Written by Sarah Simone

Adventures of an MRI: Ride ’em Cowboy!

October 19, 2021

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This is an excerpt of Sarah’s writing during her experience in overcoming breast cancer.

Xanax Solves Everything, Right?

If you’ve never had an MRI you’ve probably heard all the stories that I also heard prior to my first one. Claustrophobia, getting on the table and having to pee, or people moving too much and then having to start over. You know, the basic freak out stories. So here I am in the waiting room with Jill… freaking out. Naturally, I pop a Xanax. Yes, Xanax, that will help.

I’m finally taken back for the procedure that will tell me just how f*cked I am in this breast cancer diagnosis.  The pre-procedure jazz begins and they explain how this will all work and begin putting in my IV. I’m asked what music I’d like to listen to and after hemming and hawing over every type of music I love I settle on Florence and the Machine. Ahh yes Florence. She’ll keep my shit calm. I walk into the room and damn. It’s like the scene in Hunger Games when Katniss wakes up in the terrifyingly all white room. WTF. It’s ok, I’m ok, every freaking thing is OK, OK??!!! 

Major Superwoman Vibes

Ahh, the Xanax begins to kick in. Now it’s really ok. Whew. I’m escorted to the table where I’ll be laying for the next 45 minutes. I laugh. There are two literal holes where my boobs are to go. I hoist myself up onto the table and the two super sweet (male) techs help me get settled in. “Ok Sarah your breasts will go in these holes and your arms will go up here like superman.” 

”Woman” I correct him.

“Huh?” he says confused.

“Super Woman. I don’t think Superman would put his boobs here.” I add.

He proceeds with an embarrassed smile on his face.

”Ok now I’m going to place this under your legs to keep them up. Are you comfortable?”

“Are you kidding me?” I ask incredulously.

Again another “huh?” from him.

I answer “Nothing, I’m fine.” 

Inside the Belly of the Beast

I’m then slid into the machine, boobs hanging down. All I can imagine is a mechanic getting on his rolling thing to slide under the table and inspect my chest like the inside of an ’81 Gremlin. He places the headphones on me and the sweet sounds of Florence start and I begin to relax. Then suddenly the MRI whirls to life and makes the most ungodly loud banging sounds you’ve ever heard and I almost crap my sanitary hospital gown. Instantly Florence becomes such a low background sound it may as well not even be there. I internally roll my eyes and try to hold as still as possible. The next 45 minutes are a blur as I feel all the weirdness that most people do in this situation. “Oh crap, I have to poop so bad…oh wait no, I’m ok. Now I have to pee….no it’s gone. Ok good. My arms are asleep. It’s tingling…ew…I hate this. Am I drooling? Yep sure am. Yep there goes a big drool bomb to the floor. I wonder what my boobs look like all lit up.” And then it’s over. Thank God. I hear the kind tech over my headphones. “We’ll give you a couple of minutes to get yourself up and your gown back on and then we’ll get that IV out.”

Not My Best Look

“Ok…” More drool comes pouring out. I suck it back as well as I can. Time to get up. Sooooooo how the hell am I supposed to do this? Both of my arms are above my head AND asleep. My boobs are in holes and my legs are suspended behind me. I flop my arms down to hang off the side of the table since they’re pretty useless at this point. My yoga brain kicks in and I think “I can straddle my legs out and use my core to swing myself back. Yes! This is genius!” In one swift motion I spread eagle and whip my legs forward to bring myself up to a seated position where I’m legit straddling the MRI table. The knobs in the sides of the table have lodged themselves deeply into my inner thighs. Instant. Pain.

A guttural groan/yell comes out of my mouth along with more drool. I proceed to make a sucking sound followed by ahhhhhh in a Peter Griffin / Family Guy style scene. See this clip here if you don’t know what I mean.

At that moment, the kind techs return to me straddling the table, drooling, rocking back and forth in pain, and frantically rubbing the inside of my thighs. “Are you ok?”, they ask surprised.

I respond in barely a whisper “Yeah… Fine… Totally fine.” 

I’m a Survivor, a Warrior, and featured in Girls Gone Wild Mardi Gras Edition

I’m sure you’re probably thinking ‘how embarrassing.’ You’d think right? But over the past weeks I’ve had to show my boobs to so many people that I may as well be on Girls Gone Wild Mardi Gras Edition. So a little drool and my boobs hanging out ain’t nothing at this point. I get my IV removed and return to the dressing room to get my clothes back on. As I exit to the waiting room to leave with Jill she asks, “How did it go?”

I answer “uneventful.”

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