Amanda and her MRI
This is a picture of an MRI machineÖMRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and I was in one of those on November 11,1996 for a test I had to take. Let me tell you I was really brave because not only is it REALLY scary looking, but it is very noisy as well! If I were a puppy like this one, I would have taken off!
What you have to do is lie down on a hard table, and then you get rolled into this machine, sort of like a skinny tunnel. Lucky for me my Mom could stay right there with me, because I could see her the whole time! She was holding my ankle (since my hand was too far away to hold), and once, it looked like she was going to sleep, so I kicked her! It didnít hurt her, but she sure woke up quickly!
The reason I was able to see her was because I had this neat mirror gadget, so if I held my head REALLY still, I could look straight up into the mirror, and, ta ta, I could see my Mom at the very end of the table. Like a periscope, if you know what I mean.
The test took about 15 minutes, and at the end of it, I wanted to do it all over again. IT WAS FUN! Can you believe that? I really got used to the thing. AND IT DIDNíT HURT AT ALL!!! I forgot to tell you that I wore a set of earplugs, and they let me keep them!
how it works:
The machine itself is a giant noisy magnet, and what happens is a little bit like MTV. Some tiny atoms all over my body called hydrogen (sounds like hi! drogen) get attracted by the magnet, and they send out radio beams. A computer reads the radio signals and makes a picture of whateverís being tested. For me, it was my beautiful brain! The radio signals send out different colors, so that the picture can be made.
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Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
Last updated: December 15, 2004