Thoughts in an MRI

It’s my second MRI, a brain scan to confirm if I have a Chiari malformation. I have prepared myself mentally after the last one set off flashbacks of being restrained and sexually assaulted.

This time a female technician, almost grandmotherly, calls me from the waiting room. She’s short with grey hair and afternoon tea eyes. I expect her to be carrying a plate of scones not a clipboard. A woman this time, what a relief.

“How long is this scan?”

“About 25 minutes. Are you a bit nervous?” she says with smiling eyes.

“Yeah. It’s just that I have PTSD. I have medication but I decided not to take it.”

She sits near me and runs through a series of questions. Her voice is so soothing. So caring.

“Last time they put some cushions near my arm and then I asked them to take them out because I felt too restrained.”

“Oh I have to put them there because sometimes the magnets of the machine can burn you. I can put something thinner there but legally I have to put something there incase it burns you.” She’s explaining things. I like her.

“Can you let me know when I’m halfway through and close to the end?”

“Sure.”

I pack my things in the allotted cupboard and go with her into the room.

“You just need to lie down here but maybe untie your hair so it doesn’t bother you. Oh! You’re deceptively tall!”

Deceptively tall. What does she mean?

I lie down. She gives me earplugs, pads my ears further, slides the faceplate/camera thing over my face, hands me a bulb to squeeze if I need them to take me out early and then the machine slides me in.

This is an MRI.

“Ok it’s going to begin.” She talks into the machine from outside the room.

BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG…The magnets are spinning.

This is not a sexy sound. This is an MRI.

BANG BANG BANG BANG

This is not the sound of someone having sex. This is an MRI.

Whiiiiirrr Whiiiiiiirr Whiiiiiiir Whiiiiiiiir. Clunk. Silence.

“Ok 2 minutes.” Two minutes left? That makes no sense.

DONG DONG DONG DING DONG DONG

This is an MRI.

This is not a bedroom. This is not a bed.

Whiiiiirrr Whiiiiiiirr Whiiiiiiir Whiiiiiiiir. Clunk. Silence.

“Ok 3 minutes.” Oh she must be telling me how long the next big of noise is going for.

DING DING CLANG CLANG BONG BONG BONG.

That sounds rhythmical. Almost like words. I start thinking in time to the bangs.

DING DING CLANG CLANG BONG BONG BONG. If. you. come. to. school. today.

DING DING CLANG CLANG BONG BONG BONG. You. can. play. a. game. with. me.

If. you. come. to. school. today.

You. can. play. a. game. with. me.

“Ok 2 minutes.”

HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER

This is an MRI. This is much better than the dentist.

HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER

I can feel it vibrating my hands. I couldn’t feel them back then. I can feel my hands. I can feel my hands. This is an MRI.

“3 minutes.”

You’re deceptively tall. DE.CEP.TIVE.LY.TALL. What does that even mean? I look tall but I’m not? I’m tall but I look shorter?

Whiiiiirrr Whiiiiiiirr Whiiiiiiir Whiiiiiiiir. Clunk. Whiiiiirrr Whiiiiiiirr Whiiiiiiir Whiiiiiiiir. Clunk. Whiiiiirrr Whiiiiiiirr Whiiiiiiir Whiiiiiiiir. Clunk. Whiiiiirrr Whiiiiiiirr Whiiiiiiir Whiiiiiiiir. Clunk.

This is actually not too uncomfortable. I might even have a nap. Thousands of people must have laid here. I wonder what happened to them.

“3 minutes.”

HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER Whiiiiirrr Whiiiiiiirr Whiiiiiiir Whiiiiiiiir. Clunk. Whiiiiirrr Whiiiiiiirr Whiiiiiiir Whiiiiiiiir. Clunk.

What’s in that compartment? There’s more space above my head than I remember from last time. Oh, that’s because last time I had my eyes shut. I should have opened them.

HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER HAMMER

I can feel my hands. I wonder what the light inside here is for. It’s bright in here. It’s not night time. This is not abuse. This is an MRI.

“Ok you’re all done!” I hear someone come into the room. They slowly slide me out of the machine and I sit up.

“How did you go?”

“Much better than last time!”

I walk to my car, I feel ok. I wait to see if I feel the space around me shrinking, if I start to feel naked and in danger. Nothing happens. I did it. It wasn’t triggered!

It was an MRI.

Published by sarcasticfringehead

I'm an adult survivor of child abuse who documents therapy; a yellow brick road to hell.

20 thoughts on “Thoughts in an MRI

      1. Ah well. I’ll panic when I get there. I was told I could go to the GP and get valium if I was anxious about it. But I think I’d be anxious about what the valium would do to me. 🙂 I’m a bit of a novice with all this stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. 25 minutes ! you were very brave! I had one some years back; I can’t think what for now — but it was less than 10 minutes , I think, so maybe it wasn’t an MRI ? I remember all the noises though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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