LfE 17: Brain Scan



It feels like a long time since I wrote.

My project is now developing and I have a better clue about what it is about. I’m being trained this frosty month so that I can start my own work from after that. Technical glitches happen every day but if I stay patient I see that things sort out eventually, with a little push.

I found that I hadn’t been socialising enough. I only worked. So I went out on Saturday night and partied hard 🙂 Last night I was at the Jazz bar (live Jazz music) and I met up with some of my classmates who I hadn’t seen since before the holidays. We’ve all split for different projects in labs in different parts of the city.

I’m going out again today and on Saturday. Today is for republic day celebrations with fellow Indians. And on Saturday it is a house-warming of a linguistics friend.

Well the most significant thing I wanted to tell all of you was that I was scanned today. MRI !! I went through the whole procedure of safety forms (for magnetic objects), changing into a patient gown and lying on the long board which rose higher and pushed into the Magnet tube. 3 Tesla; so especially good resolution. I was covered up with blanket for warmth and given ear plugs for the noise, and huge headphones were put on after them with nice old music. There was a 4 minute scan then two more for 6 minutes, then one for 7 minutes. Between each, they spoke through my headset to ask if I was doing ok. They had also given me a rubber spherical button to press if I felt uncomfortable at any point during the scan and wanted to talk to them. I know I’m not supposed to feel the magnetism at all but I did feel a side to side orientation during the beeps. It wasn’t as noisy as I expected and after a point it was a little hard to stay still. I tried to meditate. When we were through, I came out, changed, collected my metallic things and went back into the control room to see my brain pictures. The radiographer and safety guy called my brain a peaceful and beautiful brain (probably because I managed to stay still ). My supervisor went in the magnet next with a vegetable. He hasn’t explained the vegetable properly to any of us so we were amused and intrigued by the scans. We are ‘Brain People’. We don’t study hands with vegetables. I think though that he was trying to do something interesting for structural MRI studies.

It’s a great experience and very exciting to be able to see your own brain. Every millimetre of it. Especially if you’re not a patient worried about some abnormality popping up.

I’ve also started reading fiction again on the shuttle bus I take to and from work.

That’s pretty much all I have to say for now. Hope you are all healthy and happy 🙂

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