Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery
Sunday, November 04, 2007
MRI! I Just Had a Thing Called MRI!
To recap: almost two months ago, I went to my GP to get some help with a sore leg. He said it seemed like maybe a tear in my hamstring or something. He sent me to an orthopedist who he figured would give me an MRI and get to the root of the problem.
Last week, I finally got the goddamn MRI. I've got no idea what the hell it says yet--I get to discuss it with my orthopedist on Wednesday. I assume he'll selflessly devote an entire three minutes to explaining the results to me. In the meantime, I'm left to my paranoid fever-dreams that it's going to show a clusterfuck of tumors and my fond recollections of the procedure itself. As I have no real desire to explore the tumor paranoia, let me tell you a little about the MRI.
The imaging facility is on the Upper East Side. It is, in fact, literally around the corner from 5th Avenue in the 70s. This is where rich people live. This is in the heart of Museum Mile. So the place is not easy to find, as a flashing neon sign that says "East River Imaging" would lower property values. So the facility, tucked away in the basement of a tony apartment building is marked by a small, hard-to-read plaque. The plaque is so hard to read that they have a guy stationed outside whose sole job is to look for confused people, ask them if they're looking for East River Imaging and usher them down the stairs. He's very good at his job.
After checking in, I was taken back to a dressing room. It was about the size of your average fitting room at Old Navy. You have to strip down to socks and undies and put on a green hospital gown that looked disquietingly like the "tupa" that Albert Brooks wore in Defending Your Life. Once I changed, I just sort of stood there in my tupa with the dressing room door open, waiting for the guy to come get me. It's not a great feeling, sitting in a gown in a cubicle while people walk by in the hall. I felt vaguely like an Amsterdam hooker.
So the guy comes to take me to the MRI room and I have to leave all my stuff in the dressing room, which made me really nervous, because I'd just bought a box of Mallomars and I just knew some felonious lab tech was going to bust in and steal them. You can't trust those people. Despite my anxiety, I did my best to try to relax, so as not to mess up the MRI results.
Anyone who hasn't had an MRI is, I'm sure, at least somewhat familiar with the procedure from its recurring appearance on FOX's hit show House. That House. It's just amazing how someone so cranky can be so brilliant! I can't get enough!
Anyway, so they shove you into this tube and you lie there for half an hour or so while a bunch of machinery whizzes around you. One thing that House hadn't prepared me for was the noise that an MRI makes. It sounds a little like a Phillip Glass symphony written in celebration of fire drills. It wouldn't be so bad if it was one sort of loud, sustained noise. But it gets quiet, then loud, then the beeping changes to a buzzing, then it's tapping out a Kafka novel in Morse code. It makes it really hard to relax in there.
The fact is, I'm not entirely convinced that this is a legitimate medical procedure. I'm of the opinion that the MRI machine doesn't actually do any kind of scanning whatsoever. I think it might actually be part of one massive ongoing psychological experiment. "Okay, see, we take these people and we wedge them into this sort of Buck Rogers-looking coffin to ramp up their claustrophobia, we tell them to stay absolutely still, then we bombard them with full-volume Emergency Broadcasting System noises. I posit that the average man will lose his shit in five minutes."
But, real procedure or massive hoax, I made it through and now my hope is that this will help them decide how to make me not quite so fucking owie. Because only Gregory House can really make a limp look cool. On me, it just looks like I'm posing.
"...a Kafka novel in Morse code."
I love how you think. I'm sending you my very best wishes and thoughts!
I know that no one will believe this, but I actually dozed off during my only MRI experience (checking for brain tumors- all clear).Post a Comment
Don't ask me how. I think kind of got used to the noise and just tuned it out.