Untapped Potential and MRIs

I like to say I have an a lot of untapped athletic potential. I am usually joking when I say it but I definitely (and secretly) believe its true. For most, athletic glory days occur in the era of high school and college sports. Not me.

I was an active kid, but I wasn’t involved in competitive sports (save for my almost-yearly victory in the backstroke at camp swim meets). I like to think if I applied myself I could cut it as an athlete, not pro-ball, but that I could hold my own.

Have you ever seen my wingspan?

human wingspan
I am an eagle!

Some of you reading this may be aware I sprained my ankle texting and walking last year. Please put that thought aside.

Since it was my first time with a sports injury, I only had a loose idea of what an MRI would be like. I’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy so I knew what an MRI machine looked like, but I assumed there would be some smaller, modified instrument to be used on something like an ankle. But that is not true.

When I approached the gigantic futuristic MRI machine at Lenox Hill Radiology, the tech was playing space odyssey classical music. It was weird and exciting all at once. When he caught sight of me he X-ed out Pandora and the room went silent. I told him if he wanted to continue the MRI theme music I would support his creative ambition. Instead he showed me to a locker and told me to lock up my valuables and “take off everything up to my chin.”

This was alarming for two reasons. First, I have an ankle injury. To date this has only required I remove my socks, not my shirt. Second, he didn’t give me anything to change in to. As luck would have it, I misheard him (he had a slight accent and the room was noisy). He just wanted me to take off my necklace but referred to it as a chain. “Take off your chain.” I asked for clarification before stripping, as is advised.

He escorted me to MRI machine and directed me to lie on the table. He said it would take about twenty minutes and that I couldn’t move at all. I asked if I could get my book and he said no. The tech then asked if I would like some tunes. Hell to the yes! Together we selected the optimal Pandora station and then he handed my headphones. I have zero idea what the headphones were for since the music played from the speakers in the room and not the aforementioned headphones but it was cold in the room so I wore them as ear warmers.

Me during the MRI
Me during the MRI

After looking up “MRI” on the Grey’s Anatomy wiki, I expected an MRI to involve lights. But instead, it involved loud rumbling noises. For the first 10 minutes I assumed it was broken. I laid there playing word scramble with any word I could see. This of course was limited to any branding or instructional information on the MRI itself. (You can make so many words out of LASER and SIEMENS).

After about 20 minutes or five songs (how I tell time without a watch), the tech told me I had 9 minutes left. At this point I got extremely antsy. I had a large coffee on the way over and the idea of being still for any longer seemed impossible. Also my toes were freezing.

I made it through (I found more words to scramble (CAUTION, PATIENT)). This Wednesday I’ll go back to the doctor and hopefully he can shed some light on why I’ve been in pain for over two months. I love a good step in the right direction. Even if right now that step kind of hurts my ankle.



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