Posted by sean on February 20, 2020 at 10:57 am in Health with 1 Comment

It’s been a few weeks since I last had an appointment regarding my health, so it will come as no surprise to learn that I was summoned to the hospital this morning.

As with my last appointment, I took the wheelchair. By this, I mean that I sat down and Claire pushed me.

We have thankfully progressed beyond the need for hospital transport, so left the ambulance and paramedics to deal with patients in far greater need of the service than me.

Despite not attending the hospital for literally days, Claire still remembered the way and successfully managed to transport me all the way to the radiology department.

You’ll remember that I hate x rays. It isn’t the fact that I have to lie totally still, before being exposed to high levels of radiation. My problem is the “cassettes” that I am forced to rest on, in order to allow David Bailey to take the perfect picture. These cassettes are not like the ones your grandparents would buy in order to record the Top 40*. The cassettes I am referring to are huge boards, apparently used to help capture the x ray image.

* alright. At a guess, cassettes probably arrived after your grandparents’ childhood. Your parents would certainly have had them – plus, however much they’ll deny it, anyone over the age of 30, including yours truly.

See, kids – music piracy was around long before broadband. Plus, unlike today, if you illegally copied that Spice Girls album, using your SHARP TWIN DECK MB-2107-55 Hi-Fi, there was no risk of getting fined by the British Phonographic Industry, or having your internet cut off – mainly because it hadn’t been invented!

Yet again, I have digressed horribly! Where was I? Oh yes..

Luckily for me, I was having an MRI scan, which meant no cassettes. This type of scan also doesn’t use radiation. This is something of a disappointment. I have had so much exposure to radioactive x rays over the years, I was hoping to develop some kind of superhero power and become one of the X Men.


To make up for the absence of the cassettes, the radiographers treated me to a new kind of torment – the magnetic resistant wheelchair.

Upon arrival to the unit, I was told that I would not be able to bring my own chair into the scanning room. Presumably this is because my wheelchair is made of metal and would therefore fly through the air, should it enter the scanner’s magnetic field. I must admit, that does sound fun.

I understand their fears. I got double science for GCSE, which practically makes me as brainy as Stephen Hawking.

What I could not comprehend, was why I couldn’t bring my wheelchair into the room, while the scanner was turned off. There is almost certainly some good reason for this rule. I wasn’t prepared to tell a radiographer how to do their job, just like I wouldn’t expect them to tell me how to do mine. Hang on a minute… there was that time five years ago – I was working on the IT Helpdesk and I received a call from this radiographer…

The MRI-friendly wheelchair may have been pals with the scanner, but it was anything but Sean-friendly! It was almost as if someone had been commissioned to build a chair, as difficult to get in and out of as possible.


The seat was really low down, but worst of all, the chair had what I can only describe as poles sticking out near the wheels. This caused me great panic, when my foot became trapped underneath one of the poles, while attempting to transfer to the MRI table.

The purpose of the scan was to check my right eye socket. When I threw myself off my scooter last November, the bone around the socket was apparently damaged – although I suffered no pain or symptoms as a result.

I thought scanning around one eyeball wouldn’t take long. I must have been in the scanner for over 45 minutes! During this time, I was given an injection and forced to wear a cage over my face, in order to keep my head still.

Midway through the proceedings, I was told that they were taking distorted images, as I was moving when I breathed. I almost replied, asking if I should stop breathing, but realised that my well-intended offer of help would most  likely come across as rude.

Scan over, I was sent home. Not before having to transfer from the scanning table, onto the worst wheelchair in the World, before finally getting into my own.

Bring back those cassettes…

One Response to A New Kind Of Torment

  1. lucy

    February 29, 2020 - 12:14 pm

    ooh… not nice. I hope that the results were good and that you not got too many more those procedures coming up. medical science is incredible isn’t it but the procedures to get it to do its amazing recuperative work are often as you know too well pretty daunting….

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