Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Not for the Claustrophobic

This post is about health matters—no kitties.

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.

I'm glad the long tunnel-like entrance has grab bars on both sides. I couldn't have walked it without them.

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.

Because I'd Googled what to expect, I wasn't apprehensive. I followed the nurse to the portable MRI unit out back.

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:


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Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Hope you will find out what is causing your leg pain and that they can eliminate it.

As for the MRI, I would probably have an anxiety attack if I was put in that machine.

6:04 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Like a womb, eh? I had one about 25 years ago and remember being rather terrified. They played music then, too - I opted for rock.

6:25 PM  
Blogger R.M. said...

You were a breech baby! Thanks for sharing, hope you find the answer.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Yikes. I have to get an MRI. My orthopedist is bucking to do surgery even though I have very little pain now so he pressured me into the MRI. How long were you in there? Glad you mentioned the metal on the clothes. I don't want to get undressed unless I have to. I'll wear stretchy pants.

10:58 PM  

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