Archive for the ‘Imaging’ category

Adventures in Imaging

November 10th, 2010

Ready for my close-up!

In the past year, Milestone Project Management has been responsible for several imaging projects, including the replacement of a nuclear medicine gamma camera, the replacement of two traditional MRIs, and the installation of a new high-field open MRI. A new 3T magnet was installed for one of the replacement MRI projects, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to volunteer for a scan last week.

Prior to having a scan, most of my experience with MRIs had been (1) removing them from buildings and (2) installing them. I didn’t have an experience to compare this to – other than the descriptions I’d heard from other people and the videos I watched on YouTube. I heard about feelings of claustrophobia, and the noise that the machine makes likened to a jackhammer.

What was it like? Well, everything started out just fine – after changing into a gown I sat down for a few minutes with a warm blanket while the scan room was prepped. Once in the room, the technician gave me a pair of earplugs and also a headset for listening to music. And then I was “inserted” into the bore of the MRI – head first. This is where I got a little uncomfortable. All I could see was the white interior of the machine; there was nothing to focus on. I had the technician move me out of the machine and I asked him for something to put over my eyes – to keep me from looking around. He moved me back in and explained that I was far enough towards the rear of the machine that I could actually see out – I just needed to tilt my head a little. That made me feel loads better, and we started the scan.

So I listened to some tunes from the 80’s and heard some intermittent beeps and buzzes. I was trying my best to relax when the noise from the scanning started. Frankly, it sounded like the warning noises you hear before something (like a spaceship in the movies) blows-up. VERY disconcerting. But I just lay there imagining what the pictures would look like, and I tried to think about other things, including my holiday shopping list, while the series of beeping and knocking sounds progressed.

After about 20 minutes, I heard the technician say that the scan would only take a few more minutes and then he would come in and get me out. At this point, I started to relax – until the jack hammering started!

I was very happy to exit the machine a few minutes later, and excited to review my scan with one of the MRI physicists that I had been working with. I am thankful to have had this opportunity – so if I need to have a scan done in the future, I will know what to expect.