I did something today that I thought I would never in my lifetime have to do. I had a MRI so the perfect knee joint can be created for me. It is all a bit sci-fi and I was told I am only the second person to have this done at that facility. Always was a bit of a trendsetter…
Over twenty years ago my late boss, a dermatologist told me I would suffer 3rd degree burns if I ever had a MRI due to steel plates and screws in my legs. That was probably true then and was enough to convince me. Fast forward 15 years when I’d completed the Tall Girl Series: A Body of Work about the shortening procedures which bestowed steel girders in my legs. One of the most difficult pieces to design was “No MRI” in which I contemplated having a tattoo inked on my neck, or my legs, maybe both legs so if ever I was unable to speak for myself in an emergency no one would subject me to this torment of 3rd degree burns.
Earlier this year I met an orthopedic doc on vacation. He told me the 3rd degree burns story is an old wives tale. My surgeon told me the same. The MRI technician told me again. I asked everyone I could find hoping someone somewhere would say I definitely should not do it. No one did! So where I should have felt relief I felt only fear. What if they were wrong?
My anticipatory fear accompanying the MRI today was horrendous. Fortunately I thought to stick my ipod in my purse and listened to it while waiting the 20 mins or so that they were running late, after I arrived early as per instructions. That helped me considerably. Once I was on the table and weighted down I simply chose not to think about it, the MRI, the groans, the fear, the terror, none of it. I am not sure what I thought about other than how if scientists can build these wondrous machines that can look into our bodies why can’t they muffle the sounds it makes? That and I counted the jack-hammer sounds which closely matched the seconds when I was in the tube as they shot my hips for a complete full-length image.
And the universe… so incredibly humorous. Here I was, supine and still when the sole of my left foot began to itch terribly. It is a nerve thing that happens usually at inappropriate times but this was the most inappropriate of all. I willed it to stop and it did after several minutes of pure torment. Such a great study in discipline this one.