Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I can see this is going to be an adventure in medical technologies.  

Today it was an MRI.

After they have subdued you with paperwork, they strip you of your metal -- leaving you with your tooth fillings, your pants' zipper and the eyelets of your boots.  With cheery talk of claustrophobia, they immobilize your head in a vaguely spanish-inquisitionish device and slide you deep into a torpedo-tube.  At the last moment, they slip a panic button into your hands just in case.  (In case of what?  They don't say, but probably it has something to do with the bits of metal you've just claimed to not have in or around your body.)  With your eyes closed and a distracting injunction against swallowing or twitching overmuch -- it's hard to tell what's going on.  But judging by the sounds, they apparently bring out a dozen or so dwarves with pickaxes, tongs and jackhammers to go to work on the outside of the tube.

After an entertaining twenty minutes of that, they bring you back out, and if you don't have nice big sewer-pipe veins like I don't, they poke around with a needle until they can tap into your wrist so as to fill your tissues with gadolinium.  It's a rare-earth mineral that hardly ever ruins your kidneys and almost never gives you an exoskeleton.  It makes pretty tumor pictures.

The dwarves aren't visible within the still-immobilized visual scope, but they are still around somewhere.  And sure enough as soon as I'm reinserted into the tube, they start up with their jackhammering.  And so it goes . . . .