Friday, 2 May 2014

The longest ten minutes of my life....


Been having a bit of a problem with my shoulder recently, that's been going on for a few months now.  Pain in the neck (literally) and also all down my right arm and regular pins-and-needles from shoulder to fingertips.

So after a steroid injection directly into the tendon proved worthless, the quack decided I should go a for a scan....

Now, I've been with the wife for many an ultrasound examination etc before, and it's all been very jolly, stress-free and painless (for me at least !), so I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for.

However, I was scheduled for a MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging).  Even the 1,000 word guidance leaflet they sent out with the appointment letter seemed ominous.

So I racked up at the hospital today.  Just as I was about to go in, they brought an old lady out of the scanner room in a wheelchair.    "Ninety years old and marvellous for her age", said the radiologist breezily - talk about putting the pressure on....  


It reminded me of that James Bond movie with Roger Moore when he was invited to have a go on a centrifuge at some fictional aeronautical facility or the other.  When he seemed apprehensive, they said something along the lines of "Come on, Mr Bond, a 70-year old can take 3g", to which he replied "That's the trouble, there's never a 70-year old around when you need one "...

So, they gave me earplugs, settled me down on the machine, and in I go on the conveyor.  "Ten minutes for three scans", she said.

Mechanical whirring, clicking, and then I was entombed in a white plastic cylindrical coffin.   "Are you alright ?" was the question, to which I answered yes but I'd already closed my eyes....

Huge amount of noise, clicking, buzzing and humming from the coils, reverberations in my skull, teeth and ribs, claustrophobia, a genuinely unpleasant experience all round.  During the ten minutes I was in there I was desperately trying to think of something else, James Bond movies, the garden, work, the butterfly pictures I'd taken just hours before, the rather pretty radiologist (here, steady on ...).  How long can ten minutes possibly be ?  I couldn't wimp out and press the panic button I was holding, not after the 90-year old had apparently sailed through.

What a relief when I eventually felt the conveyor bring me out, sweating, and back to reality.

And absolutely no sympathy from the wife when I arrived home.  It was a constant source of amusement to her for the rest of the afternoon....



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