Sarah to Ground Control

Perhaps it is only my mind that works this way, then again – perhaps not, but having “seen the light” a couple/few times and given the middle finger to Mr. Reaper, I may have a bit of a twisted sense of humor.  Tuesday, while I was waiting for my second Cardiac MRI, I joked with the medical students and Radiology Techs who were getting me prepped for “tube time”.  The student who retrieved me asked if I’d done this before to which I responded, “I have… Let’s DO THIS THING!”  We chatted, I told him that no one warned me the first time that I’d feel like I pissed my pants while in the tube.  He told me that that was for CT scans, not MRIs, and I told him that it happened with the MRIs, too.  He was surprised, and quickly recovered with “Well, everyone gets a slightly different reaction.”

Nice cover and… fair enough.  He was a friendly guy and learning.  I didn’t want to lay into him too hard.  Because I was going into the 3 Tesla and not the 1.5 Tesla, they made me take out my titanium studs in my ears.  I needed help… which happens when you’re wearing awesome fake nails for a social event.  They pried and tugged and asked if they were hurting me, but they were not and eventually the earrings came out and were put into a specimen jar.

That’s right – SPECIMEN JAR.  Hey!  You use what you have available.  McGyver it!

Because they were “racking” me, putting on the leads and placing a big rack “thingy” (that’s the official term… at least to me), I had to strip from the waist up and put on a hospital gown. Which I rocked.  I joked.  I laughed.  I commented that I wished they had monitors in the tube so I could see what they were seeing because I’d find it FASCINATING (no really).  They said nobody had every commented on that before, but yeah, it might be a great idea.

So, that brings me to things that went through my head as I spent some time in the tube.  Think of this as a clip show…

and thanks to my Mom…

And… it all ended uneventfully.  The 2nd shift Radiology Technicians came in and one was a man who was shaking as he had to remove my IV, apologizing for removing skin in the process. I told him not to worry, but MAN was he shaking.  He said he’d leave the room for the other tech to remove the lead pads, because my breasts would be exposed, and I teased, ‘You can go if it makes you uncomfortable!!”  Seriously… are people REALLY that modest when it comes to this shit, patient or technician?  The female tech laughed.  I laughed.

Okay, maybe that was a little mean.

About The Amusing Muse

Deep thinker whose mind operates at warped speed. Philosopher pondering the big (and little) things in life. Storyteller. Office Ninja. Model. Teller of bad jokes. User of big words.
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3 Responses to Sarah to Ground Control

  1. Stephanie says:

    What do you mean he removed skin? You’re freaking me out a bit here.

    I’m on a waitlist for an MRI and am a bit nervous about it. Does it hurt? How long does it take?

    • Ah, perhaps I should have explained more about removal of skin… They put an adhesive patch over the IV to hold it in place and it’s SUPER sticky. My guess is that people who showered prior to getting that on them had skin come off because they had no protective oils on their skin. I didn’t have any skin come off, but they can’t just RIP that patch off since it is also sticking to the IV which they have to hold in place.

      The MRI itself doesn’t hurt at all, then again I have a weird “pain threshold”, very high for some things, very low for others, but often makes me laugh rather than cry. The machine makes a lot of noises, buzzes, clicks, thunks, ratcheting noises, etc. You lay on a board that moves back and forth within the tube and it really IS a tight fit in the machine. While inside, the distance from my nose to the top of the tube was maybe 4-6″ and other than the ability to move my feet freely since they were out the back of the machine, I could really only wiggle my fingers.

      The technicians talk to you via the headphones and if you talk, they can hear you via some microphone in the room. I ended up yawning really loudly and making a growling sort of sound and I heard a concerned, “Sarah? Are you okay?” Had to tell them i had just yawned and I was fine.

      Depending on what you’re having the MRI for will determine the length of the scan. My first one was over an hour. This one was about 45 minutes, but it was a more powerful scanner. I honestly find this stuff fascinating, and the techs really try to make you as comfortable as they can. The room really is cold, the MRI kicks out a lot of heat and so the rooms are super air-conditioned – ASK for blankets if you run cold, even if you THINK you might be cold. They gave me a blanket and turned down the fan for me as I’m the human popsicle and they didn’t want me shivering during the scan. Also, find out if you’ll be hooked up the leads – because then you will have on a hospital gown; if you don’t need the leads – you might be able to get by with warmer apparel.

      I WILL warn you that if you get contrast dye, it is COLD when they pump it into your vein and yes, you CAN feel it course through your circulatory system – took maybe 2 or 3 seconds for it to run full circle. The path is pretty cool to follow along, at least I think so, though it MAY make you feel like you peed your pants once it hits your genital region. My first MRI scan I got three different courses of dye and every time I got that warm/wet sensation and it was NOT pleasant because I seriously thought I had pissed myself. Now that I was anticipating that sensation, it didn’t hit me as hard. The contrast dye also tastes really weird, almost musty and metallic. You may also notice that for the next day, every time you pee – it smells funny (like “asparagus pee” does).

      Just remind yourself that it isn’t scary and it’s all in the name of science (and health!) and at the end of the day – pretty fascinating stuff. Just like I told myself for bikini waxes and other less-than-comfortable situations… it won’t last forever.

  2. Pingback: Things on my mind | musingsoftheamusingmuse

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