I didn’t exactly plan on this one but it became clear before Christmas that our eldest needed some investigations into her wrist pain. She’d been for an X Ray but apparently an MRI was necessary so we toddled off to Sheffield Children’s hospital for her appointment.
I stupidly thought she wouldn’t have to go in the MRI machine. Maybe I though they had a miniature one specifically for limbs she could just shove her arm in. I was wrong of course,
The nurse asked us both over and over again various questions like could we be pregnant (dear god no) and had we got any bits of metal inside us at all. I was confident we didn’t. We took off jewellery and watches and headed into the room.
I’ve never seen an MRI machine in real life before, and I’ve certainly never witnessed someone being scanned with one. Poor T had to lie in a Superman flying position on her front for half an hour without moving. She could sort of see ‘Mamma Mia’ on a screen in front of her but the noise of the scanner drowned out any Julie Walters magic unfortunately.
I sat in front of the scanner so she could look mournfully at me down the tube. I selected ‘Chat’ magazine, ready to leaf through nonchalantly in a relaxed fashion while the scan took place. The machine started up and the noise was intense. It seemed to move between light saber battle and machine gun sound effect. I switched between looking into T’s stressed face (feeling guilty I couldn’t be in there for her) and an article on a murderer from Scunthorpe.
Almost straight away I’d felt a rhythmic twitch in my left wrist and after a while began to wonder whether someone had put metal in my wrist (following my backwards running incident in 1987) without telling me. Fortunately nothing jettisoned out of my arm but it was disconcerting and of course entirely in my mind.
My daughter is a trooper. She got on with it and didn’t complain even though the experience was a bit uncomfortable – I moaned way more than her afterwards.
Of course this is another one of those moments where you realise how lucky you are. Lucky to have my health and that of my family – wrist pain is nothing really compared to what this machine looks for every day. Lucky that Sheffield Children’s Hospital is on our doorstep with their kind, relaxed, reassuring, smiley staff. And lucky it has a Costa so we could have a post MRI calm down with a smoothie.
I’d never seen anyone have an MRI scan before. Hopefully it’ll be a while before I have to again.