"Please resume breathing."

Today I had an MRI. I'm writing about this because it's novel for me. Plus, the "what to expect from an MRI" stuff I saw was... uninformative. 

I went to the place. I was a bit nervous and therefore surly on arrival. I couldn't hear the explanation the chap was giving me, and had been led to believe there would only be one thing—dye—injected, so was more surly when he said something about Buscopan. That apparently makes your bowel stop doing it's bowel thing for a bit so they can get better pictures. I was charged up front. I don't like that either.

Then a radiographer appeared from the change room. She asked to see all the forms I'd just read and signed. She asked me everything again. It was very important to her that I doubly consented to both things they wanted, but didn't require injecting. I said, "but is it dangerous" and she said "everybody's different." There were lots of questions about whether I had metal in my body, either shrapnel or perhaps a pill camera I may have swallowed some time ago, or any bit of metal in my eye ever are you sure not ever ever? I feel like they were avoiding telling me my eyes might explode.

Then I was ushered to the change room. I had read I wasn't to have any frikkin metal anywhere on my person like none for reals so I got changed into the fetching robes. (I'd actually brought trackies. I don't know why I didn't that or think that they wouldn't be prepared for me to wear no metal whatsoever.)

You know that trick of looking in the phone's camera and not the mirror, don't you

Then I gave the knock they requested when I was ready. I had a key and my mask and my stuff was locked in the change room. They put me on the thing and got it all set up. I cried a bit when I first went in. This is usual for me. It’s like a small outpouring of shyness. I wasn’t too scared... it’s more that there were two people telling me what they were about to do and saying a lot and strapping an antenna to my abdomen and sticking a needle in my arm and putting earplugs in my ears and asking if I wanted music can you imagine anything worse than Vivaldi in this context? Apparently it was about to get LOUD but it was the best machine so their images will be nice.

At the start and end of the 45 minutes, they needed me to control my breathing, but it was the opposite of the usual "take a deep breath". It was breathe in, breathe out, and then hold your breath for 10-15 seconds, or 11 beats of the machine, or sometimes a few more depending on what beat it was doing. The first time I had to hold my breath (out) I had to take a breath (in) before the calming American lady said "please resume breathing" but nothing bad happened.

I didn't think the machine sounded like a construction site. I thought it was quite like techno? The radiologist said the sounds had to be like that because physics, but... what if the physicists gave the sound to Imogen Heap or an 808 specialist or a Wagnerian for that matter. Maybe you could alter the rhythm of the machine to make it less intense, or even add to it musically so it's more pleasant?

Actually, I was able to relax into that, and it reminded me in hindsight of that time my favourite dentist gave me a steady stream of nitric oxide while he was doing his stuff. I could have sworn the aircon was playing house music... I wonder if kids are actually calmed by the MRIs painted to look like ships etc, or if they get scared once they're in.

Kids Were Terrified of Getting MRIs. Then One Man Figured Out a Better Way.
(Umm nobody looks through the boat steering wheel like that, Mr. One Man?!)

Anyway, it was over and it was OK. There were moments of boredom and entertainment as I thought about where to have lunch and to distract myself by drafting this post. The radiographer gave me a sheet of paper at the end with a password to see all the stuff online in case I want to share it with friends so if I can tell what the 2-3 cups "extra" is I may share it, but I also may not. (I still have my eyes.) 

I decided on having Thali and sweet masala chai and the waiter was nice even though I was the millionth customer who asked him where the buffet had gone and when will it be back. (£7.95 for all you can eat Indian veg yum! Drummond Street!)