Josephine Ayers: On my mind
Dec 23, 2012 | 1777 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you are a mild-mannered person looking for a jolt of indignant energy, I know just the thing.

Have an MRI.

This experience will produce a surge of indignation, which could have dire consequences, possibly starting with handcuffs.

If you are mercifully unfamiliar with the process, imagine this: You have a slight backache, your doctor sends you for an MRI. Limping into the large walk-in freezer that houses the machine, you observe the plank upon which you shortly will be prone. It doesn’t look exactly comfy and proves to be even worse than it looks.


Once you are situated, the plank slides slowly into a space capsule built for a small monkey. With your hands folded (maybe in prayer), you await the beginning of what turns out to be an assault, which can only be compared to combat. The capsule is surrounded by the combined percussion sections of the Jacksonville State, Alabama and Auburn marching bands and the sound is filtered through a system that would not be found in Madison Square Garden.

Now, I realize I am using a lot of metaphors here, but describing this experience requires just about everything dreadful I can think of. First of all, the machine is the worst invention since the Rubik’s cube. Very poor design, if you ask me, which the esteemed inventor, Raymond Vahan Damadian, did not. I discovered this hapless object of my indignation on Google.

There’s even more you can find out on Google, so I looked up the MRI machine: This dastardly thing is a product of General Electric. Well, no wonder poor Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, was slapped with a 24 percent reduction in his annual compensation in 2011. He had to struggle through the year on $11.4 million. Victimized stockholder revolt?

So, let’s return to the suffering patient lying on the plank. If you can believe it, there is a second assault. One look up at the ceiling produces shocking evidence that no one in the medical facility except the patient has gazed upward in quite some time (this is an obvious deduction). It is definitely not encouraging to be in a presumably clean environment that has dust bunnies clinging to the ancient ceiling tiles. And don’t forget that dead bug in the light fixture.


Easy to see, isn’t it, that the patient is vexed by these attacks on the sensibilities? As the subject of several MRIs, I urge you to avoid this at all costs. For, as I am sure you have guessed, the MRI is only the drum major to the array of instruments to make your acquaintance over the next few weeks. It is not rocket science to figure out that a machine that costs up to $3 million is not going to diagnose only a hangnail.

OooooooohNooooooo. You will observe the multitude of machines and treatments, which might make you long for the simple annoyance of the MRI. Your outrage will grow. Indignation will follow. You will be energized.

You see what I mean about handcuffs?

Josephine Ayers is editor-in-chief of Longleaf Style magazine. E-mail:
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