You would too if you had been for two MRIs in one week. My faithful readers may remember that I’ve got a wee genetic mutation that apparently disposes one to pediatric malignant CNS tumours. Take note, though, of the word pediatric. No one can tell me for sure if a brain tumour is going to pop up somewhere in my future, but I’ve been told it’s very, very doubtful. There does exist a possibility, however, of developing benign nerve sheath tumours called schwannomas. The possibility is also quite small, but is there.
The result of all of this is that it is considered in my best interest to have a base-line scan just to be sure there’s nothing brewing in there. Naturally, I’m taking all of this in stride, my usual unflappable self. Most of you will probably never have to have an MRI, but if you should, please know that the experience is unnerving to say the least.
My first MRI was of my head and took about an hour. The second one was of my spine and took about 45 minutes. For both I was injected with a contrast substance called gadolinium, which hopefully has already been filtered out of my body. Go kidneys!
Gav has always been deeply sedated for his scans, and now I understand why. The strength of will required to lie absolutely still and motionless in the machine is massive. No two-year-old could do it. Of course, you are nervous. You are having an MRI done which means there may be something wrong with you. Is there something wrong with you? What will they discover? Do you have loads of little tumours that just haven’t gone anywhere yet? Now take another deep breath and relax. Hold still, or you’re going to have to go through this again. Ignore the fact that you have been rolled into a box-like (coffin) structure. Stay still. Gah! You forgot to take off your rings! Quickly notify the tech that you forgot to take off your rings, only to be assured that that is no problem. Breathe, slowly, ocean of calm and try to ignore the noise bombarding you.
The noise. I’d heard that at certain higher end establishments, headphones with soothing music are provided for the patient. The hospital I attended is, shall we say, a bit no frills – is ghetto too mean? – and so all I got were a crappy pair of ear plugs. Surely Bose has created non-magnetic noise-cancelling headphones for just such an occasion? It becomes pretty hard not to focus on the noise, it’s just so all-encompassing. But, with a pretty good mental effort I found I could drift away into a happy place, and focus on breathing and swallowing and not coughing and not twitching.
The tech and nurse were behind and ushered me out quickly after my last scan today, but my own paranoia makes me think that they know something I don’t know. When Craig and I took Gav to CT that fateful night, the tech must have been just dying inside, knowing what was so obvious from the scans, but professionally having to send us off with no indicator of how she felt. To her credit, she gave no sign of what she knew. I assume you become practiced at that after awhile. So, of course, today, I thought, Great, they’ve seen something and just want to get me out of here before they give it away.
And now I wait for the radiologist to look, send the report to my doctor, go to her office and get the news. Ugh. Waiting for things like this is awful. It is easier though, to wait for myself than it is for Gavin. I’m still praying though, sending out an extra-magnetic vibration into the universe that all is well with me. No tumours, please or “brain cloud” weird disease that I’ve never heard of. I’ve had enough for one year, thanks.