Head First: I Got an MRI for My Birthday.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I Got an MRI for My Birthday.

Since my brother outted me already, yeah, I'm 43 today.

So I went in for an MRI on my shoulder this morning. I've never had one, but I've heard that some people get uncomfortable. I've never been particularly claustrophobic (until today), but how bad could it be? Besides, I've heard that they give you headphones to listen to music or even an angled mirror pointed at a TV.

So the gal in the scrubs has me empty my pockets, put in some foam earplugs and lay on a foot-wide table. Without any preparation for what to expect (like how many eternities it will feel like before it's over), she tells me to be absolutely still. The table rises, and begins sliding backwards. Suddenly, I'm understanding why I want to be cremated and not placed in a coffin when I die. Let me see if I can explain this any better:

(these are actual measurements)

You do the math. Although I must admit, the Freudian implications of squeezing a man my size into an opening that size are noteworthy.

Then the scan commenced. I knew it would be loud, but holy sweet mother Mary! And where are my headphones? After a few minutes (2 eternities in MRI time), my right arm, wedged between my body and the tube, began to lose sensation from loss of circulation. I tried to say this to the person on the other end of the little speaker, but apparently, the speaker on her side wasn't working, or the sight of me stuffed into her little tube prompted her to step out for a cannolli.

Eventually (about 18 eternities later), she came back and announced that we're almost through. Trust me when I tell you that her idea of almost through means "That cannolli was delicious. I think I'll have a coffee to wash it down. There's a Starbucks on the other side of town. Be right back!"

It was about this time I realized that I could never be a government agent, because I would hand over the keys to every nuke in Iowa, even press the red button myself, to get out of this contraption. I was able to endure the last few eternities by promising myself over and over that I was NOT going to beat the hell out of this chick the minute she let me out of this thing--but only because I couldn't feel my arms, and she'd likely kick my ass.

Obviously, I made it out alive. I stopped for some breakfast, and then came home to lots of well-wishing birthday emails and phone messages. Knowing you have friends makes everything ok, doesn't it? And tomorrow, Mrs. Dorsey is taking me to the Big Apple to see Spamalot at the Shubert Theater (WOO HOO!)

But it goes without saying that you're more likely to find me manning the pledge-lines at TBN than ever again darkening the doors of Booth Radiology, Severan Professional Center, Suite 105, Hurffville-Cross Keys Rd. ,Sewell, NJ 08080.


Kris said...


Oh, if you ever do man a phone at TBN let me know. I can be a pretty bad sinner in need of prayer and would love to vomit all my stuff on you while watching your "head" swell on worldwide TV.

Mrs Zeke said...

Dorsey I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes!.

I am not the size of you but I will never forget my MRI a couple of years ago. I pride myself a bit on being cool headed under pressure and I am for sure getting burned when I die

Living in California of course my brilliant mind went "I hope the big one does not hit now" Which of course meant I would be stuck in a tube buried in the basement of the hospital and I don't even cuss and I so badly wanted to shout out every bad word I had ever heard, as if it would help.

My heart goes out to you my friend there gonna have to put me out if they ever want to do that again!

Have a wonderful time with Mrs Dorsey!

Be loved

Herobill said...

"Humff." [Whirr.]
"Humff." [Whirr.]
"Humff." [Whirr.]

(Sound effects to scene 37 of The Incredibles)

nathaniel adam king said...

OMG! Dorsey, that was quite humorous.

Kc said...

okay I guess I'm too empathetic to enjoy the humor. I really hope you had a great day otherwise and that the MRI reveals a slight discumbobulation that will heal rapidly. Do let us know please.

Aimee said...

just reading about it sends me on the verge of a panic attack. i've been through far too many MRI's, CT scans, x-rays, bone scans, MUGA scans, blah blah. they never get any easier.

the first MRI i ever had i fearfully read on the door to the room that all jewelry and metal objects had to be removed or it could cause injury. (don't EVER get excited about an MRI of your brain, because they strap your head in to this plastic Hanibel Lecter-like cage and then stick you in the tube, which as you know, has a clearance between your face and the inside of the tube of about 1 inch). so i'm in the tube for all of 30 seconds when the thing starts spinning and clanking, and the only thought that pops into my mind is that i still have a belly-button ring on. oh, and that sign on the door. the thought is so overpowering- the image of this massive magnet rotating around my body ripping the metal right out of my skin. so i start screaming "help" as i'm frantically fluttering my legs up and down. they stop and come out all in a panic- "what's wrong, what's wrong?" i'm gasping for air. my chest feels like my skin is 5 sizes too small. what's wrong? duh. so i tell her that i still have a belly buttin ring on and i was worried about it. she asks, "well, you didn't feel any burning, did you?" oh great. no. no burning. "oh, you're not claustraphobic are you, hun?", she asks. ha. i didn't think i was. i've been through so many of these things now that even getting in an elevator makes me forget to breath. but i do have some pretty funny stories. like the first CT scan i ever had- the contrast line busted twice in the the middle of the scan. the second time it ended up spraying sticky clear radioactive contrast all over my hair. i walked out of that place like someone had just sprayed a can of hairspray on my head. and imagine- i was laying down on a table when this happened, so my hair was going every direction. i tried to wash it out real quick in the bathroom, but it was useless adding water to the mix.

ha. so ya, i sympathize with ya. but i've been through worse. so get over it. (that's a playful jab).

ninjanun said...


Did you have a good time in NYC?c

dorsey said...

Thanks nun!

I don't know how anyone survives in this world without living within driving distance of a major city. NYC was a total blast! If you're a Python fan (of which I am chief), you MUST find a way to see Spamalot before you leave this earth. I cannot remember ever laughing so hard for so long (except for that time in 3rd grade, when another kid told me how babies are made).

Recovering said...

Oh man, that was hilarious. I laughed out loud...it kind of makes me want to need an MRI sometime soon so I can have a story like that...

dufflehead said...

happy birthday!
for my birthday someone charged $700 to my account. awesomeness!

Kristi said...

Happy belated birthday!

I had to get an MRI done after my last car accident. I'm telling you... that thing is a beast huh? I got halfway through and was crying so bad (yeah, i'm such a girl) that they had to start the whole thing over. I was so angry about that, that it got me to stop crying. I feel for ya!

BruceD said...

If M = 1, and R = 2, and I = 3... my wife can't even look at the letters "1-2-3" without turning pale white and going into a cold sweat. I've never had to go through one, but I'm sure I could do it with no problem at all (yeah, right!).

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday (belated dorse), 1 year and two weeks older than me! Woo Hoo!

I recall when I took my brother to get his MRI, they gave him valium about 1/2 hour before hand and he still freaked out.

I did not have that reaction myself (could be that I was almost dead when they did it...)

Next time the Dr. tells you to get an MRI on your shoulder just tell him to prescribe vicadin and be done with it!

JP said...

Yeah, that last comment was me. The stupid 'anonymous' button wouldn't unclick...