Had MRI today. I do not recommend them… Squished into a toothpaste-tube washing machine drum that feels like your own coffin fornipnto 45 minutes – not my ideal way to spend a morning…
Apparently they did actually find a brain, though. So there!
*Stipulation: Must admit they did not specify it was On or working, mind…
They’re not pleasant creatures, MRI scanners. However, their inventor and everyone who has had a hand into shaping what it – and fMRI scanners – are, should be lauded and worshiped as magicians and forever lifesavers.. Saints, almost. What their contraption(s) have done revolutionised people’s ability to be diagnosed with neurological and neuropathological – and eve “psychological” conditions.
They proved the true existence of schizophrenia, MS, Fibromyalgia, depression, even Gender Dysphoria (being transgendered). They have also disproved and alleviated fears and suspicions of long-term illness or disability for people. Allowed doctors to see why some people will never walk and others don’t after paralysis or numbness, by giving them the ability to see the spinal cord, discs, and nervous pathways.
Hopefully, today, it will allow them to see I do not have anything to awful causing my weird and god-awful… condition.
I was lucky this appointment came very quickly. It was in a temporary mobile unit at the local hospital, rather than the big one that is quite far away. The nurses were so lovely (and I’m completely sure they knew nothing about my ASD), so calm, so confident in helping and their support, that when something looked like it was about to go a little wrong, their support – and my father’s support – helped me go through with it. Just goes to show you don’t need to be “Autism-Friendly” specifically all the time… Just nice.
The thing itself is unpleasant, but they tried their best to make it as not-so-bad as possible. Ear plugs, ear pads, and a big foam pillow under my knees as I lay down, made it as comfortable as possible for me to lie there (they also offered an eye-mask, which I declined). A plastic “cage” (for scanner-tracking) was locked over my face, and I was ready. Well, properly packaged, anyway. I think few people are truly “ready”.
Then I was slowly fed in so it could literally look inside my brain.
Head and neck took about 20 mins each – they took a little extra time because the spasms (usually controlled my Magnesium oil) were starting up and making me twitch or flinch enough to spoil their pictures. Because I did not use the Magnesium oil and had my Pregabalin at the wrong time (the appointment was for the time I take them, and I needed them to be kicked in way before then), I was managing on the essential oil recipe and, well, quite a lot of alchohol – which is never by choice, believe me…
I stayed up all night for this – which wasn’t even a chore because I have a great new game (that would be Mass Effect: Andromeda) and I was utterly scared out of my mind about going through this. I always hate them and they’re horrible, but to get the peace of mind (or answers) you need, they’re necessary, so you put up and shut up. But that doesn’t make them any less scary.
The noises change from a downright trance/dubstep/garage dance beat, to Woodpecker Mode, to hammer-pounding, and all sorts in between (but they’re the main ones). Then there’s silence whilst they check the pictures or move you in the machine. The weirdest thing is the… sensations… the thing gives you too. Tingling, vertigo, disorientation… other things… you can feel where it’s looking by what you feel and where. It’s a strange experience, but one that does no harm (anxiety and panic aside…).
They can – and do – talk to you when they need to, and they will give you some “time checks” when you’re inside, which is helpful. And finally, they’ll tell you it’s time for you to leave. The bed slides out and the bright lights burn the your eyes – or, hopefully, back of eyelids – after being in your little white coffin for so long.
Then… It’s all over.