Writing my earlier post about my most recent MRI scan, brought back memories of my first MRI ever, before I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, back when I still thought I had Transverse Myletis and believed that I would be “all better” in a year. I wanted to believe the best, to be optimistic, to not worry excessively. Up until that time in my life, I had always been super healthy and had only visited doctors for routine check ups, well-baby visits and the occasional case of strep throat or an ear-infection. But I was aware of the dangers that lurked within the confines of my computer, that searching the internet, with the symptoms I was experiencing could lead to a “self-diagnosis” of something fatal, sure to leave me dead inside of six months. I chose to go to the other end of the spectrum, following the manta “ignorance is bliss” that had served me well in earlier times, and not look up anything. But when I stepped into the waiting room of the Radiology department it struck me that I truly didn’t know what an MRI was; I began to wish I had at least done a basic search of what the procedure entailed.
I was handed a clipboard with forms to be filled out; told to have a seat, and that someone would be with me shortly. The forms started out easy enough, name, address, date of birth, insurance information. I could even handle the “allergies to medications” – NONE. But suddenly the questions took a turn, I was no longer providing basic information, but confronted with the likes of: Do you have any metal implanted in your body? Do you have a pacemaker? Do you have any cerebral aneurysm or vascular clips? Have ever done welding/machinist/automotive work -even as a hobby or in school? Have ever had rust or metal in your eyes that you’ve had to wipe out, rinse out, or for which you have had to seek medical attention? Where were these questions coming from, and why were they being asked?!
Even then I felt fairly confident in my responses….until I came to this question: Do you have an ear implant? I realize that you may be thinking, you would KNOW if the answer is yes. BUT, because the questions on the form had taken a rather abrupt and unexpected turn I had decided to visit the gal sitting at the desk and ask about all the talk of metal. That is when I learned that MRI stands for “magnetic resonance imaging,” the keyword for me at that moment was M.A.G.N.E.T.I.C.. I was going to enter a giant magnet, and so I returned to my seat and began second guessing my responses to ALL of the questions, but particularly the one about the ear implant.
As a young child, because I was prone to getting ear infections, I had a tube put in my ear. I was told that the tube eventually falls out as the ear canal grows. I have always assumed that the tubes were made of plastic, but what if I was wrong. What if they hadn’t fallen out, and had remained there, silently lurking in my ear for all of these years. It’s not as if I had anyone probing and looking in my ears. If we were discussing my vagina, that would be a different story. Having had the three kids, PLENTY of people had explored the depths of my vajayjay, but not my ears. What if it was metal and not plastic and then I was put in this giant magnetic tube and it was sucked out of my head?!? I realize that this sounds crazy, but these are the thoughts that were going through my mind as I sat waiting for my first MRI. I feared that I would come out of the experience with a new hole in my head. Although I do have to admit that worrying about my ear and the new hole in my head DID manage to take my mind off of why I was there and the sheer terror I had experienced the night before, of wondering what they would find, wondering what was wrong with me.