Yesterday I took a trip to the big smoke to keep a date with a machine that looks like a big donut, yes it was time for my annual head scan to check all is tip top up top. My hospital has one of the few MRI machines in this country where I can place my head safely and my James Shunt magnetic operation won't get messed up ; it's pretty reassuring to know that tons of powerful magnets are whizzing past your head which all this metal paraphenalia in it and that I wouldn't be stuck to the ceiling so to speak.
The scan itself is pretty straightforward, ear plugs in , then I get immobilised around the head with a odd head mask not unalike one Hannibal lector sported, actually it's not that bad but it feels pretty strange and then you are wheeled backwards into the donut and sounds like forty leprechauns with jackhammers doing a dance next to your head for twenty minutes. I always giggle as without fail the kind staff always ask before I go in what music I would like to listen to, "pop or classical" ...., completely pointless as you can't hear ANYTHING over all the clanging so it always seems a strange question but I guess you wouldn't know that if you hadn't had one.
I've been asked if it bothers me having scans like this and the honest answer is the scan never bothers me it's the memories that it triggers that give me a little wobble. I have needed a fair few scans when the situation was slightly hair raising to say the least and that always pops into my head whenever I am back in that situation, that said it's great to chart how far I have come but it's very easy to remember a time not that far back.
When you are in the scanner you are completely alone , just your thoughts for company I suppose and I have found my practise of mindfulness has been really helpful to get through moments like that without too much panic or worry. It lets me focus on that moment and actually it makes the time pass much quicker. I was very pleased though to hit the streets of London afterwards and look up at through the trees and buildings and see blue sky. That's a good feeling and it always reminds me of how wonderful it felt when My hubbie wheeled me out around those streets for the first time after my first op. It's also a humbling experience being up there as it's right next to Great Ormand Street and you see all these children coming off wards to get some fresh air and their courage shines at you as you pass.
Today is another day folks. Use it well and look up at that sky sometimes, it's always changing just like us.