Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Am Are I

If you want to do the MRI, you have to be prepared to wait.
Because if your case is not urgent, read: if your head is not going to explode or something, then you would have to wait till after everyone who has made an appointment before you or whose head was going to explode to go through the test before it gets to your turn.
The doctor requested for my MRI at around noon, and my turn only came almost 7 hours later. Good thing I was admitted into a room, so at least I could lie down and watch Amazing Race while I wait.

The attendant wheeled me down to the Imaging room and I was interviewed first. The nurse asked me if I knew what an MRI is, and I said I've seen it on TV ;) I was asked if I was claustrophobic and if I have had any kind of implants, did I work with metal grinders etc. Basically they just wanted to know if I had anything metal in my body that would affect the magnetic resonance. I had taken out anything metal on my body, including the pin that was holding my headscarf. Good thing I was wearing a lycra Selendang Saudah, so it was easy to wrap it around my head and keep it in place without a pin. I was told to change into the gown provided and to remove everything else except my underwear.

Okay, here I would like to digress a bit and complain.
Why is it that someone does not design a muslimah-friendly hospital gown? The one I had to wear had short sleeves and it reached only a little below the knee. I had to ask for a blanket to wear like a sarong to hide my legs. And what's with the ties? How in the world was I supposed to tie it anyways? I think there are things called 'velcro' nowadays.

So after I have figured out how to wear my gown, I went into the Imaging room to face this behemoth of a machine. It looked like a really huge pencil sharpener. I was asked to lie down and the imaging guy explained to me how I shouldnt move, how long it'd take and gave me a button to push in case I wanted the test to stop for any reason. I prayed to god I would not need to use it, coz wouldn't that mean I'd have to repeat the test again? He gave me ear plugs to dull the noise, told me to lie down, wedged sponges on the side of my head to reduce movement and closed this star wars-like visor over my face.

I closed my eyes and imagined just that - that I was going on a trip to the outerspace. I tried not to think about the enclosed space and put pictures of wide open sky in my head instead. It also helped that the first sound I heard after I had stopped moving inside was like a single note from a electric bass guitar. Just like the sound the spaceship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind made. It helped feed my planetary trip fantasy I had going on. That single note was repeated for a few minutes before it stopped and changed rythm.

After what felt like quite a while, I realized that I was breathing very shallowly. Maybe I had forgotten how to breathe!? I tried hard to not panic and concentrate on my breathing. I almost wanted to press the button, but the thought of having to do the test over kept me from doing so. If I back out now, who knows whether I'd have the courage to do it again? So I braved myself and recited all the surahs that I memorized. Unfortunately it didn't take too long to go through all of them (*hangs head in shame*). Alhamdulillah, though, after several rounds of surahs and Robbi Yasser walatu asser (God is the Great Giver of Ease and will make it easy) I calmed down and decided to just enjoy the rock show.

Coz it was just like a rock show! There wasn't much variety in the notes, but the rythm was there. Some bits sounded like drum beats, some sounded like feedback, some sounded like the "paa paa paa" of an electric guitar. Towards the end of the test was quite entertaining, coz it went "tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap" then "paa paa paa paa paa paa paa paa", over and over. I almost tapped my feet. I even got the courage to open my eyes a bit to take a peek at the inside of the pencil sharpener. All I could see was the frames of my visor and white, white, white. I closed my eyes and didn't think much about it anymore coz my nose was starting to itch.

So there I was. stuck in this hole and my nose was itching and I really really really wanted to scratch it but was too scared that I'd move too much and would have to do everything all over again and as much as I had enjoyed the 'rock concert', I don't think I could stand another 30 minutes of it. With the grace of God, everything stopped and they took me out and I was told the test was done! Alhamdulillah, I could now scratch my nose! lol

So I changed and went back to my room. The whole thing took about 45minutes. About 2 hours later the doctor came to tell me my MRI looks clear, so there's really nothing to worry about. Next time I have a headache I should just take a panadol and sleep it off. Next time I have a cold, just take it easy and don't work too hard (heh. Easier said than done). She suggested a blood test to rule out anything else.

I was glad they didn't find anything in the MRI. I was prepared for all possibilities, but I was glad it was all clear, just so that I didn't have to go through the pencil sharpener again. ;)


  1. dear elisa, glad that ev'thing is okay .... alhamdulillah, take care k.

    do write more babe, i love it ....


  2. pusrawi have a muslimah gown..a big shirt and kain sarong..just like I wore in ward..I slept during MRI the test.. :)