Not for the Claustrophobic
Yesterday, I had a new experience—an MRI. For the last couple of months, I've been plagued by leg pains, sometimes so bad I have trouble walking. Finally I convinced my doctor to refer me to an orthopedist, who diagnosed my problem as sciatica. Because X-rays don't show nerves, he recommended an MRI. Yesterday I went to at Carilion Franklin Memorial to get one.
Once I was inside, things moved pretty fast.
"Do you have claustrophobia?" the nurse asked. I said no, but then I couldn't think of a time when I'd been trapped in a small area. She asked other questions—did I have implants, piercings, tattoos? Again, I answered no. Then I was good to go.
We stepped onto a platform, which raised us to the level of a garage door-type thingie, which opened into a room with computers. I deposited my glasses into a basket and went through a door where the actual machine was. Since I'd worn clothing with absolutely no metal, I didn't have to take off anything.
After lying down on a table, having some pillows adjusted and getting earphones (I opted for classical music), the table moved backward into a kind of tunnel-like thingie—like a pod that might transport me to outer space, or something like that. It was a close fit. Then the part over my head got closer. Definitely not for the claustrophobic. But it wasn't bad.
I lay still as death and listened to a Mozart concerto while the machine clunked, banged, jack-hammered, and hummed. The technician had told me it would sound like a car wreck in slow motion. He was right. I thought how being in the contraption was probably not unlike being in your coffin while shovelfuls of dirt where tossed onto you. A coffin would likely have more room, though—and most likely no Mozart.
Then I thought how being inside the contraption was not unlike being in a womb where, while waiting to get born, you had to listen to various noises in the outside world but you couldn't do anything about them.
Then I didn't have time to think about anything else because the noise stopped and I was delivered feet first into the world.
The technician showed me some of the scans on the computer screen. I can honestly say it was a side of myself I'd never seen before.
The scans will be sent to my orthopedist; I'll find out his conclusions next week. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, if you want to see what getting an MRI entails, there are a bunch of You-Tube videos that explain the procedure a lot better than I did. Here's one: http://youtu.be/DZTXa4qerI4?t=5s.