Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Scan

I'm just going to cannulate you
then we'll get going.
Pop up on the bed darlin’,
no, you can leave your shoes on
You'll feel a sharp scratch.
There, that was quick wasn't it?
Well that's the Gadolinium that shows up your brain
 - feels it bit cold doesn't it?
Now pop in these ear plugs...
You've done this before haven't you?
I'm just going to roll this cage over your face
and these little pads will keep your head still.
There, all ready to go.
You can see us in the mirror can't you?
and this switch I'm putting in your hand,
well squeeze it if you want us to stop

And then I’m rolled backwards into the cigar shaped cylinder. In the mirror above my head I can see a league of nations gathered in the office – out of reach and sound of these magnetic fields. The cannulating woman looks like she’s just stepped out of the Supremes with a 60’s bob to boot. She is talking to a little China doll who scribbles notes and the Irish girl who took my wedding ring for safe keeping is staring intently at a screen.

“Ok. The first scan will be 16 minutes long” The lady from the Supremes informs me (she doesn’t sing it) And then all of them gather round the screen. They are chatting and smiling. And then I start to get the feeling that they are actually checking flight prices on the easy-jet site.
“Hold still” she says into the little microphone that connects her voice to my ears. That’s enough to make my ear itch. A sneeze starts to build and I have the urge to cough. Violently. And I can guarantee one thing...I’ll need a pee very soon. The whirring, clanging, crunching sound starts, muffled by my earplugs. All I can see is the girls in their silent ballet as they flit from screen to screen to notes and back. The China doll is drinking a can of coke I notice. Suddenly there is silence.
“Good. The next scan will be 8 minutes” and the clunking, whirring starts up again and the girls go back to the bargain holiday website. Hang on...what’s this? Some bloke has entered their room...Oy, push off mate, these are my girls...how dare he...he’s flirting with them...and they’re laughing with him...damn if I could just get out of this metal cylinder...
”Perfect, the next scan will be 22 minutes” 22 minutes? don’t they realise what this blokes game is?....Oh hang on, he’s leaving...the girls are now laughing at the screen...if they’re not booking a holiday then they’re laughing at pictures of my brain....maybe it’s not my brain they’re scanning at all. Oh, no...the man is back and he’s bought a mate...I bet he has, I can hear the conversation now...yeah, we were wondering if you nice ladies fancied a drink after work...I’m going to cough, sneeze, itch, pee and fart simultaneously....
”Well done” Well done for what? I’m just lying here trussed up like a kipper while some junior doctors chat up my girls...
”One more scan to go. 14 minutes. Keep still” Keep still? I’m hardly going to break dance am I? Hang on...one of the men is now doing a silly dance routine and all the rest of them are laughing...they're scanning my brain waves...let me out....and now they are high fiving each other...for god’s sake they’re having a bloody party while a giant magnet takes pictures of my brain and transmits my thoughts in some Orwellian distopian nightmare...and then I’m being rolled out of the cylinder.

There you go, that’s all done
I’m just going to take out the canular
This will hurt a bit, there all done.
You’re free to go. Thankyou

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