Magnets at Midnight

I’m on way in a couple of hours to get an MRI done of my hands and wrists.

Yes, in a couple of hours. My MRI is scheduled for 00:20 … that’s 20 minutes after MIDNIGHT. Weirdest time for a medical test I’ve ever heard of. It’s been scheduled for over a month and I wasn’t given much of a choice. Strange stuff.

I have to go to the ER at University Hospital and go ‘past the Psych ER’ into the basement. At midnight. Sounds like some bad teen horror flick. Then when I’m done, I have to pick up a red phone and ask for security to let me out of the place.

I had to warn them 72 hours in advance if I had a body piercing(s) (I don’t, so I didn’t).

MRIs are notoriously claustrophobia-inducing; since I’ve never had a problem with that, I’m not worried.

And after Monday’s Electromyography/Nerve Conduction test, this is gonna be a piece of cake.

In case you’ve never had or heard of an EMG/Nerve Conduction, well, see what they do is they stick electrodes on your fingers and then zap your arms, wrists and hands with electrical current. It’s basically an electrocution and your hand jumps around. This test measures the speed that electricity travels up the nerves in your arms and indicates if those nerves are damaged (i.e., if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome).

Once that fun little exercise is complete, the real torture begins. They stick these needles and wires directly into the muscles in your arms and hands and listen to the electrical signals which result when those muscles are at rest or flexing. Again, this tests nerve response and whether they are connected properly to said muscles.

Having a needle stuck into your muscles and then wiggled around in there until the resident finds a signal is … well, not pleasant. I was sore and bleeding slightly afterward. And in my left deltoid, the resident couldn’t find a proper signal, so the attending had to come in and do it. It was quite interesting.

Add in some bloodwork and a flu shot and I was poked by large ugly needles some 17 times on Monday.

The good news/bad news: I don’t have CTS, but I do have something wrong and nobody knows what it.

The final indignity that day was a visit to the dermatologist where I had an encounter with a cupful of liquid nitrogen in order to have a slightly embarrassing problem taken care of by a couple of residents, one of whom was younger, I swear, than Doogie Howser.

In other words, tonight’s MRI should be a complete piece of cake. I can’t wait.

Good night, y’all.