Question 11. Have you had any incidents where bullets, shrapnel or other pieces of metal have entered your body?
That's not a question you get asked every day but then it's not every day you get an MRI scan.
It's six weeks since I had my accident. My broken collar bone is healing nicely and I thought they'd forgotten about the whole brain damage thing. Thinking about it they didn't take a lot of interest in the suspect patches on the old grey matter found in my CT scan. I didn't get any tests re my mental state except for this conversation:
Doctor - do you know where you are?
Me - Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride
Doctor - yeah, you seem ok.
Actually maybe he was the guy who came round with the tea. Anyway I got called back in to be looked at by the finest technology the NHS has.
On the subject of the CT scan (computed tomography) it is imaging using multiple X rays. I made the mistake of looking it up on Wikipedia. I learned that my brain would have received enough ionising radiation to bake a medium sized potato.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) has the advantage of using magnetic fields and radio waves to create images. These have no known detrimental effects. It was a lovely day so I went to hospital by bike. I hid my helmet in the top box. I didn't want them knowing I was riding about. I mean, no one every specifically said "don't ride your bike" but I though it was something I'd better keep to myself.
The operation was a model of efficiency. Without delay I was in my smock and lying on a table with my head clammed in a kind of mask to hold it steady. I was moved into the torus shaped device and the scanning began. It is quite noisy, like being in a small room with a washing machine and compressor running. I had headphones to receive instructions. They also played music, "The Best of Sting", I think. I'm not sure if this made the process better or worse. After about five String songs I was out. The nurse administered some intravenous dye and I was back in for another five minutes. And that's it.
"Find anything nasty?" I asked. "I can't tell you even if I did, I'm not a doctor" said the radiographer.
|"Best of Sting" ok for you, Sir?...Nooooooo!|