Well strictly speaking, that’s not true. The worst one has to be the bugger that identified the evil lung cancer.
But tonight’s MRI extravaganza was pretty awful.
It started off badly when I decided to take the country back roads to the hospital rather than the challenge of Halifax town centre at rush hour. Not being a local I rather overlooked the fact I don’t have a clue where the back roads go and just pointed my car in what seemed like the general direction and went for it.
A chaotic series of twists and turns somehow looped me above the town centre and into the neighbouring village of Sowerby Bridge before doubling me back to my destination. Amazingly, earlier than the time the sat nav had promised for the easier but more congested turn right and turn right again option.
Street parking was more civilised than my previous weekday visits and I found a side door into the hospital. A sly thought crossed my mind as I passed the “assisted conception” unit but it was lost as I searched out the MRI section. And continued to search for a good ten minutes before finding a meaningful sign telling me it’s on the first floor.
Up in the lift. Unit found. Closed at 5pm. A sign saying head to A&E scanning area. Hell, why didn’t the appointment letter say that?
A prompt service at the out of hours unit and they took me to a changing area, decided I didn’t need the dreaded hospital gown for a head and ear scan and told me to lock my phone, keys and belt away. I waited, overhearing an old timer being cared for in the scanning room. “If you just open your legs I’ll pull it out for you” said the medic.
Out of the room he came with a big smile on his face and a little unsteady on his feet. My turn. My experience of MRI scans is limited to a private hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. Of the two, Huddersfield wins. Spacious and a choice of music. The coffee was nice before the private gig.
Calderdale is a different story. As I was reversed into the scanner I realised that with my 2014 weight I wouldn’t even have fitted in. The sleeker 2017 model struggled with my nose virtually touching the ceiling. I am mildly claustrophobic and this wasn’t nice. For the first time I understood why for some an MRI scan is hell.
A good forty minutes. No music. Electronic noises bouncing around. I counted backwards from 600. I closed my eyes, but of course the right one doesn’t close. The breeze across my face dried the eye. Very very uncomfortable. I lost count a few times. My right foot involuntarily twitched a few times. Occasional breaks in the noise but no break in my location. Pinned into a tube with nowhere to go.
In the end, after multiple restarts of counting backwards and forgetting where I was upto, I was at 99 when they slid me out. A brief discussion about the follow up appointment tomorrow and a fuller report further down the line.
I really hope the can pinpoint exactly what is causing the deafness. But I fear that even if they can there won’t be anything they can do to treat it.