Giant washing machine thingy? Check. Worrying bed-thing with a knee holder on it? Check. Incipient panic attack? Check. How long will it take? I quavered in Piglet’s voice. Oh, only about twenty minutes, breezed the machine-operator-lady. I was invited to lie down, had my leg immobilised, was given a panic button and some earphones and was shoved into the scanner. Good lord. Because I had to go in up to my chest, the front of the machine was directly in front of my face. Like, an inch away. From a worrying looking slot-thing labelled “Laser Aperture”. Um. Help? Now, although this was better for me than having to go all the way in (a procedure that for me would necessitate sedation, restraints and a scuba tank), it was far from ideal. Far. From. Ideal.
There then followed an endless twenty minutes of staring at the ceiling, trying to keep breathing, and being subjected to the sort of noises that would have confessions from every last inmate of Guantanamo Bay after three minutes. I mean, the noises!! So loud!! Big clangy ones. Horrible headfuck buzzing ones. Weird oh-my-god-what-was-that ones. It was as much as I could do to stop myself blurting “Madeleine McCann has been in my understairs cupboard all along!” in an effort to make them stop.
Friday, 22 February 2008
I've been down to the MRI scanner a few times to help patients and/or the technicians out before and during the scan. Those machines are LOUD and claustraphobic and I can't imagine that having a MRI scan would be in anybody's "Top 10 of things to do this year" list, no matter how neurotic you are.
Every now and then, a patient would come back from the scanner with a slip of paper clipped to their notes saying something like "Patient unable to tolerate scan" or "Patient refused imaging." I'm actually surprised that this didn't happen more frequently.
Surly Girl tells us how much fun it can be: