Thursday, May 22, 2008

MRI and House

I've decided I must stop watching "House" because it's too discombobulating. I went for an MRI of the head this morning because the doctor at Miami hospital who is examining my hearing thought I should have one.

They ask a huge number of questions, one of which is "are you claustrophobic?" To which I say "no". But then of course one starts to think about it. This is when the past episodes of "House" come back to haunt me since usually whosoever is in the MRI goes bonkers at some moment and they have to drag them out, screaming, puking or having a seizure.

Because they were looking inside my head I had these very tight headphones jammed on (still have sore ears!) to keep out the noise (god, the noises that machine makes--loud, long, and very discordant!), and then a cage put around my head. (At least I asked how long it was going to take--40 to 50 minutes and rushed to have a pee--otherwise I would have been gritting my teeth, etc.) The cage was to prevent me from moving.

Then I'm slid into the machine. A small tube, dark and confined. I close my eyes. And, oh yes, I have an IV in my arm (at least this guy found my vein first time) to inject me with dye. Then the noise starts, louder and louder, clangs, bongs, rattles and more. I'm trying not to think of "House", nor claustrophobia, and instead Edgar Allan Poe pops into my brain, "The Premature Burial"

To be buried while alive is, beyond question, the most terrific of these extremes which has ever fallen to the lot of mere mortality. That it has frequently, very frequently, so fallen will scarcely be denied by those who think. The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?

Fearful indeed the suspicion- but more fearful the doom! It may be asserted, without hesitation, that no event is so terribly well adapted to inspire the supremeness of bodily and of mental distress, as is burial before death. The unendurable oppression of the lungs- the stifling fumes from the damp earth- the clinging to the death garments- the rigid embrace of the narrow house- the blackness of the absolute Night- the silence like a sea that overwhelms- the unseen but palpable presence of the Conqueror Worm...

At this point, I'm ready to press the panic button to be released. I feel my breathing getting quicker and I can't or won't open my eyes. For a moment I almost believe I'm underground. (It's going to be bloody cremation, I say to myself.) I try to change my thoughts but it's difficult--holidays, people, animals, anything--but the dreadful noise brings me back to where I am.

Then a voice says, "Only 12 more minutes and you'll be out of there..." Good, I can't wait to get these wretched headphones off. Then it's over and I'm thinking what was all that fuss about?

I shall be watching "House: with a different (3rd) eye this time...

Oh, and here is the inside of my brain

But of course it kept mutating in the machine



alan childress said...

Sounds like an elaborate plot to get you to accept aging eardrums and just learn fake-listening coping skills, a la castor oil.

John Flood said...

You're right. I never liked castor oil as a kid. But I'm pretty good at lip reading, which often helps out in tight spots!

Caz Mockett said...

That sounds like a nasty thing to go through - but at least you came out with some pretty pictures!