I just got an MRI at the Polak Imaging Pavilion in Torrance, and it was the most relaxing thing ever. I had googled it the night before so I could know what to expect, and I expected it to be uncomfortable, claustrophobic and loud. Something I had to hold still for and survive. It probably helped that I only got a few hours of sleep the night before, and therefore I drifted off to sleep easily.
The Polak Imaging Pavilion was funded by the husband of Anna Maria Polak, who died of cancer. Before I went in I sat in the car for a little bit and thought about all of the women who have to go in here and get treated for breast cancer. I decided to try and leave behind any stress I had and not bring it with me into the building. After all, I’m just here for my ear. Everyone was calm and very helpful. The building seemed like it was designed around putting people at ease. I went in wearing 100% cotton clothing so that I wouldn’t have to take off anything other than my jeans (I left my bra in the car), and by the time I had my iv holder in me, I was ready to start doing ballet in the waiting room. The pajama bottom scrubs they gave me were so comfortable. My IV holder, because I don’t know what else to call it, puts a tiny plastic tube into my vein so that they could inject dye into my veins about 2/3 of the way through the MRI to help find things inside of my head.
During the MRI, they put you into a cylinder and apparently you have a giant, extremely strong magnet around your head like a donut. I decided to close my eyes before I got slid into the MRI machine, and this made it so that I never felt like I was anywhere but at the opening of the machine, like I was when I first lay down. I was warned several times about the machine gun like noise of the MRI, but here’s what it was like for me: it sounded like I was inside of a porta-potty (let’s say a brand new one), with somebody banging rhythmically on the outside. Then it sounded like somebody was holding some kind of vibrating mechanism on the walls, that banged on the walls like a vibrating massager will do if you put it up against a hard surface. I thought of performance art, and then I became more and more relaxed, because I was so cushioned. I had my head in a padded cradle-like thing, with pillows under each of my elbows, and a large pad under the lower half of my legs. The technician gave me a ball to squeeze that would alert him if I was having any problems in there. I also had a blanket on me, so I was warm and comfy, and drifted off to sleep. This could be because I grew up in a house with no walls and there were four of us kids. I don’t know. I tend to fall asleep at concerts, too. Anyway, I twitched awake a few times, but other than that, It went very smooth. I felt like I was in some kind of trance when I left, like I feel after a massage. I sat in the car and texted Christyne while I slowly woke up, so that I was alert enough to drive.
Now I’m at home, my vegetables for dinner are marinating and I’m walking around humming. I think I want to build myself a bed that’s shaped like an MRI machine.