Thursday, December 4, 2008

Put inside the MRI tube

Two days ago, I posted about the preparations I underwent for the MRI of my bad shoulder.

After the dye injection into my shoulder socket for a contrast medium, it was time for me to be inserted into the MRI chamber. This is a long cylindrical tube the body is slid into for the magnetic resonant imaging. It is a tight fit in order to reduce the background interference during the scan which degrades the image. You must lie very still in there or else the image will not be clear. Claustrophobia is a problem.

I laid down on my back on a long narrow platform and the technicians gave me earplugs and said I would be in there about twenty minutes. They warned me that it would be noisy. Next they wrapped me tightly in a swaddling sheet, not so much to bind me as to confine me so I wouldn’t move. They advised me to keep my eyes closed, told me to relax and slid me in.

I did not like it in there at all. It was well lit but the curving metal wall was only a quarter inch from my face. I couldn’t even raise my head a bit to look down the length of my body. I could sense the narrowness of the enveloping tube around my body.

I started thinking of the people who had been trapped in confined spaces by tons of rubble at the collapsed Twin Towers. I imagined that if I screamed, they’d pull me back out. I sure couldn’t raise my arms to start pounding on the metal sides of the contraption for attention. I wondered if I yelled and nobody came, if I could wiggle out feet first. I thought that egress that way would be very slow, glacial even, if I could keep myself calm.

There were several loud clicks, as the camera adjusted, I suppose. A technician came on the intercom and said to lie very still, that they were about to take the first picture and it would be noisy for around two minutes.

A loud buzzing noise came on and stayed on. It sounded like being inside a microwave. I thought about how long twenty minutes would be. I closed my eyes rather than peer at a wall of curving white metal sweeping around my face.

Next: The dreamy state.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Now I realize just how lucky I was only to be partially slid in for the MRI of my ankle!