Woody Woodpecker Meets Hannibal Lecter

I’m feeling very anxious, because tomorrow I go for another dreaded MRI. I think this is probably my 4th or 5th time. The neurologist I met with at the University of Arizona hospital recommended having another one based on the exacerbations I had last fall and before my insurance runs out. I know she’s right, but ugh. I don’t like them.

I am having my brain, thoraxic spine and spine all viewed. Although it is not invasive like a surgical procedure, it is the most intimate encounter with your insides that can be done without using a knife. For those of you who have never experienced this particular procedure it goes like this: you arrive showered and wearing no jewelry or hair product or deodorant, then  gowned and put onto a stretcher type apparatus (a gurney? A bed? A table?). You are then injected with dye. In order to maintain total stillness, your neck is stabilized with a collar type thing and then a Hannibal Lecter type mask is placed on your face and you are fed into a giant, scary tube into a machine.

Sound fun? Now you are told to just breathe deeply and stay calm. Oh sure. What the fuck!? Get me out of here!! Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Phewww. Ok. Once inside the tube, these mechanical noises from the Alien movie start engaging, and then this knocking sound starts like Woody Woodpecker is circling your head and pecking and looking for the best cranial opening he can find. No wonder I feel like I’m going nuts!

The whole thing takes over 2 hours. That’s right, 2 hours. I take music and headphones, my teddy bear Eustace, and this time 2 valium. I’m not scared of MRIs anymore, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. Damn, I hate MS.

2 thoughts on “Woody Woodpecker Meets Hannibal Lecter

  1. Oh my yes… I have not had to have as many as you my friend, but have had a few over the years due to my back injury; herniated disc. I am one of the “lucky ones” who is having their LOW back imaged so I don’t need the face mask and to go as deeply into the tube. But, into the tube at all, where my face is under cover is enough…so much enough that the last time I insisted on an open MRI scanner so I would not freak out in the tube. It was better but it still does nothing for the hammering and noise of the darn thing. OMG. And I swear I feel different after having one…something about the rearrangement of my hydrogen atoms…. So HATS OFF to you Eeka and yes, teddy bears, music, drugs and a lot of pampering when it is all over are definitely called for!! Someone promise this woman a serious massage afterwards!

  2. Hey Erika! I don’t know if you’ve already had the MRI but I hope it went smoothly or that it will!

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