I had an MRI today.Â (Nothing is wrong with me, some researcher just wants pictures of my brain).Â The experience is interesting.Â It starts with a checklist, basic information to make sure there’s nothing in my body the magnets are going to have fun with.Â Next up they have me change into hospital garb.Â I’m then told to wait, for about an hour, since they secretly scheduled my visit after the time they told me, for fear I’d be late.
After a great deal of waiting, and signing various release forms, liability waivers, and so forth, I’m taken to a small room, the last of my possessions (a book and the locker key with my street clothes) are stripped from me,.Â Then I get to go into a larger room, with even less space thanks to the monstrously large hunk of plastic, super-conducting wire and liquid helium.
I put on the headphones, bizarre things out of the science fiction of a century ago, with no metal, and sound pumped through a tube of air into my ears.Â Then the technician straps my head in place.Â Thus begins the bondage.Â The bench is slid backwards slowly, and I find myself unable to move my arms, which are now pinned between my body and the sides of said tube.
Something they don’t tell you about, when fussing over the potential claustrophobia. MRI machines vibrate.
They start playing a movie, I brought Fight Club with me, since I’ll only get to watch the first half of whatever it is, and I hate the second half of fight club.
Something else they don’t tell you about MRIs, they produce a variety of sensations as they scan.Â A strange tugging sensation of my abdomen.Â A spot of my skin starts to vibrate, slowly moving up my right side.Â My nose starts to itch.Â Then my eye.
The movie continues playing just long enough to remind me of the first rule of Fight Club.Â Which I will say no more about.Â The researcher asks me to please stop moving my foot, and they start playing some cognitive tasks for me, think about this word, watch for green dots, don’t think about anything specific.
I cheat on the last one, and wonder why the windows 2000 desktop I was staring at had a program called ‘SSH secure shell client’ when SSH stands for secure shell.
Finally, after about an hour inside this glorified bondage device, I’m pulled out of the machine, given my things back, and sent on my way.Â They even gave me pictures, which I share with you now.