Friday, 27 August 2010

Scan...

I damaged my right medial collateral ligament five weeks ago. Today, finally, I had an appointment for an MRI scan.

I've never had an MRI scan before - CT scans, bone scans and X-rays galore, but this was a novel experience. I was fascinated - it must be the Science teacher in me. The machine apparently makes the water molecules in your tissues line up with the magnetic field of the scanner, after which the molecules emit radio waves...

Okaaaaaay... maybe I didn't really want to know quite that much...

I was curious as to exactly how powerful the magnets were... after all, you can't have an MRI scan on your leg if you have a pacemaker, or have metal plates in your skull. I had previously had metal screws in my other leg, to help rebuild my crumbling tibia, but I was pretty sure that they'd all been removed. However, you do hear strange stories about instruments being left inside patients by accident, and I did wonder if I was about to discover this had been my fate...

I was told that I couldn't take the crutches into the scanning room, as they'd "go flying," which I found slightly confusing, as I'm pretty sure they're made of aluminium, which isn't magnetic. However, I wasn't in the mood to argue, and hobbled from the door to the platform as best I could without them.

I went into the scanner feet first. Most of the photos I've seen make it look as though there's loads of room in the tube bit... there isn't. I feel very sorry for anyone who has to go in head-first. Very claustrophobic.

I had been warned that it was noisy when the scanner was operating, and they have headphones to help block out the noise. I managed to survive about 30 seconds of the muzak which was being piped in (at top volume), and then I begged the operator to turn it off. The buzzing, clanking and grinding noises made by the machine were infinitely preferable.

Unfortunately, the position in which my knee was held for the scan was intensely painful; luckily it was over relatively quickly. Apart from that, it was pretty straightforward. The results take about two weeks to be analysed and forwarded to the consultant, and so I should find out the verdict some time after that.

Now, I think, I need to go an put my feet up for a bit. I shall try and post something else a bit later.

3 comments:

Dominic Mary said...

Thou speakest truth . . . having had two MRIs in my time, I can agree with you that they are intensely claustrophobic, especially when (as with the recent one) it's not only head-first, but 'head in the centre' ! However, they do do their job, so I have coped with them . . . but was very glad to have a wooden rosary to occupy my time with.
Glad you've got it over and done with, though, and trust that the results will be positive.

catholicofthule said...

I've had an MRI of my head, but fortunately I don't suffer from claustrophobia.

G said...

As a nurse, I wondered why in the world you'd have to wait 5 wks for a MRI & then another 2 wks for the results...then I realized you're writing from England! The whole business would've taken a wk or two here but now healthcare is being transfered to the IRS so we'll soon see the same administrative backlogs in the USA. Sad.

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