I had an MRI early this morning.
Since it was for my wrist, I thought there would be a mini MRI machine that I could stick just my arm into. Like a smaller version for limbs.
I had a bit of a panic attack when I realized that there was no smaller version, and my whole body was going to be laying on a plank and slid into a very tiny hole. On my stomach. And I wasn't allowed to move for 20 minutes. I'm not afraid of small spaces in general, but small spaces that shoot out electromagnetic rays of radiation freak me out a bit.
When I started to deep breath, the tech guy noticed that something was amiss, and tried to call me down by telling me that I'd probably only have to do it once. What? Why would I have to do it more than once? Oh, because of the two rings I couldn't get off of my fingers? That's when two little tears slid down my cheeks. He just looked at me oddly and prepared the platform with sterile sheets.
After putting in ear plugs, I laid down on my stomach, trying not to cry anymore, and put one arm up above my head. Which he locked down in a clamp. Hey! I was not expecting this part! It was hard enough imagining what it was going to be like cramped into a tiny hole without moving an inch, but to be locked down, too? On the verge of a breakdown, I realized I had a choice. I could freak out and not get it done, possibly damaging the MRI platform as I flung myself off and tried to get my hand free (oh, what a bill that would be), or I could just surrender and get the darn pictures so I wouldn't have to be in pain anymore.
After some more deep breathing to calm myself down, the tech put a little pillow under my head so I could turn it to the side. I squeezed my eyes shut, and in I went!
I'm actually happy that I fit. Because that hole looked SMALL.
Several things happened while I was inside.
- My hair fell down over my face. With each breath a little piece would go in my mouth, then out, then in, then out. I was also breathing hot air. I think laying there with my hair suffocating me was worse than being in the machine!
- My rings vibrated with each burst of noise. When it first happened, I thought that the rays were attacking the metal, and my fingers were going to explode. When they didn't go up in flames, I realized I was just feeling the vibrations. Because that's what happens when you're in the core of a giant vibrating machine.
- The tech spoke to me through an intercom and scared the be-jeezus out of me. My heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest, but I stayed still! He spoke to me a total of three times, and each and every time was just as scary.
- I remembered half way through that I had a metal filling. I hadn't listed it on the metals form I had to fill out prior to getting in the machine. And, scientist that I am, thought this might have changed the calibration formula for the amount of electromagnetic rays of radiation sent through my body, and my filling must be soaking up all the extra rays and sending it up through my brain.
- I tried to distract myself by praying, but an MRI machine isn't really the most peaceful place to connect to God. And the tech’s voice coming through the intercom was a bit distracting.
It was a very long 20 minutes.
When I was finally done (and almost fell off the platform because I forgot I was 5 feet in the air and tried to get off before he lowered it back down) I had to redo my hair. I wasn’t expecting to have to take my obviously metal barrette out, so hadn’t brought a brush with me. Due to a large dose of hairspray, my only option was to put it back up and brush it with my fingers. Let’s just say today is not my best hair day. But it definitely looks better than when the barrette was OUT.
While the tech wasn't exactly a ladies' man (who would've know what to do when a woman cried), the overall experience was pretty okay. I think I would have handled it all much better if I’d known what to expect.
One good thing? When the tech guy asked for my weight, I was able to give him my new number!