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The MRI, My Testicles, and Me

I m still having problems with the ankle I had surgically repaired six-months ago. The doctor thinks I have a bone spur in the joint or a loose piece of bone or cartilage floating around in there. This little piece of something makes the joint unstable and often very painful. Rarely can I flex my ankle past 90 degrees without some sort of pain; sometimes the pain is so severe it drops me to my knees.

I had an MRI of the bum-ankle yesterday.

An MRI scanner, if you don t know, is something like a super-duper CAT scan machine. Only instead of x-rays, it uses powerful magnets to electronically dissect your body. The magnets are very, very powerful. Some are four times stronger than the Earth s magnetic field. Powerful.

I d never had an MRI before, but knew what to expect. They shove you in a big, loud machine for a longer time than is comfortable and give you just enough information before-hand to make you nervous.

They ask you if you have any metal in, on, or around your body. They make you empty your pockets. They ask you vague questions like Have you ever worked in a place where metal shavings might have gotten in your eye? and Do you have any shrapnel in your body? You detail your surgeries. Etc. Etc.

So I m sitting in the belly of the machine and the whirring-clanking-banging begins. I m calm until well, I feel something all over my lower body. It s difficult to describe the feeling. It s sort of static-wind that resonates around the parts of your body that is in the machine.

The static wind hits a very specific, delicate part of my anatomy. Did it move? Did I feel a tug? Is it my imagination?

OH-NO! I shout in my head. I had a vasectomy. I didn t tell them I had a vasectomy! Maybe there are metal clips in there holding the tubes shut. Maybe the clips will pull out of me and fly across Oh. No. Wait; don t be silly, Jim. If there are clips, they re made of titanium or some other non-magnetic surgical metal. Surgical steel! Is surgical steel magnetic? It is steel. Still is magnetic, right? Oh-no. Is that a tug? Shit.

I spent the next half-hour in that machine intensely concentrating on every feeling and subtle movement of my leftt testicle (they move girls; on their own; we have nothing to do with it; no, it s not something to be afraid of). I left exhausted, but with testicles intact.

Thank God. Or whoever invented the non-magnetic surgical clip.


Ray said:

Jim, I'm pretty certain those clips are made of plastic.

In an MRI, no one can hear you scream...

Posted on Dec 30, 2005 12:08 PM

BWG said:

It wasn't the magentic field.

It was gremlins.

Posted on Dec 30, 2005 07:31 PM

Elizabeth Of the South said:

Now.. Imagine having to put your 2 day old baby in one of those things and having to hold her still while they look at her to find out why she is having (or so they think) seizures...

It was NOT a fun time....

Posted on Dec 31, 2005 12:44 AM

BWG said:

It wasn't the magnetic field.

It was gremlins.

Posted on Dec 31, 2005 05:22 AM

Jen said:

I am..uh..glad that your parts are ok.
So, what's the deal with the ankle? Will it require surgery again?

Posted on Jan 01, 2006 11:54 PM

Lisa said:

Can't. Stop. LAUGHING...

Posted on Jan 03, 2006 12:35 PM

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