Today I had an MRI scan on my left knee at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
I felt a bit of a fraud, to be honest. Here I am, still able to play tennis and stay comparitively active, yet I was surrounded by the frail and infirm who looked like they needed a whole lot more help than I did.
I consoled myself with the fact that, despite picking up the odd knock in my time, I haven’t really demanded that much of the National Health Service. I figured it was alright for me to be receiving the treatment in the off chance my knee can be fixed. If it turns out there’s nothing wrong and it’s all in my head then I might need to revise that statement. ;o)
As always I was very curteous and polite to the hospital staff. The way I see it is they’re doing a very important job – far more worthwhile than any I’ve ever done, and they don’t get paid much for it. I wouldn’t want Cousin Iain taking any unnecessary attitude from patients, so I spread the karma by doing my part, regardless of how receptive the staff are.
After changing into one of those gowns with the split down the back, and placing my belongings into a locker, I took a seat outside of the MRI room’s large insulating door and waited my turn. Shortly they wheeled an old lady out from the MRI room – she was very thin and moaning every other breath. Obviously it had been quite a daunting experience for her.
Being quite versed in sci-fi I was quite looking forward to “being placed in center of a giant packet of polo mints”, as the paperwork had described it. Following the instructions of the man who showed me in, I hopped up onto the table and placed my left knee into the brace that would hold it in place. The man added a couple of foam pads around my knee once the brace was closed over, which I was quite pleased about as I didn’t think I’d be able to keep still for half an hour.
Once I was all set up he moved the table into the center of the MRI machine and placed some earphones on my head, saying it would help drown out the noise of the scanner. The machine itself started up just after he left the room, and Radio City 96.7 FM began blaring from the headphones a few moments later. It was hard to tell what was louder – the machine or the earphones.
I had been given a little button to squeeze in case I didn’t like what was going on during the scan, but it seemed kind of trivial to press it and ask for them to turn the volume down. I did consider moving the headphones slightly to try and dampen the sound, but I’d been told to stay perfectly still and I didn’t want to ruin the scan.
So, for the next thirty minutes I lay there as still as could be, wondering just how bad commercial radio can possibly get. That and wondering exactly what was causing the MRI machine to make such strange noises. After a while I caught myself wiggling my right toes along to whatever tune was on the radio, but other than that I think I did a good job of lying still.
When it was all over and I was allowed to stand up I shook the hand of the man that had shown me to the room and thanked him for taking care of me. If I ever need to go back for another scan I’ll know what to expect now – it’s nothing to worry about, really. Well, except for the volume of the headphones – I’ll definitely ask them to turn it down next time.
Now I have to wait a couple of weeks until I can go and find out my results. Fingers crossed that whatever damage I have can be repaired through minor surgery and without having to wait too long for it.