Thursday, July 9, 2015

My MRI Pulp Fiction Experience

     I have to say that yesterday was a bit of an experience for me.  I haven't ever had any major medical issues that required anything of this magnitude when it comes to testing.  I had my first ever MRI yesterday, and not knowing what to expect I went in filled with more anxiety than I usually do.  My appointment was at 3:00 so I headed over to that area of town to grab a bite to eat and walk around the mall to kill some time before all the festivities began.  

     I arrived thirty minutes early to get checked in and only had to wait about fifteen minutes before they called me back.  The order of the day was going to be started with getting injected with a numbing agent, MRI contrast dye and a steroid that was ordered by my doctor, followed by a forty five minute MRI session as the nurse explained to me.  She first took me back to get changed for the procedure, which I had brought a pair of shorts to wear, but my anxiety quickly skyrocketed when she told me to strip down to just my socks and put on a medical gown.  Despite feeling truly uncomfortable in the situation, there was something very freeing about hanging in the breeze.  

     After I changed I was introduced to the MRI tech who went over my two page questioner, which I stated I was claustrophobic and had tattoos.  The tattoos could have been an issue because some inks contain metal which can feel a burning sensation and can irritate a patient during the MRI, I however had no issues with this during mine.  She showed me the "open" MRI machine she would be using and actually loaded me into the machine for a trial run to make sure I would be ok.  I was fine and didn't feel boxed in, but my face was about two inches from the machine, so it was a little unnerving. 

     Once she let me out, I was headed to another room to get the injections done.  I climbed aboard the x-ray table where the nurse positioned my leg and pull my gown up to the point I was very uncomfortable.  Now the whole time I was there the nurse and the MRI tech was so nice and accommodating, but at this point the nurse was explaining the injection procedure and by the time I was done I felt like the doctor was going to come in and go all John Travolta in Pulp Fiction on me.  As the doctor began to inject the needle I was prepping myself for a painful stabbing by clenching my hands and squinting my eyes as tight as I could.  Wouldn't you know, it wasn't shit to deal with.  I have had more pain getting my blood drawn than what I went through here.  Now for the cool part, I mentioned I was on an x-ray table, well he had a live x-ray shot of my hip on the screen so he could see where he was guiding the needle.  Once I realized the pain wasn't anything to deal with I looked at the screen to see this long needle injected into my hip joint.  He explained that I would feel pressure in the joint once he pumped all the drugs and the dye in, and sure as shit, it felt like someone was putting slight pressure on me.

     Now, for the MRI portion things didn't go quite as smooth as the injections did.  The tech got me all loaded into the machine, cranked up some '90s rock on the headphones for me and we began the scans.  After the first two scans, lasting in total of about fifteen minutes, she came in to make changes to the machine because she said, and I quote "you are to skinny and I have to change the machine to get a better picture."  It still is funny to hear someone utter those words to a person who use to be 317 pounds, but digress.  The change to the machine took about five minutes or so before I had to climb back onto the table and start the entire procedure over again.  From this point on things were going smoothly and I thought I was done when the tech said she was coming in, but I was wrong.  She told me that the last two scans she was unable to get good images and asked me if I would try the other machine, you know the tube that feels like your in a fucking coffin.  She said it would be ten minutes at the most, I said what the hell I can handle it, I think.  Thankfully she put me in feet first so my head was still sticking out a little, but man it felt tight in there.  We got started, and after the first scan I was doing pretty good, so she quickly moved on to the last scan.  I don't know what happened, but as soon as she said we were done and she was coming in to get me, my anxiety level shot through the roof and I felt trapped.  If she would have taken five seconds longer I think I would have had a full fledged freak out.

     I should have the results in a few days and I meet with my doctor for a follow up on the results next week.  I was given a copy of the images to look at, but I don't know what the hell I am suppose to be looking for, but here are some examples of the scans.  If I am correct the really white areas are the cartilage lining the hip joint.  I'll will have to wait till next week to be enlightened on what I am seeing here. 


  1. Ohmygod, I've had one MRI in my life, in the closed machine, and I hope I never have to experience that again. I'm not normally claustrophobic, but I was ready to have a full-on panic attack by the end of it--and I did not get to listen to 90's rock! I just had the soothing sound of hammers all around me.

    That must've been pretty trippy to be told you're too skinny for something. I'm not there *yet*, but I do have moments, like pants that are suddenly falling off of me when I could hardly button them a year ago.

    I'm glad you survived your MRI experience, and I hope you get some not-bad news out of it.

  2. I have had that same exact procedure twice. It's pretty cool looking at the x-ray machine and seeing the needle poke around - as long as they numb you up properly!

  3. HAha this is a hilarious post. Glad you survived Dean and I hope you get some good news soon.

  4. When I had my MRI for my hip, my head went in first. That was horrible. It was my one and only MRI so far. It was like being buried alive under a jackhammer. Those machines are loud! I was totally soaked from sweat after. Whew!

  5. Wow, what a crazy MRI experience!

    Hector H