Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shoulder MRI

Thanks to my gammy shoulder I've spent a lot more time visiting hospitals (for me) than any other time since my best attempts to get a new face (it wasn't a well thought out plan - 1st & 2nd degree burns don't go hand-in-hand with such things) in 2007. Today was finally my turn to go in & get my shoulder filled with dye & then have the MRI done - nice & early too. As I was first up for the day & they knew I was coming, it all went very smoothly. First there were a few needles - two or three locals in the back of my shoulder. After the second deep local I didn't have any idea how many needles were going in & eventually the 12 mL of gadolinium (the dye) was in & I was sent down the corridor to the MRI room.

After confirming my name & date of birth for the umpteenth time & assuring the radiographer that I had no metal in my body (the closest I've come to metal infiltrating my eyes would be all that ironsand that I had washed & scraped out back at NZ Steel), I was fitted with some sort of cuff around my shoulder. Then it was just a case of lying back on the table, putting on the headphones (so I could hear the radiographer & not hear the MRI itself so much) & taking hold of some sort of "abort" button. Gradually the table slid me back in to the throes of the instrument. As my right shoulder was the target, I was right up against the wall of the tunnel on my left side staring up five to ten centimetres at a rather uninteresting grey surface.

There were a fair few images taken, the first three only took fifteen seconds each; the last four were six, six, five and a half & four and a half minutes. But after having to stay completely still & listening to various operating sounds - varying from a jack-hammer, to muted beeping, & to chirping [that was the cooling pump] - for almost half an hour, those last four minutes felt more like ten. By then I had an annoying itch on my chin & my right elbow was doing its best to spasm itself sideways. If you're bigger than me & claustrophobic, it can't a fun experience. Apparently they have methods for getting obese people in - that's good, so long as they have ways of getting them out.

No side-effects, I managed a good little 30 km ride out in the Kentish countryside this slowly-warming afternoon.


  1. I was conscious of that as I wrote; alas I couldn't take anything metallic in.