Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My "Musical" Morning

Spent the morning at the imaging center getting an MRI--magnetic resonance image of afflicted body parts that need attention. This diagnostic test uses magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. It often provides different information than can be obtained from a CAT scan or other kinds of imaging.

If you've never had an MRI, think John Cage music--an avante garde composer for whom such items as a watering can, a blender, a bathtub, a pop gun, a rubber ducky, and a mechanical fish are musical instruments. To Cage, any sound is music, and an MRI is full of buzzes, whistles, toots, and percussion-like racket. On the whole I'd rather listen to Mahler or Beethoven. I was grateful for the earplugs the technician gave me to protect my hearing.

After about an hour of preliminaries, I was finally placed in the machine face down with my arms above my head, not easy for someone with arthritic shoulders. Picture being strapped onto a rack, something like poor Westley in The Princess Bride. Forty minutes later the "music" stopped and I was liberated.

What occupied my mind while the machine pounded, blared, and crackled? For a while I sang hymns, and for a while I pondered a picture I'd seen in the lobby, a stream in the foreground running into a distant forest, a branch of it going off to the left, and a sinking sun in the distance. It reminded me of the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken... "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..." Somehow it wouldn't have worked if he'd been following a stream. I can't imagine "A stream diverged in a yellow meadow..." being as powerful as what Frost wrote.

Ah, the irony! My life is full of it just now, and this is all the pondering I can take for one afternoon.

One test down, two to go, prognosis to come when I get deeper into the yellow wood.


jww said...

Glad one is done. That's a hard one, too, from what I've heard, because you have to be perfectly still. Again, not easy with arthritis. Preston has had 3 or 4 MRIs and he always comes out feeling horrible because it's so hard to keep those positions with arthritis. And, yes, a ROAD in a yellow wood is just irreplaceable.

mindy said...

The scanning machines sound like the stuff out of nightmares! No fun for sure. It'd be one thing if they were quiet, like a sensory deprivation chamber. But the noise must be really distressing. Lots of hugs and QUIET to you. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Stephanie Abney said...

Your description of your MRI experience is so vivid, it almost seems like I am there with you. So sorry that you are going through this but I love your courage and good humor as you do so and chronicle your journey.

I had an MRI of my knee a few years ago; a virtual walk in the park compared to what you went through. I'm sure it was painful and awful but I really did love your perfect reference to poor Westley in the Princess Bride, being strapped to "The Rack."

You are a marvel, Pamela.