I had my annual MRI of the brain done last Monday at Makati Medical Center. After undergoing the same procedure yearly after my 2004 craniotomy, you would think doing it will just be a breeze for me. On the contrary, I’ve become even more afraid of anything that has to do with hospitals, MRI included. What is it with MRI, anyways, that gives me the creeps?
First, I need to have an intravenous line inserted in my right arm for administering the gadolinium contrast. The truth is I’m afraid of needles. I find getting pricked too painful. The first insertion on top of my right hand was unsuccessful because the vein ruptured instantly. Ergo, I went home with a painful bulge in that area. I had another insertion in my right arm instead, that part opposite my elbow, where a few days ago, another needle was inserted for my prolactin test.
Second, the procedure takes so long to finish. Before, it used to last for 45 minutes only. This time around, it lasted for more than an hour. There are so many new protocols being implemented that were not previously done. Two hours prior to the procedure, you should not eat or drink, for example, to prevent vomiting when the patient receives the gadolinium contrast. Also, aside from removing all jewelries, eyeglasses, dentures, you now have to take off your belt and your bra, too, or just about everything with metal in it because they can either be damaged or they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI machine. Third, you can’t make large/major movements, or else you will have to repeat the entire procedure.
Third, I really don’t know if I’m claustrophobic because I haven’t really tried opening my eyes and staring into the very narrow space between my head and the machine. Just thinking about it makes me want to back out of the procedure altogether. Actually, there were times during the procedure that fear or nervousness got the better of me. My mouth quivered three times.
Finally, the most interesting (annoying to some) are the sounds the MRI scanner makes. These vary from tapping to thumping to whirring to drilling sounds and with different volume levels. This is why ear plugs are also provided during the procedure.
So there. Now you know why I don’t like undergoing MRI.