Last week, on Monday 30 November, I finally had my MRI scan. Dr Brain had decided that I needed an EEG and an MRI after discussion with his boss. I had an MRI 20 years ago on my knee. Back then I was told to bring a CD to listen to during the scan, as it involved lying as still as possible in a dark tube. Unpleasant for a claustrophobic, just boring for me. If I remember correctly, I nearly fell asleep during my knee MRI.
A brain MRI is a totally different thing. It consisted of a series of scans – from a few minutes to 10 minutes over a 40 minute period. I was given headphones, not to listen to a CD but to protect my ears from the noise. The noise is an unpleasant rhythmic banging, more Einstürzende Neubauten than Kraftwerk for connoisseurs of German avant garde music. It varied between the scans and there was certainly no danger of falling asleep.
I had listened to a BBC podcast on Stockhausen’s visit to Huddersfield the previous day and I spent the first half of the scan trying to take my mind off it by musing on whether the banging of the MRI was more Kraftwerk or Stockhausen. I must admit it is some time since I heard any Einstürzende Neubauten. After 20 minutes or so I just wanted it to end. The radiographer asked me between each scan, through the headphones, if I was OK. I could see his distorted image through the periscope in the machine which is presumably so they can see if you become really distressed. Having to say I was fine every few minutes (“just bloody get with it”) only added to my irritation. By the end, I just wanted to get out of there. When I was slid out, I said to the radiographer that I was guilty and would sign any confession. It took him a while to realise I was joking. I guess one should be careful about humour in the presence of brain doctors.
I have clearly been too busy to write this blog recently and didn’t write up my EEG. That was less exciting, and culminated in flashing lights, presumably designed to trigger an epileptic fit if possible. I have nothing to report.
So I await my results, which I think will be negative. I also await my cardiology appointment. I could write a very boring blog about the numerous phone calls I have made to 3 separate hospitals to ensure that this referral doesn’t get lost in the monstrous bureaucracy that is the NHS, but I won’t. The latest when I started writing this contribution was that I should receive an appointment in the next few days, for some time in February. I just had a phone call (at 8.30pm) asking me if I would be happy to move my appointment from 15 February 2016 to next Monday. I obviously said yes.
Finally, those of you who have read this far deserve a link to some Kraftwerk. On a cycling blog, there is only one suitable album. Kraftwerk originally split up, because they concluded that being Kraftwerk wasn’t allowing them enough time to do what they really wanted to do. Cycling, obviously. So they could be said to have shown more passion in the leaving of their music than they ever did in its performance.