Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dispatch from the tube

Having a double MRI done near the end (but not at the end) of a long day of work is kinda like getting to take a nap next to a construction site. It's at once relaxing and jarring, as the noises rotate through their cycles, and you attempt to nod off, while also not moving at all. The last time I had an MRI done, I totally gave in to the lull of the variable but repetitive vibrations, only to be woken up by the microphone voice of the technician telling me to stay awake, thereby staving off those muscle twitches that happen as you're drifting off. This time I got nothing but praise and some friendly reassuring pats on my leg each of the two times they caged my face and neck with foam and plastic and slipped me inside the loud donut. There was even a little periscope-like mirror that allowed me to peek out past my toes at the technicians' window. The noises, if you listen long enough, start to take on the timbre of a computer or a robot speaking: rapper-rapper-rapper-rapper, whammy-whammy-whammy-whammy-whammy, butta-butta-butta-butta-butta, etc. And the strange warp in the space-time continuum, caused by that big magnet no doubt, that makes MRI time seem much longer than it should be. "This next one will be two minutes," I hear from somewhere inside my lit tube. What seems like a good five or six minutes later, she pipes up again, "You're doing great. Just two more of these." Four more later, and they pull me out. All in all, it's not that bad as procedures go, but I still had a slightly woozy, itchy-nose, wet-eyed feeling as I tossed out the ear plugs and reached down to lace up my shoes. At least, I'm told, my insides take a good picture.

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