This morning I went in to get an MRI on my knee. Yup--it's still bothering me. My doc has (still) pretty much ruled out an ACL tear, but is concerned that I'm still symptomatic seven weeks post-injury. So an MRI, as he said, was indicated. I spent about a half-hour inside one of these dreadful contraptions.
For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, these things are LOUD. Like, industrial warehouse loud. Like head-pounding make-it-stop 80's band turned-up-to-11 loud. And they're huge. It's literally the size of an elephant. Noisy and enormous.
But here's the thing: I SWEAR that nothing is really happening amidst all that noise. That it's fakery designed to make you think that hard work is being done to create these little pictures of you--much like the charlatan who appears to pull fish guts out of your stomach. I bet the functional parts of an MRI machine could fit in your pocket like a Canon one-touch, and that its inner workings are whisper-silent. Just a hunch.
Anyway it could have been worse.
You probably think I mean that if you're getting an MRI on a mild, injury-related discomfort in one of your extremities, your thoughts might tend to settle on the comforting thought that you could be in there for something god-awful. And that's true: when I was in the lobby, feeling pretty good, looking what I've come to think of as reasonably fit and healthy for an almost-40 year old, I glanced around at my fellow waiting room denizens and thought, a propos of their rather more dire appearance, oh yeah, some people get MRIs for really, really bad things. For some people this is a major deal.
But that's not really what I was thinking. The 'it could be worse' thought came to me when I was lying on the conveyor belt and the technician asked me what radio station I'd like to have piped through the headphones they make you wear during the procedure. Being a part of the liberal media conspiracy, I asked for the local NPR affiliate. When he got it tuned, I realized, to my horror, that the station was in the midst of its on-air spring fund-drive, saying over and over and over that
Every day you there in your car and get your news and music and entertainment from us, and you don't for ONE SECOND think about our needs and what we do and the reporters and the microphones and the coffee, you selfish !**@!. It doesn't cross your mind, because you're far too busy reaping the benefits of being satiated with the information and entertainment we provide you EVERY DAY to be bothered with the fact that all these things cost MONEY. You're essentially robbing us. You're scum.
For a brief moment I realized that I was in one very real conception of hell: strapped to a table, immobile, forced to listen to an NPR pledge drive. Quickly I told Tony the Tech to kill the audio--I'd prefer the ever-so-slightly dampened jackhammer-like crashing and pounding of the MRI machine over that God-awful cacophony any day.
Results on Monday. Of the MRI, not the plege-drive.