Okay, so this is how things are--I'm going to get an MRI done tomorrow morning, to see if the cause of 20+ years of back pain can be located.
Apparently my GP's flunkie (the GP is on vacation in the Bahamas or some such nonsense) thinks that this is the best way to go about seeing the inside of me, which is cool, because I'm not crazy about these guys digging around in my backbone with spreaders and shovels and pickaxes and such. So I did a little digging into what's gonna happen to me, and found that little clever article I linked for you guys.
Me, I'm gonna be the one in the bore. Scientific name for that big-ass hole that the tray (another scientific term) slides into. And I'm not going to bring any religious medals or pallet jacks with me, so I should be fairly safe. The only icky part I can forsee is the i.v. bit, through which they might have to inject me with FD&C Red #5 or something, to make my spine show up clearly, which I would think it should do pretty damned well, being one of the major arrangements of bone and icky bits in me body. And no smart-ass comments about how many irrelephants can fit in an MRI machine. And no, I didn't opt for the open-air one, because apparently it takes about six months to get on the waiting list to get an appointment to get sabot'd* into one of those things, and the old closed up one is a heck of a lot faster (One Day Turn-Around, No Waiting, Ample Parking, and Plenty Of Giant Magnets To Press You Between!) so we're gonna go with the fast and dirty.
Me, I was hoping for more than the loud hammering noise you're supposed to endure while inside the Belly Of The Beast. I mean, come on, technology has advanced to the point that we can take virtual 'slices' of people to look at them, but we can't put blinking lights and flashing buttons and weird audio effects and giant readout screens full of stars on our big-ass magnets? I mean, come on people, where's your sense of STYLE? Heck, even some flames painted on the outside would be something, a step in if not the RIGHT direction at least A direction. And this is the South. Maybe a chrome plastic "Haulin' Ass" girl?
And Mythbusters has already disproved the urban legend that tattoo pigment can react to an MRI machine. No pigment exploding out of me and spattering on the walls of the bore, no boiling of rare earth metals, no bits of Irrelephant straining for that magnetic attraction, nothing crazy at all. Of course, I'll have to be sure and let the techs know about that huge chunk of organic radio transmitter that the aliens left implanted in my brainstem years ago, when I was abducted. Hee.
Anyhoo, I guess I ought to bring a CD or something, they say you can listen to music on headphones while they're scanning the hell out of you. I'll have to give you guys the low-down and dirty on it when it's all said and done. Hopefully it'll reveal nothing more than what the flunky said today, which is that one of the discs of my spinal column is able to shift subtly out of place, causing me intense physical distress, and nothing worse than that. Surgery is ROIGHT OUT, nobody is going in there with anything sharp, or dull for that matter. Nobody, no how.
Cool! A footnote! How archaic!
* (pronounced "sa-BO")A 'sabot' is the casing used to make a sub-calibre (i.e., smaller than the gun barrel) projectile fill up the rest of the barrel. This enables the projectile to reach much higher velocities, increasing its penetrating power.