Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm Not Scared

Last week my transplant coordinator called me to see how I was doing with some of my new meds and then she said that she wanted me to go in and have an MRI to see about a shadow they picked up on a CT scan a couple of months ago. The shadow was dismissed back then as "It's probably nothing to worry about." and "I'm going to have a doctor look at the results." Months went by and I had all but forgotten about it until she called. I think what surprised me the most was that she was asking for an MRI now after all this time.
Now I have never had an MRI before and all that I could think about was all the awful horror movies I've watched over the years -- the ones where the person goes into the machine and doesn't come out alive, and if they do they are somewhat fragged. Plus I have heard all about the claustrophobia and the "OMG they are so damn loud".
And oh yes, the stories of the giant magnet sucking in all things metal. Looking forward to all this apprehension I must have stared at my underwear for a good minute before I put them on. I turned them over in my hands a couple of times wondering if perhaps there was some metal thread buried in the seams somewhere that I was unaware of. Surely they wouldn't have used metal thread? I thought to myself. Not really, would they? Resigned to the fact that that was just too farfetched I finally put them on. I will just ask the tech, he will probably know.
When Lois and I got to the hospital we were told that they were going to be running an IV for a contrast scan and that I had to fill out a couple of forms. Apparently it takes four forms because there is not enough room on a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper to check off that many Yes and No questions and to make it even harder you have to sign the waiver dismissing them for anything that might go wrong. So of course by the time I go off to get undressed I have forgotten all about my underwear question because now I'm suddenly thinking about all those horror movies.
So I finally enter the room to see this machine and I get on the table and they start explaining all the things that will be happening. The first thing they ask me is if I am claustrophobic. I'm not really sure, I say. Well then, just close your eyes and you should be all right. "Are you afraid of needles?" I think it is a little late for that one but I answer anyway. "Yes, but I get shots all the time so I guess it doesn't matter." They explain to me that they are going to have me hold my breath while they take pictures and then let it out when the voice tells me to. "Okay."
Now I had done some preparing for this so I thought this should go pretty smoothly. I finally resolved that there was no such thing as metal thread and that science fiction is just that -- science fiction. I'm not going to turn into hamburger. At least I had hoped not.
And then they roll me into the machine and they place some earplugs in my ears and ask me if I can hear them. I looked at the nurse and I nod. "You're going to have to speak when you get in there." I nod again.
I am in there for no more than a minute when I realize I have to go to the bathroom. The nurse behind the wall tells me that this will take 25 minutes. I'm thinking to myself I prepared for this. I just asked to use the the bathroom before I came in here. So I'm lying there listening to the sounds of pings and low firestation blares and all I can think about is going to the bathroom. The recording says: "Breathe in...hold it...(tick-tick-tick)...relax."
The only thing I could think of was what my brother-in-law told me to do. "Just take a nap while you're in there. It's the best thing you can do."


  1. I had a MRI scan after my stroke. It was definitely a creepy and claustrophobic experience. The oddest thing is when you put your head in there it sounds like you are at an African drumming concert.

    Good wishes on your results.

  2. My husband had a liver transplant just over a year ago, and he has had multiple types of scans both before and after transplant. He also had suspicious areas ("spots") on his liver. Right up to the moment of transplant they haunted us. Turned out to be small cancerous tumors but were totally confined to the liver. He got his new liver and is doing great today, praise God. Keep your chin up, the wait is horrible, but the end result is well worth it.

    Linda -- Wichita, KS

  3. You may not be scared, but I am.
    Love you, Beaux.

  4. Laoch, I got my results back today and they said it was fat. There is nothing to worry about. A gal at my work said, "Well isn't that bad for your liver?"
    I had to laugh.

    Linda, Thanks for stopping by. I am glad to hear your husband is doing well. All is well. Still waiting to get real sick and my chin is still up.

    Lo...I'm loving you!

  5. I had an MRI twice- they suck. I hope you get wonderful results.