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Sunday, December 13, 2015

When the Test is Torture

I am not MRI naive.  I have had several over the years, and my youngest son has had upwards of twenty such exams.  While the experience is somewhat similar to being slid into a coffin at a construction site, if you can overcome the claustrophobia and the potential anxiety about what the test might reveal, the experience is entirely survivable without risk for any post traumatic consequences.  Not so with my recent experience.
For various and sundry reasons, I needed to have a breast MRI recently, and I was completely unprepared for the experience.  The graphic above gives some indication that the procedure requires a particular pattern of positioning, but when I arrived at my test, there was no such padding in place.  I was expected to maintain the position, horribly uncomfortable, for the full 40 to 45 minutes that the exam would take.  What??  To make matters worse, movement is absolutely the kiss of death for a reliable MRI exam.  So if you move, or cannot maintain your ridiculously cramped positioning, you might have to just start over from the very beginning.  Which is all that kept me going through to the end.  Usually, there is a nice form mold that will put the patient into the correct position to get a good exam and minimize discomfort.  Not so here.
My exam yielded no worrisome findings, but I never want to do this again.

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