...it happens to me.
That's what it feels like sometimes in my life. Friday was just another example.
I went in for an MRI
(previously discussed) and went through the whole checklist of metallic items that needed to be removed and/or reported. I don't have any metal implants (yet) so I was pretty sure that by stripping naked everything would be fine. Put on the hospital gowns, got up in the MRI
, started the procedure.
I asked for more air flow immediately, which the attendant did quite nicely. I wasn't sure I'd be able to stay still, so I tried to just "disappear" which I usually do in the dentist's chair. It worked. She calibrated the machine with no problem, then started the first scan. (Which sounded like a low-pitched alarm.)
No problem, except my elbows started feeling a little warm. Oh, I figured that was just the machine warming up, so when the scan was over I repositioned my arms so that I could feel more of the inside. It felt a little warmer during the second scan, but not terribly uncomfortable. (The second one sounded like a jackhammer.)
So for the third scan I folded my arms across my chest again. (This one sounded like a machine gun.) My elbows were the only place in contact with the inside. As the scan progressed, I felt them getting hotter and hotter, which I thought must just be in my mind. I tried to move my arms a little without moving my neck, but I couldn't. I kept thinking, "this isn't happening, I'm just getting uncomfortable from having to stay still" but I started to feel like my elbows were burning, especially on the right side. I don't know how long I waited, but I just couldn't believe it was happening.
Finally I couldn't stand it any more so I shouted and waved my arms. Fuck the scan, my elbow hurts!
So they stopped and pulled me out of the scanner, and my elbows were bright red. I had a palm-sized mark on my right elbow and smaller mark on my left side. I was scared, and even as a grownup woman I admit I was crying. What the hell just happened? The nurse who had set me up for the exam asked me if I had metal in my elbows, and I of course said, "Hell no, I would have told you!" She kept feeling my arms and I kept saying, "it's not just in my head, right? Can you feel it?" and she wouldn't answer, but finally they brought a doctor in to look at me and she (the doctor) confirmed that they could feel the burns.
I had been told I would need three full scans followed by three scans with injected dye, and I said I wanted to finish the scans as long as they promised me they would do something to keep me from getting burned any more. There was apparently some confused discussion and finally they decided they had gotten enough of the third scan, and the attendant had misread the order so I didn't need to have the dye series. I could go home.
Well, the nurse asked me to sit in the waiting area for 1/2 hour and then she would look at my elbows again. After that time, my right elbow had a mark roughly the size and shape of a regular band-aid and my left elbow was fine. So I went home, upset, but at least I don't have to go back.
This is why, even though I want to be a good patient and I am intrigued by medicine, I hate going in for even the most simple tests. If shit can happen to anyone, it happens to me. The radiologist doctor said she'd never had that happen to anyone before. She thinks it was because the contact point of my elbow against the machine caused a hot spot that concentrated the magnetic energy. I told her I wanted her to check the machine before she used it on any other patients. I also told her I wanted it put in my record that this had happened despite the fact I had no metal on me.