So this morning was my pre-op Cardiac MRI. I was downtown at the hospital early and after muddling through registration I finally navigated my way through the halls to the right elevator. The hospital must have had a million additions to it over the years…it’s like being a rat in a maze..you know, lab rat…fitting. I finally found myself in the bowels of the earth with no one else around and found the two solid doors that read ‘Cardiac MRI’ waiting room...my luck, they were locked…just about the time I was questioning if I'd made a mistake and came the wrong day I found another door down the hall. Apparently I was the first appointment of the day and the receptionist thought she’d unlocked the door – so apologetic! The people there couldn’t have been nicer. I got changed, hooked up to the equipment and then onto the MRI bed…ready to start.
Let me tell you, I had a brain MRI done this fall at a different place as a clearance for putting me on medicine for my migraines (which have mostly disappeared…fabulous!). It was quite the adventure…they had me lay on a bed, then WHAT”S THIS? Without a word they snapped a plastic mask over my face (I felt like Hannibal)…no instructions, no panic button…just “Hold still. This should take about 10 min.” Out they went. That’s it! Suddenly the noises start and the bed moves…WTFlip? Why am I moving? Just when I got used to one noise it would stop…ok…WHIRL, CLUNK, WHIZ…bed moving! Yeah…lay still?? Are you kidding me? How can you lay still when this cacophony of sounds keeps startling me…and couldn’t you warn a girl that the bed will keep moving?!! Thank God there wasn’t a panic button, and only my head and chest went into the machine, and that it only lasted 10 minutes! Geez…give people some warning!
So I went this morning with some trepidation. They asked me if my blood pressure is ‘always that high?’ (yea, and I’m on meds). The Tech was so sweet and started telling me about everything that would happen (this is new), but I panicked a little when she said it would take about 45 min. I could hardly handle 10 min. how was I going to make it through 45??!! Now this is different…“pick a radio station and here are your headphones to drown out those awful noises”…smart!...and “I’ll be talking to you and telling you when to breath and when to hold your breath and you’ll hear me through the headphones.”…and the best part “Here’s a ball to squeeze if you need to come out.”…YAY…‘a PANIC BUTTON!’...oh, whoops I just said that out loud! The Tech laughed and said, “Well, yes, but we don’t like to call it that as it gives the wrong connotation and might scare people!” OK, lay down, eyes closed…I’m thinking “Go to your Happy Place, go to your Happy Place” and into the tunnel the bed goes. Now, I’ve got to say my hips and my arms were squished a bit against the walls of the tunnel the whole time…and I’m big, but I’m not enormous…I can now see why some here say they had to do this with their arms above their heads (I feel for you!). The music is playing and the Tech starts giving me my breathing instructions with her most soothing voice “In, Out, In, Out, Hold, Breath.” She warned me when the bed would move and the music drowned out a lot of the noise. After awhile I calmed down, just in time for Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to start playing on the headphones…it was so fitting that I almost started laughing…almost.
P.S. Got my computer back tonight…all better!