Birthday, birthday, birthday, birthday...That's what the MRI said. The odd arrangements of clanks and bangs, mixed with the buzzing and grinding spoke to me. A distinct male voice, just a little mechanical repeating birthday, birthday, birthday.
The tube was so much tighter than I thought it would have been. I felt some contact on my left hip and it made me want to move over. Of course that was out of the question, all I could do was try to relax and bear the contact. It resembled an over close seat mate, I wanted to get up and find a seat of my own. A seat with more room. The technician told me I could breathe, but to try not to move my chest wall, so my breaths were shallow. My naked breasts were hanging from my chest and pressed tight in their own little imaging cylinders. I had earplugs, but it was still very loud.
I am not, by nature, claustrophobic but I kept feeling this almost uncontrollable urge to move, like a surge of panic impelling me to flee or be eaten. In the breaks between mechanical sounds, when I thought they were moving the imager, I would take a deep breath, to sink into a deeper state of relaxation and let the man in the MRI machine speak to me. Dot, dot, dot, birthday, birthday, birthday.
Earlier, as I entered the imaging room, the technician put in my IV, when she was done her partner inserted a needle into the port and started injecting fluid, I asked what it was and he looked at me with a smirk and said "saline." Like it was an impertinent question. This is my new normal. I breathe and try to relax.
Birthday, birthday, birthday. I will celebrate every birthday after this with a party. Gifts aren't necessary, the only gift I need is another birthday. After this, that will be my new normal.