January 06, 2009

Breast MRI

Yesterday's breast MRI experience was, well, an experience. After checking in, I was asked to put on a robe opening in the front. I decided to take off my sleeve and glove to be more comfortable. The technician escorted me to the MRI room, started an IV in my right elbow, while teasing me about bringing my own eye mask and ear plugs. (I may never have had a breast MRI before, but I'm a master at how to prepare for scans.)

I lay face down on the scanner bed, gown open in front, with my breasts hanging down into an open cradle, with my arms stretched out straight in front of me. There was a pillow under my shins but it's still not very comfortable to recline in this position. Try it sometime and you'll see what I mean.

This MRI tube was open at both ends, like a very wide donut, so claustrophobia was limited, but I had taken a smidge of Ativan anyway to relax.

The tech attached the IV to the machine that gives the dye via rubber tubing, and in my right hand I held some of the tubing. It was okay for my left hand to curve a little over my head. I adjusted the pillow under my face so that my nose got some fresh air and kept the eye mask over my eyes.

MRIs are really noisy. The clanging is kind of rhythmic but the beats are often out of sync with each other. It's a little bit of extra torture for anyone who's the least bit musical. The earplugs keep out some of the noise but not all of it. I was glad I'd taken the Ativan. The scan lasted 17 minutes.

My verdict? It had a beat but you couldn't really dance to it.

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