I met Chris at Strong at 10:30, and his first comment was "this place is a zoo." Indeed it is....thus why I have qualms about delivering there and why I did not even consider working there as a nurse!
After we found our way to radiology, I got checked in and escorted to MRI. I am asked if I am claustrophobic..."nope, I don't think so" I respond. I had to answer a zillion questions regarding whether or not I have a body full of metal...my favorite question was if I had a penile implant! I think they should just have a metal detector in the doorway to MRI...I mean if you had a penile implant how forthcoming would you be about that revelation?! Needless to say, I am not metallic and was cleared to get the scan.
I had to change into scrubs pants and a gown...but the tech let me keep my shirt on (wish he made me take it off though....you'll find out why in a minute). He told me to take off my bra because of the underwire (ugh...total T.H.O.)...yet he never mentioned that I needed to remove my jewelry. Luckily, I noticed my wedding ring right before I sat down on the MRI table...
I had to say goodbye to Chris...he wasn't allowed to come with me. : (
They led me to the MRI machine. As a nurse, I have taken patients to get MRIs on numerous occasions so I wasn't freaked out by the contraption. I was give ear plugs because it gets pretty loud during the test. Again, someone asked if I am claustrophobic. My response: "I guess we will see in a minute...." I had to lie on the hard flat stretcher, and the techs put a board on top of my belly, which Ashlyn immediately started kicking at. I asked how it is possible to get a good image if she keeps kicking, and I was told that it is very difficult, but they will do the best they can.
So they start the scan, and I start to think that maybe I am going to be claustrophobic after all...After 5 minutes the techs come back. The guy tech thinks it will be funny to tell me it is all done. "Is it really?" I inquire. Um, "nope, just kidding. We have to reposition you." Ugh, what a douche...Back into the lemon squeeze machine (as I have nicknamed this torture device)....They proceed to take about a zillion scans moving the table a teeny tiny bit each time.
I was very uncomfortable lying flat on my back. Being pregnant, you are actually not supposed to lie flat on your back after like 20 weeks because it puts pressure on your vena cave (a big blood vessel). So pretty soon, I started feeling short of breath. I was freaking out a little bit because of how tight I felt in the machine. Plus my arms were flat against my side restrained in place by a big band...definitely not a relaxing position. I caught myself hyperventilating a few times and had to force myself to slow my breathing down. It felt like the room was about 200 degrees....Glad I declined that extra blanket that was offered to me! They had put a sheet over me, which I began to try to discreetly pull down with my restrained hands. I was working up a sweat...there were actually beads of sweat running down my face. Yuck! I was kicking myself for keeping my shirt on...great, I thought, now I have to go home in a sweaty shirt....
Periodically, I would let out a little whimper or moan on accident...but never once did the techs ask if I was okay. Even when my respiratory rate was accelerated, no one bothered to check to make sure I wasn't having a panic attack (or worse!). Whenever I have seen MRIs performed on conscious patients, the techs have talked to the patients over the intercom to tell them what is going on, reassure them as needed, and check on them. Only once did I hear anyone over the intercom...Right before they started just to tell me what I already knew...they were starting the test. Geez...I understand the test is difficult as it is a fetal MRI and as the secretary divulged over the phone not something they do very often...but come on! Show a little bedside manner!!
Throughout the entire test, Ashlyn was kicking like crazy....especially during the scans. I think she was responding to how loud the noises were! It took close to an hour (all the while I am lying on my back totally freaking out) when they finally had enough images.
They pulled me out of the lemon squeeze machine and unrestrained me. Yay, I am free! I ripped the sweaty discombobulated sheet onto the floor and sat up a little too fast. I could not wait to get out of the hospital....I had just about enough for one day! I was quite shaky and sweaty. I glanced down to see the river I left on the stretcher underneath me. It took me probably close to 5 minutes to get my shoes on because I was quite unbalanced....it felt like I was trying to walk after being a boat.
One of the techs escorted me back to the locker room and proceeded to point out every restroom on the way. I know I am pregnant, but come on...I can hold it a little longer....just let me get these sweaty nasty clothes off lady! I spotted Chris is the waiting room, and the look on his face was priceless...obviously I looked just as disheveled as I felt.
I proceeded to the locker room and looked in a mirror...yup just as I thought, I was quite a sight....I pulled off the damp scrub pants and take a look at the damage....total swamp ass (awww, old cross country lingo!)! I snap a quick picture for posterity:
I finished getting dressed and quickly shuffled Chris out of that place. His dumbass remark of the day was something like this: "Why are you so sweaty?" Hmmmm....why am I sweaty? Hmmmm...maybe because I was violated by the lemon squeeze machine for close to 1 hour....no that can't be it....I was off making sweet love with those ever so dreamy MRI techs....geez, I have heard enough stupid questions/comments for one day....
I have to work tonight, but I doubt I will be able to sleep before my shift starts....I am all wound up after this day. Now that I am free from the torturous lemon squeeze machine, I cannot stop thinking about the results of this MRI...what they could find. Most likely, it won't show anything new....but at the same time, I realize how serious this test is. As I was told, they don't do very many so obviously this is a diagnostic test reserved for only certain serious situations like ours....makes mama nervous.....I was trying my best to stay optimistic...but now that we are at the high risk group and getting all these fancy tests, I am starting to take on a new perspective...one that is not as easygoing and positive. I am starting to prepare myself for the worst just in case....I know I can handle whatever the outcome may be, but I cannot help stressing over the fact that we won't know until after she is born what her quality of life will be....Yet again, the watching and waiting is getting the best of me! Off to wait for the fetal MRI results....