July 28, 2011

How To Have An MRI

I am an expert at having MRI’s.

Unfortunately, when you need to have an MRI, there is usually something terribly wrong with you. Naturally, you will happily agree to just about anything at that point, and practically throw yourself into the teeny tiny magnetic tube that sounds like a jackhammer.

you need an MRI

There is no special way to prepare for an MRI.

You don’t have to fast, you can wear deodorant and lotion, you don’t have to drink anything nasty before hand…

It is the easiest test in the world to prepare for, because there is no preparation required. 

i have an appointment

Of course, depending on what part of you is getting scanned, you might have to change into a gown. And you’re not allowed to wear a bra. (It might have underwire or something.)

no bras allowed

So you get ready, and go into the room with the MRI machine.

Now, for those of you who don’t know what an MRI machine looks like, it resembles a donut…. with a tongue.

MRI machine

And at the top of the table, is a cage that goes over your head. This helps you to not move, because the only rule in the MRI machine is to BE VERY, VERY STILL. 

A friendly technician will help you lay on the table just so, and then they lock the cage over your head.

locked and loaded

And instead of saying, “Be still” the technician person says things like:


And OF COURSE since they specifically told you not to swallow, that will be the only thing you think about for the duration of the MRI. Which takes, oh, a long time.

So you try to listen for the machine and decide if it’s loud or quiet. And then when it’s quiet, you decide that it would be a great time to swallow….

Of course, mid swallow, when you have the saliva sitting in your mouth, the machine turns back on. So now you have a mouth full of spit, and you’re waiting for the machine to take a break, and since you’re flat on your back, you’re trying not to choke.

Which leads you to thinking about whether or not anyone has ever died on the MRI table from drowning.

has anyone ever choked during an mri

Meanwhile, the machine is not taking any breaks.


You wonder if hammering will ever stop.

As the saliva continues to build up in your throat, you realize that you can’t breathe, because your allergies have suddenly returned with a vengeance.

But you can’t open your mouth, because that would be moving, and you’re pretty sure that NOT MOVING was the most important thing the technician told you.

So you decide to just hold your breath instead.

hold your breath


For the love of all that is holy, you wonder if that blasted machine will ever take a break from the incessant hammering. 

Your toes are starting to go numb, but you daren’t wiggle them to make sure they work. That would MOVING and MOVING is AGAINST THE RULES.

keep holding

Finally the MRI machine takes a break and you quickly swallow three times, for good measure, and you take a few deep gulps of air.

Then the technician announces that you moved and they’ll have to retake those images, and please, PLEASE, try to not move this time.

And since they were talking to you, you answer, which was very stupid of you to do, unless you’re a ventriloquist.

So the technician reminds you AGAIN not to move. To not even talk. You are to JUST LAY THERE, thankyouverymuch.


And that is how you have an MRI.