I sit alone in a changing room, waiting for a MRI brain scan to look for the cause of my stroke. I wait, for someone to tell me what to do. Finally a technician tells me to strip and put on hospital scrubs and white socks.
“What do I do with my clothes?”
“Just leave them on the table.”
“Where is the table?”
The nurse pauses a beat before answering,”On your left side.”
This is when I have my first of many evil wishes. The table is on my right but the nurse sees the table facing me so it is on her left.
I find my scrubs and wait a little longer. The room is colder than I like. Goosebumps soon form on my arms and thighs. I resist removing my hearing aids until I am in the room housing the machine. As a blind person, I rely on my hearing for clues what’s happening around me.
I was led by the hand like a child to sit then lay on a sliding mat to be pushed into a small opening in a large machine. I knew that the machine was large because I ask to feel it first.
Instead of telling me what to expect and what I needed to do, the last instruction from the tech was,”Don’t move!”
I felt my body slid forward and I was encased inside the machine. I heard the magnets clang and move around my head. I thought of the earrings that I had almost not taken out this morning. I wondered why they hadn’t bothered to ask me about any piercings.
Halfway through the M.R.I., I remembered every horror movie where the brain is removed and replaced with an evil clone. The tube feels tomblike. The warmth of the MRI machine causes claustrophobic panic as I start to sweat. Cool air alternates with heat, chilling my body. I should have taken the extra blanket when it was offered. I was pulled out of the machine. I felt like a cork popped out of a bottle. The tech was talking but I shook my head because I couldn’t understand.
An IV was inserted in my arm to deliver the dye. Though I had dye in the past, This time I felt cold then clammy.
When I asked, the tech she yelled, that it could be a reaction to the dye.
My next wish was to give the same injection into the nearest tech. My mind saw small psychedelic undulating worms in my visual field. I was surprised. I hadn’t had any useable vision for years.
Finally, I was pulled from the machine and could move.
“Where are my hearing aids? ” Inserting them into my ears, I could understand what the techs were saying. I could hold on to the tech’s arm to find my way back to the dressing area.
I was left to locate my clothes by myself. One of my shoes fell to the floor, I had to find it with my feet. The clothes were in a pile not folded as I had left them. I wondered if any of the technicians could get dressed in total darkness!
When I was dressed a tech came to escort me out to the waiting area.
“Well, I am glad that is over!”, I said.
“O, you will be back in two months to have another MRI test.”
Inwardly, I groaned’ but outwardly I smiled at thoughts of sticking each tech with pins as one would do with a voodoo doll. Next time, I will be more assertive about my needs.