Today I had my first MRI. When my doctor was signing the paperwork for it last week, he asked me if I liked to sleep. I said yes, just as much as the next person, and he said if I could sleep during the MRI that would be great because since I would have to lie very still anyway, sleeping would make the time pass more quickly. I said I probably wouldn’t fall asleep, but I like to think, so I’d probably do that instead. When I told my mom I’d be getting an MRI, she said I’d probably get to listen to music because that’s what she got to do, and they even let her choose the music she wanted. So my mom played dead to the oldies.
As I was being eased into the MRI machine like a wistful corpse on a conveyor belt, having learned that my tube was not a jukebox, the young technician’s words rang in my ears: Try not to move…if you move, it’ll take longer…if you have to move, only move during the steady hum part, and say something before you do to let us know…but try not to move at all. She had told me earlier that a lot of people fall asleep during an MRI, so I probably wouldn’t have to worry about moving anyway. I wasn’t worried about moving in the first place, actually, because I was there to have a fracture in my coccyx scanned, and it already felt like my ass had been impaled on an elephant tusk, so it wasn’t like I was gearing up for a game of Twister. There be no sleeping during the MRI, but there would be no moving either. Just thinking.
Huh…I can’t really hear anything with these headphones on…God, these are like bagels, bagels on my head, they’re totally eighties…What’s that? My heartbeat? Wow, that’s loud. Maybe I could fall asleep…This is kind of like being in an oven, kind of like a tanning bed, but it’s not hot…I used to work in a tanning bed place. I hated that…What the hell is that? A drum? Sounds black, kinda tribal. I like Sting…Now what?…Jesus, that sounds like the peepers in my parents’ marsh, peepers on crack more like it…I wonder how my nieces and nephews are doing. I miss them…We’d get them to say “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh” and pat their lips to make them sound like Indians…God, it’s always changing. Sounds like a jackhammer, a machine gun, yeah, like The Godfather…Shooting is so violent…Those scenes from The Rape of Nanking, those were hard to watch, it was so sad how they shot all those people, the Japanese suck…At least that’s over…I should have closed the garage door when I left, anybody could just walk in and take something, it’s that kind of neighborhood. Luis could be robbing me right now, but probably not, he’s a good kid, he’s probably just raking like I told him to, but how do I know? He’s just a neighbor kid, he could walk in and go straight to my dresser and take that diamond ring my freak of an ex-husband gave me…what a dick, “husband” is too generous…I should let that go, it’s been seven years…That sound really bugs me…I feel like I’m in an Atari game, Centipede, what was that one with the asteroids…rata-tat-tat, rata-tat-tat…Will I have time to get my nails done?...God, my back is killing me, it’s like that scene in Blood In, Blood Out when they drop that guy on the fire hydrant, that must have hurt…I can’t believe I’m having an MRI on my ass, I’m probably the only person who has ever been in here to get an ass MRI…What is that? Sounds like that song, what was it, Rock Me Amadeus, the guy must have had hiccups or something, but I liked that song. Was that Robert Downey Junior in the movie? I like Robert Downey Junior.
Who the hell sleeps through an MRI?