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Friday, 21 December 2012

Short trip to nowhere

In House, the TV hospital series, scanners are used quite casually - to measure an Adam's apple or check whether a pyjama cord is tied. Typically doctors argue about their sex lives while unfortunates passing through the big white tunnel have nervous breakdowns, burst their aortas or turn into industrial accidents when forgottten metalware within their chest cavity becomes incandescent.

VR worries about claustrophobia but I am now able to reassure her. Someone dropped off the Hereford scanner schedule (having become incandescent through waiting) and I took take their place at 7.20 pm last night. Why so late? Cherchez l'argent. Scanners cost big bucks and a constant flow of soft tissue makes economic sense.

As usual there's humiliation. Having removed all clothing above the waist I had to put on something both my grannies would have called a "pinny", a ludicrous scrap of cotton, worn back to front, too small to enshroud a hamster. I lay on an upholstered bench that looked unnervingly like those final resting places employed in lethal injection executions. When the institutionalised voice of an American woman told me to hold my breath the illusion was complete.

I became disoriented (lethal injection has that effect) as I was moved upwards and inwards although I remembered being grateful I'd removed my Longines wristwatch. In one House episode a small electrical device (perhaps a pacemaker) exploded inside the tube and I doubt it was covered by insurance.

Space wasn't a problem. Depending on your plans there was room for two. A print would be an interesting addition to an album of wedding photographs.

8 comments:

Avus said...

I love you dry humour RR! I have had much experience of such scanners pre and post my cancerous prostate op. (some 14 years ago now, cross fingers). I found them very claustrophobic and meditated (TM)with eyes closed, having asked them to turn off the "mew-sick" in the supplied headphones.
I confess to forgetting my wristwatch on one occasion - it went completely mad and a new one was required.

marja-leena said...

Reading this, I'm overwhelmed again with that feeling of claustrophobia when I was in one, more than ten years ago. Thankfully nothing odd was found, and I'm hoping the same for you.

Rouchswalwe said...

Elevators give me the heebie jeebies. I do not know how I would react if asked to take a ride into a scanner. As luck would have, my nurse today hailed from Oz and made the entire experience much more pleasant. There is something scary about American nurses, especially very young ones. They sound to me like servers at a restaurant with their, "Hi! I'm Melody and I'll be taking care of you today!" Bah Humbug.
Hope both of our results come back clean!

Sir Hugh said...

As an erstwhile caver I posed as being pretty macho.

About quarter of a mile into Dowbergill Passage we were faced with Blasted Crawl: a fifty foot fissure the same width as one’s body, which halfway along, I was told, had a protruding rock which, if you were thin enough, which I wasn’t, you would be able to squeeze yourself round. I jibbed.

I think I may do the same today faced with your instrument of torture.

I hope the results of your “caving” are as negative (in the optimistic sense) as my faint-hearted funkiness.

Ellena said...

I was here - started to worry - and left again. Don't like to be reminded of all the things that I have not experienced as yet.

Roderick Robinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roderick Robinson said...

Avus: A very comforting post which makes me proud I remembered the Longines. As you may be proud that matters of taste outweighed the confines of the tube.

M-L: I sought to be entertaining (see Avus's initial comment) rather than lower a curtain of gloom. But in the end we both should have joined the Boy Scouts. They whistle and sing under difficulties which must make other people's difficulties even more difficult to bear.

RW (zS): Hailing from Oz is just what those nurses are capable of doing: huge lungs and giant voiceboxes. She didn't shout down the tube, did she? Could have been terrifying.

Sir Hugh: The soles of my feet throb in sympathy with that tale. Caving is a very special kind of macho since it's not truly visible to others. Intro-macho in fact.

Ellena: Didn't want to scare you off. My next - final pre-Christmas - post (already written; how anal is that?) is all sweetness and light, I promise.

herhimnbryn said...

Like my Pa, I asked for the awful music to be turned off and I closed my eyes and meditated.

Hope you are ok BB/RR and all will be well.