My mum lost her hearing in one of her ears a few years ago and the doctors never knew what caused it. She was booked in for an M.R.I scan, but ended up not going through with it saying she felt too frightened and claustrophobic. I told her she was being ridiculous, and that if it was going to help well, she should just bloody do it!
Mere hours after my own M.R.I, I phoned to apologise to her. I understood exactly what she meant.
The nurses told me to remove all my jewellery, piercings and hair pins. Nothing metal left in my body, and seeing as I have no plates or bionic limbs, that should’ve been pretty simple right? Not quite. I have an intimate piercing that is quite literally impossible to remove on my own. I sheepishly explained this and was told that I may need to reschedule as the piercings can “explode” and rip out whatever part of the body it’s attached to. (yeah, she actually said “rip”). Then another nurse came, handed me a magnet and told me to hold it against my piercing to see if it was magnetised. It wasn’t, so she said I would be safe to go in and there would be nothing to worry about. Sorted then! Then why were exploding vaginas all I could think about?
I put on my gown and answered some basic health questions, then was warned that the IV buscopan that I was about to receive might make my vision blurred so not to panic about blindness or anything, and that on rare occasions, some tattoos can heat excessively during an MRI, and if this happens I should push the buzzer and they’ll take me out (I have about 27 tattoos so this wasn’t particularly pleasant news). So now all I can think about it is losing my sight, having exploding genitals and burning from the inside out. Great. What a morning.
I lay on the bed and 2 boards were placed on top of me and fastened to the bed so that my arms were trapped by my side, rendering me unable to move. So when my vaginas flying around in tiny pieces, I won’t be able to throw my hands out and grab anything to salvage!
I was told I’d be lying under the machine for an hour. An HOUR! I thought this would take a few minutes! As I started to be moved in, I immediately knew what my mum meant – it was horrendous. I felt totally trapped and couldn’t see anything around me apart from white, clinical plastic. They gave me earphones, but it was impossible to concentrate on the awful music over the hum and beeps and murmurs of the machine.
About 30mins in, I needed to sneeze. Shit. I’m not supposed to move in here right? It came and went twice, until I couldn’t stop it anymore. Damn, not one but, two sneezes! I tried in vain to stifle them, which only resulted in my eyes watering. I could feel a small steady stream of tears rolling down my face. I couldn’t life my arm to wipe it. Uh-oh, now my nose was running. Snotters slowly dripped down my face. Oh my God, it’s going in my mouth, it’s going in my mouth! I turned my head ever so slightly to try veer the snotters off course. Result! They bypassed my mouth and continued rolling down my chin and on to my neck. Crap, there goes my eyes again. More tears were coming, followed by even more snotters. My face was a soggy mess and I couldn’t do anything about it.
Finally, the murmurs stopped and I started to feel myself move backwards. The nurses appeared and unstrapped the boards. I could finally lift my hands and I immediately wiped my wet, snotter soaked face. It was over.
Or was it? Was that actually the easy part?