Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to survive an MRI

So, after the doctor's threat of putting me in a boot, I immediately called up the imaging place for an MRI. Talk about motivation! I was supposed to go in yesterday morning at 7:00 am, but then my lovely insurance company refused to authorize the procedure. Awesome. It totally pissed me off, but there is not much that a lowly citizen can do. So, there was much back and forth between the insurance company, the imaging place and the podiatrist (who was really great). Final approval came through in the afternoon, so I ended up having the MRI done early yesterday evening.
I would like to say that it's a fun experience, but it's not. While it doesn't necessarily cause pain, the space-age experience still weirds me out a bit. I consider myself almost a pro since I've now had 3 MRIs in the past 8 years or so, 2 in the past two! That would seem to attest to my accident-prone lifestyle. HA. Fortunately I've never had to go totally into the 'tube' or whatever the contraption is called since they've only scanned my leg/foot area, but it very much reminds me of the wonders of modern medicine AND of my mortality - especially after reading up on MRIs and their various uses. Sorry for the existential commentary. The other thought/image that often crosses my mind is of Sigourney Weaver from the "Alien" series. Being shut off in a room that uses magnetic force/waves to see INTO my body seems so sci-fi to me. It makes me feel as though I'm in a spaceship instead of in comfortable and well-heeled Pasadena! Despite worrying about whether an alien was going to jump out at me at any minute, the hardest part of the experience was keeping my foot absolutely still, following specific instructions. Why is it that as soon as you can't move or scratch something, all you can do is think about it moving?!
One fun detail from this time, since my head wasn't going into the scanner, they offered up headphones so I could listen to music. I opted for jazz, for an unknown reason since I hardly consider myself an aficionada. I discovered that Miles Davis and MRIs go well together and would recommend that selection to anyone else who will be going through with that experience! The other strange and kind of cool realization - I just laid there for 30 minutes, listening to jazz and also the weird machinery sounds as it scanned my foot, thinking about recent Cortázar and Borges stories that I'd taught to my AP Lit students, and then my brain wandered to a variety of topics. Maybe I should get a brain scan next time? Or just take more time during my day to sit still and not do anything at all? I always think that I have a need to be constantly moving, but perhaps a dose of conscientious sitting around would do me some good?
I don't have detailed results from the MRI - the doctor did call me this afternoon but I missed his call. He informed me that the results revealed extensive inflammation of the bone, heavy emphasis on the adjective 'extensive' on his part, but no fracture! So, not GREAT news, but not terrible news either. I am actually feeling a bit like a wuss - like I should just get over the fact that my bone is swollen. I'm crazy, I know. Anyway, I'll find out more details tomorrow when I talk to him. Until then, I will keep my fingers crossed that he doesn't expect/demand that I wear a boot. Anything but the boot!


kilax said...

My best friend just got the same diagnosis from her MRI - inflmamation ( - and the go-ahead to keep running short distances! I think you are going to be boot free!

Kristina said...

Yeah! Thanks for the link. I'll check out what she says. I'm seeing the doctor on Monday.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that there is no fracture! What great news!

I had an MRI a few months ago and right in the middle of it the power went out. It was terrifying to say the least! I'm glad yours was relatively uneventful.

I hope the dr. visit goes well today!

Jaya said...

I am mortified of scans! I am claustrophobic to the extreme. Sounds like you did very well, all things considered. I'm so sorry to hear about your foot. Stress fracture or not (and glad it's NOT), don't deprive yourself of the emotions that come with injury - it's sosososo important to give them a voice. Fingers crossed, but I have every confidence that you could rock das boot.