Chapter 2 – The First MRI

Paula and I started this blog on May 22nd, when I finished my first post stating “So I’ll be telling the story chronologically in the next days or weeks. Not rushing it.” The first chapter of the story was posted on May 24th, over 7 weeks ago. Talk about not rushing it. Since we have no known readers thus far, I guess that gap won’t matter too much for you, Reader from the Future. Moving on.

I don’t know if you ever had a head MRI, but it’s not the greatest thing in the world. Here’s the step by step:

1) Take off your clothes and put on an apron
2) Lie down on a table
3) Technician imobilizes your neck and puts headphones on you. Sometimes they ask which style of music you wish to listen to during the procedure. I usually pick classical since it helps me sleep.

(If it’s an MRI with contrast, here is when they put the IV in your vein. This one didn’t require contrast.) 

4) Table slides into a capsule. You have a small mirror in front of you, which helps if you wanna glance at the exterior. I always choose to keep my eyes shut the whole time, so I don’t feel like I’m being buried alive.
5) While you’re listening to Bach, they turn on the machine and make it seem like the aliens have finally attacked the Earth. Either that or you’re in a rave: all sorts of loud noises start playing inside the capsule. I usually can sleep even during those, except when the technician stops the music to ask if everything is ok.

(Here they’ll say: “now I’m gonna inject the contrast. You’re gonna feel a cold substance through your body”. The substance is called Gadolinium and I’ve been injected with it twice. The first time when I had an MRI after a groin strain, with no collateral effects. The second time, during my second head MRI , I wasn’t so lucky. But I’ll talk about it next chapter.) 

6) After a long period – 30 minutes to an hour – which seems like an eternity, the noise stops and you get out.

7) And then, and this is an optional step, you wake up the following morning with your doctor calling with a puffy voice to say “The radiologist found something. You should see a neurologist immediately. But don’t worry, it’s probably nothing. But schedule an appointment asap.”
8) And you try to remain calm next to your wife while you’re secretly worrying you’re gonna die at 34.

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