those again and the response was, “Oh, didn’t you like it?”

No, lady, I didn’t. If there’s ever a next time, I’ll ask for a sedative.

I suppose, since it’s probably one of the more prominent important items in the news over the past week, I’d better same something about the Meg ‘n Harry interview with Oprah. No, I didn’t watch it, I’m not into the whole ‘celebrity’ thing but like everybody else, I’ve seen/heard/read bits and pieces via the news.

I can’t imagine what it would be like living in the royal goldfish bowl, with every rabid ‘journalist’ eager for any piece of gossip, the more salacious the better. If you can’t find any, make something up. Truth is an optional extra. It’s all about clicks, views, and women’s magazine headlines. So, I can’t blame Harry and the missus for wanting out, for wanting some privacy. Therefore, I really cannot understand why they would agree to participate in a ‘tell-all’ interview which could find pride of place in a reality TV show like ‘married at first sight’. Did they really expect that there would be no response from the masses? That all they’d get would be sympathy?

Well, “… whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7-9

If Meghan had wanted lessons in how to deal with the pressures of royalty with class and style (and assuming her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, wasn’t helping), then she could do a lot worse than emulate our very own Mary, Princess of Denmark.

Time for this week’s pretty picture.

Phot of the beach at Cape Leveque - red rocks, bright blue sea, yellow sand
The colours are real, folks. Cape Leveque in WA’s north

4 Responses

  1. Greta

    I wish I had been offered some music – but I wasn’t. Just had to listen to the machine do its thing. But thanks for sharing your experiences – at least it’s not just me. And Viv – have a wonderful time at your next one 😉

  2. Viv McCarthy-Frazer

    Just surprised you weren’t asked wat music you like. As all 3 times I ve had one so far the first thing the operator has asked. The pre op one they did at Brisbane was the one where bloke asked me & I said classical. He said oh I can put abc classic on, which is what I have on here a lot. But didn’t think about what time it was as machine started up on came the news! I was having a hard time not laughing at the irony. My sis will tell you I can find humour in many odd situations. Then halfway through MRI music came back. And after even the techie apologised but I laughed & said as long its good for the Doc. The neurosurgeon used it to remove my meningioma. But yes I m not particularly claustrophobic. Also have to have my 6monthly Check MRI next month! Cheers!

  3. Naine

    Oh I felt for you Greta! I HATE MRI’s and in the past year have had 2 [brain – hemi cranial thunderclap headaches]…the feelings were the same BUT the one thing my lass did was offer me a choice of music, so ‘laxed to the sounds of Neil Diamond. It helped. Lots. Good luck honey…

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