Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Its over......

I woke up at 5:45 AM, not because I couldn't sleep but because it was "D day", that's right it was MRI day. I have been dreading this day for a month now. I had to be at the hospital for 7:30, so I got up , got ready and out the door by 6:55 not knowing what bridge traffic would be like at that time of morning. The whole drive in I did a lot of deep breathing. I knew I had to stay calm or I wouldn't be able to go through with it.

Traffic was light, I got to the hospital at 7:15 and after getting checked in, I went straight to the MRI department. The new wing they built for the new MRI machines was really nice, better than when I had my last one in 2006. Then they only had a change room and then you were lead out to a mobile trailer that housed the MRI Now back then, that did not do a thing for my

This time though, they have a reception area, waiting room and a separate change room, bathroom that I used twice in 20 minutes (nerves got the best of me) and another waiting room for after you put on the lovely johnny shirt and house coat. I had to wait 15 more minutes before they called me in, so the test actually didn't get started till 7:45.

The new MRI was smaller in diameter and luck would have it they didn't strap me in the Hannibal Lector mask this time! I had to lay down on a narrow table with my head wedged between two foam supports and then they placed large rubber ear cushions between the supports and my ears. They no longer use the large ear phones with music... just little foam ear plugs and these large rubber cushions that jam your head in and don't help one bit for someone who is claustrophobic! When I laid down and looked up there were 9 large panels that looked like you were looking up at a beautiful sunny sky with big fluffy clouds... it looked silly more than comforting, which I think is more the feeling they were trying to convey.

The two technicians then placed more confining rubber wedges beside my arms which meant they had to be folded across my chest and one technician then placed a rubber bulb call button in my hand patted it and said "if you need us to stop for any reason, press this". In my head I replied, "oh, you can be darn sure of that"... out loud I said "thank you". Knowing how claustrophobic I was they warned me before they made the table move in towards the MRI tube. I closed my eyes and tried to regulate my breathing which I noticed was becoming a tad to fast. Yeah, that's what I want to do, start hyperventilating inside the

The hum that was constant since I came into the room was suddenly very loud, followed by clicking noises.. I told myself I could do this and pressed my eyes tighter. I thought I was doing quite well till the Technician come over a loud speaker and informed me that they were ready to start. "start?!" what was all that noise then, if it hadn't even started yet? I had to talk myself down, I was getting anxious again! Sure enough the noise changed to a pounding ,noise, but not like the last MRI this was like someone in a welding shop hammering on a piece of metal. This noise went on for 5 minutes, followed by a low strong vibrating kind of noise that actually made my wrists hurt and the hair on my arms feel like it was standing up straight in the air. This came in waves and then 5 minutes later it was back to the loud metal hammering noise again. Half way through the test I made the mistake of lifting my hand, it was mearly a reaction to the pain the test was giving my hand hit the top of the machine. I didn't realize that it was THAT close, at that moment I felt like I was in a coffin. I had to talk to myself again, "stay calm, keep your eyes closed, its almost over, you can do this". To take my mind off the enclosed feeling, I tried to imagine what the metal tapping noise reminded me of.. and it came to me, it made me think of "woody the wood pecker tapping on a metal roof, really, really fast" I smiled at the thought. Ooops..keep my eyes shut! Whew.. that was close...

It felt like forever before the test was done, in reality it was 25 minutes. The voice came over the speaker again " You're all done Sue, the table will move to bring you out". I could feel the table moving, then I felt the Technicians hand on mine trying to take the rubber bulb call button out of my grip. "Your out, you can open your eyes now", she said to me. "I'm all the way out" I asked. "Yes, your all the way out" she replied. You know how you can tell someone is smiling just by their voice... she was smiling. I opened my eyes. Relief doesn't even start to explain how I felt. "So, did you mind the new machine as much as the old one?" the Tech asked me. "Actually it wasn't as loud, the bang, bang noise sounded more like Woody the woodpecker on Crack" I replied. She burst out laughing.. "Well I've never had anyone describe it quite that way before" she stated still chuckling at me. "I'll have to remember that one" she said.

I sat up and swung my legs over the side of the table. I sat and got my bearings like she suggested for a couple of minutes and noticed that another side effect of the old MRI wasn't happening with this new one... I didn't have the explosive headache like last time. I hopped off the table and went to the changing room and got dressed. It was off to blood work next. I have come to the conclusion though that I have stretched my "I can do it" to the max.. if I am scheduled for another MRI,,, I am going to refuse... I really can't do this again.

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