Thursday, September 18, 2008


Dr. S: I'm not liking what I see with your knee. You're going to need an MRI.
Me: Is that the thing where they put you in the tube? I can't go in a tube.
Dr. S: (laughing) Oh, it's fine. They give you headphones and play music. It'll be fine. Only takes 20 minutes. They give you headphones.
Me: Will they give me heroin instead?

I arrive at the MRI palace right on time and, to my shock, am taken back right away. After I disrobe and remove my earrings, wedding band, etc. they escort me by hand into the scan room. When I walk in the door, I actually laugh out loud.

The ceiling is a faux-sunny day scene, like you might find at the back of Bath and Body Works, only chipped, with pussy willows. In the middle of the room is a humongous tube that clicks and moans like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Also, the entire machine is printed with the letters GE, larger than me.

Me: Ha! I wonder who makes the machine!
Pat the tech: Oh, it's a GE product. Climb on up here and hand me your glasses

I mount the giant bed and before I can take off my glasses, they fly off my face and into the tube, which Pat tells me is really just like a tanning bed if I think about it. I try not to think about it and wrap the blanket around my toes.

Because I am so short, my head will go into the mouth of the tube, but thankfully they keep the end open so I can see the faux sunny day ceiling. There are no headphones and no music. Instead, Pat shoves yellow ear plugs into my ear canal OSHA style. I tell him about working in the factory, how I'd hoped to never see those ear plugs again, and asked why I couldn't shove them into my own ear canal.

When Pat leaves the room, the doors seal behind him a la Star Trek. He tells me I'll be in there for 35 minutes.

The machine starts to shake and vibrate and make loud noises. I close my eyes and pretend I'm back in the factory, only allowed to sleep this time. To my surprise, I do fall asleep and wake up to Pat sliding me out of the tube, which turns out to not be so bad. When I put my watch on, I see that I've been in there for one hour and 25 minutes.

I can't decide what has been more costly about this knee injury: copays, or time lost from working.


PeaceLoveMath said...

from 20 minutes and headphones to 85 minutes and earplugs? Not a good estimate, I'd say. How unprofessional.

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