Wednesday, 31 March 2010
I'm trying to get used to this and not be frightened....it's the third MRI in 11 months.
I climb aboard again with needles in one arm, hooked up to a dye to be released later, and trying with everything else to hold the hospital gowns together, squeezing my lungs into the coffin face down, encased in a brass breastplate, with earplugs and headphones to lessen the deafening noise and vibration.
Once in, there is no sensation of time or space except for the frightening noises and buzzes. Neither is there any communication whatsoever. They told me to "breathe normally", but they don't understand that I need to know whether I can use the whole extent of my lower abdomen, diaphragm, lungs or upper clavicles and I usually use them all, especially if I sing or need to keep very calm indeed....which I certainly do now.
I cannot move even an eyelash...or the images won't read clearly, and I didn't take a very deep breath before it started.
I tried to think of all the lovely things that I will do later. A walk in the park with all the daffs and blossom coming out.....
Then I realised that I could analyse the musical pitches of the buzzes layered on top of each other, and how they were related. I supposed that at least, since they were tuned, the great machine must be very new and accurately put together, unlike the very old MRI previously at Barts which was always breaking down, and clunked and juddered like an old steam engine or an ancient lawn mower. No one seemed to be able to read the results of that one. This super new one at UCH seems fine-tuned.
I became so engrossed in trying to remember these musical relationships, that I thought I might relax too much and move...my hunched up shoulders at least....so I stopped.
Silence for a moment and I try to grab a huge breath. Suddenly a searing buzz makes me start and jump almost out of my skin...You never know when this will happen, and of course, I am trying not to move a muscle.
At last I'm unstrapped from the feet up. I wobble off the stretcher with one straight, outstretched arm and, trying to get into my boots with the tubes still attached, hobble into a chair to have all of the needles unhooked. If I had had the energy I would have nipped around the door to look at the images on their screens. The radiographer who has unhooked me is Indian, George, and looks carefully at my eyes to make sure that I can stand up and stay there. I remember the same look from Nick Perry exactly a year ago at the end of the core biopsy, when he didn't want me left alone. I was tottering a bit with shock.
As I leave I find some water. It's taken almost three hours.
I wobble home, tearfully.