What Sound Does An MRI Machine Make?

Q: What Sound Does An MRI Machine Make?

A: Dungdungdungdung Whoopwhoopwhoopwhoop!

If I ever have a kid you can tell what sounds I’m going to teach them! I even have this handy video all ready to go. 

Their education will come complete with flashing hand signals and manic facial expressions. It’s going to be priceless.

Eyes wide open from an early age. The envy of other kids in the playground.

When asked the question “What sound does a baby elephant make?” they will respond with, “Ask me what sound does an MRI machine make?”

It’s going to be Dungdungdungdung Whoopwhoopwhoopwhoop all the way!

Poor, poor possible future kid and their Dungdungdungdung Whoopwhoopwhoopwhoop lifestyle!

Now that I’ve sufficiently entertained you, I’ll get onto the actual point of this blog post.

Although I still maintain being able to imitate an MRI machine is a valuable skill to be able to call upon, it’s not the overriding thought of the day.

It’s about limbo land. The period of time when one is without or uncertain about a medical diagnosis. When we play the waiting game.

I am looking into an innovative new treatment with a specialist in Melbourne.

About 3 weeks ago we caught up for an initial consultation via Skype.

After giving him all the background to my condition – diagnosed Guillain-Barré Syndrome in 2005, ongoing chronic neuropathic pain, intermittent paralysis and numbness, yada yada yada – he looked me squarely in the eyes and said, “I think you are currently without a firm diagnosis. You’re not going to like what I have to say, but has anyone considered the possibility that you have MS?”

Talk about not pulling any punches.

To say I was taken aback would be an understatement. My jaw hit the floor. MS? Perhaps I hadn’t been clear when explaining my background.

Yes, the subject of MS had come up when I first got sick, but the diagnosis was very firmly Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and what I experience now is ongoing side effects from that.

Cue the Spice Girls. He made a ‘Stop right there,’ sign with his hand.

Let the animated conversation begin.

The good doctor wasn’t disputing the diagnosis of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, that happened, but how do I know for sure that what I’m still experiencing 11 years later is an aftershock of the Guillain-Barré Syndrome and not something else?

He methodically outlined his case: I have ongoing neurological symptoms impacting my day-to-day life including pain, spasms, numbness, tingling, fatigue, weakness, cognitive impairments, to name but a few.

He kept going.

Reminded me that pre Guillain-Barré Syndrome, I experienced random episodes of extreme clumsiness, lack of coordination, loss of balance, dizziness, nausea and blinding headaches.

No, no, no, no, no. It’s all related to the Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

You don’t know that.

Yes I do know that. I don’t agree with your position that I am undiagnosed. And I certainly don’t believe that I have MS.

You don’t know that for sure. I don’t know that for sure. It may be the aftershocks of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, it may be MS, it may be something else entirely. Which is why I want you to have updated MRI scans done of your brain and spinal cord.

Back and forth we went, into the childish territory / level of “No I don’t / Maybe you do!” dialogue.

We agreed to disagree.

But at the end of the day, it didn’t matter.

The seed had been planted. Tiny, barely visible, but there nonetheless.

Could I? Do I? What if I do? Would it make a difference?

At other stages in my journey a diagnosis was everything. I needed answers to know how to best support myself and improve my quality of life.

I feel that I have those answers. Perhaps I’m naive, have my blinkers on, but in the unlikely event of a further diagnosis, I truly don’t believe anything would change with the way I manage my health.

I’m on a path I’m comfortable with and I know what I need to do. A new label isn’t going to change that.

Could I? Do I? What if I do? Would it make a difference?

The brain cogs are in motion and gaining momentum.

Potent little seeds: Fear. Doubt. Uncertainty. Powerlessness.

The seeds raised their heads again this past Monday, when I went to my local GP to ask for the MRI referral.

I was secretly hoping that he would downplay, perhaps even dismiss, the need for an MRI.

No resistance. My GP agreed that an MRI was an excellent idea ‘given the circumstances,’ and immediately wrote me up for a full brain and spinal cord scan.


So that’s how I found myself stuffed inside an MRI coffin, ahem machine, lovely Hannibal Lecter-esque cage over my head, for an hour yesterday.

Q: What Sound Does An MRI Machine Make? A: Dungdungdungdung Whoopwhoopwhoopwhoop! Q: Why does it matter? A: Oh, just you wait and see! http://www.starbritewarrior.com/what-sound-does-an-mri-machine-make/
Less than amused about the forced fashion choice, aka hospital gown, but happy to be outta the MRI coffin, whoops, I mean machine!

Q: What sound does an MRI machine make?

A: Dungdungdungdung Whoopwhoopwhoopwhoop!

Which, can I just digress and say that for all the proclamations an MRI is ‘safe’ (notice my use of inverted commas here), I was jangling when I came out.

My molecules had been magnetised. All the technology in my house basically shat itself when I got home and I don’t believe that’s a coincidence. I was like a mini Magneto.  

Q: What sound does the Waiting Game make?

A: Tick, tock, tick, tock. Maybe you have this, maybe you have that, maybe it’s nothing at all. Oooooh, wouldn’t you like to know! Tick, tock, tick, tock.

The results will be available next week but I already feel as though I’ve been playing the game for a while now.  

Since that first Skype conversation with the doctor some 3 weeks ago.

When the tiny seeds were planted that all may not be as it seems.

Fear. Doubt. Uncertainty. Powerlessness.

Time to use that warped sense of humour and divert the brain’s attention.

Q: What sound does an MRI machine make?

A: Dungdungdungdung Whoopwhoopwhoopwhoop!

Poor, poor possible future kid of mine. You will be made of strong stuff, that’s for sure!

UPDATE 10th August 2016: Doing a Happy Dance! Got the results of the MRI back and as expected (well, I was 99% sure I was gonna be right!), they are clear.

My ongoing issues/symptoms are NOT indicative of MS but rather the post Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) crap that I’ve always known it to be. GBS crap for the win! (Bahaha, never thought I would be ‘whoop whooping’ over THAT, lol!).

Thanks for all your well wishes and thoughts over the past week, it has been much appreciated. Xx

Now it’s your turn! How are your MRI machine imitation skills? Up-to-snuff or needing some work?

On a more serious front, how do you ease the internal chatter, attempt to quiet down those potent little seeds of fear, doubt and the like, while playing the diagnosis waiting game? Comment below.

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Photo Credit (Featured Image): Pixabay

All photos and content the property of Starbrite Warrior and Bree Hogan. Not to be reproduced without permission.

38 Replies to “What Sound Does An MRI Machine Make?”

  1. I think you’ve nailed the MRI machine sounds perfectly. I too have taken what I consider too many MRIs in my time and the sounds are so annoying. Bang Bang Bang…Oy. I hope you find out what is causing your pain and discomfort though.

    1. Hi Dana, I think it shows that like you, I’ve had a few too many of those things over the years – I can imitate it a little too well! Good news is I got the all-clear for MS, which I was largely expecting but those tiny doubt seeds had been planted so I was relieved to hear the results. Post GBS-crap for the win! Xx

  2. Praying you get positive results!

    Funny story about MRIs though….I had one a few months ago for an ankle fracture I got running…was up late studying the night before and only got about 4 hours of sleep (was a super early appointment). The nurses gave me ear plugs, and low and behold, had to wake me up when it was over. I was actually so tired that despite all the noise I fell asleep XD They were quite amazed.

    1. Hi Brianna, thank you for your concern, the results have come back clear for MS which is what I was expecting / hoping. It means my diagnosis of post GBS crap (ok, that’s a Bree-term, not an official doctor term, lol!) is correct.

      I can’t believe you managed to sleep through all the dungdung, whoopwhooping and pulsing that machine goes through! At one point it sounded like someone was leaning on a car horn right behind my head. You must have been comatose!

    1. Thanks Crystal! I maintain that I already knew / know what is going on with my body, but my new doctor wants to cover all bases; to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. All clear for MS which is what he was seeking to rule out. Post GBS-crap for the win, lol!

  3. I have three sons with a serious illness and I know firsthand how difficult it is. At least you got the MRI out of the way. It is great that you shared exactly how it felt!

    1. Hi Sara, my heart goes out to you and your three boys. Serious illness affects the entire family unit, not just those of us who are literally living the experience.

      I’m super glad the MRI is over and done with and the results are in (clear for MS, yay!). I won’t be having another one of those things for a very long time (I’m hoping never again if possible!). Xx

    1. Thanks Amber, hopefully you never find yourself in a position of needing an MRI. The other side of the MRI line is the place to be!

      Results clear for MS, post GBS-crap for win! Thanks for sending positive vibes my way, Xx

  4. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this right now, even though your outlook is inspiring. Wishing you clear answers (and no MS) if possible. Side note..,have you ever thought about writing a kids book?! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your kind wishes and positive vibes Angie. I’m pleased to report that the MRI was clear for MS, yay!

      I have thought about writing a book before, but not specifically a kids book. My Mum has been nagging me for years to pen the next great novel. No pressure or anything, lol! Is there a reason why you specifically mentioned a kiddies book? I’m curious now. Xx

  5. Hey Bree. I’ve recently been in a similar situation. The waiting can be torture if you let it. I usually try to distract myself with life. Worrying and wondering will not change anything and will only make you miserable in the meantime. I sincerely hope that it’s not MS. But if it is, you have your health and maintenance system well prepared, like you said. It’ll be okay. My thoughts are with you.

    1. Thanks lovely, I’m pleased to be able to now say that the result is clear for MS, yay! It would probably be kind of childish to dance into the doctor’s office and be all like “I was right!” wouldn’t it? *giggles* He was doing his job and being thorough. New eyes on a case always bring new perspectives and ideas.

      Very sage advice / reminders for myself and anyone else reading this post. Distraction is the best form of coping. As you quite rightly said, the more we focus on what we cannot change, the more miserable we will be. Thanks Darci, Xx

  6. I love how you inject humour into a difficult time – right up my street! My husband is a doctor and he said that he prefers your description of the MRI machine than any he could ever give!

    1. Thanks Lisa! Humour has and always will be my coping mechanism. It’s what gets me through the tough times. I may as well laugh; better than crying, it means I don’t get all blocked up and snotty!

      I love how your Hubby has rubber-stamped my imitation of an MRI machine. He should demonstrate it to his colleagues at the hospital. Laughter is the best medicine going around. 🙂

  7. Oh Starbrite I love your humour & wit, brilliant article yet again, thankyou so very much for sharing your fears concerns & vulnerabilities, for being gorgeously human funny & serious all in one fabulous Starbrite☆ package. I adore your strength courage & fierceness – which I adsolutely know you will dig deep into as you play the waiting game… You have shown us that you have had to practise the qualities of kindness compassion & acceptance toward your own self time & time again throughout your journey. I know that you will stand tall (with a bit of help from yiur fabulous sticks if needed!) strong & fearless in the face of this diagnosis & take whatever comes in your amazing warrior stride☆

    1. Thanks China Girl!

      It was very fitting that the day I had the MRI was the day we caught up for our weekly tea n’ cake n’ essential oils fun. It was a great way to reground and distract myself from the experience and thinking about the results. Your house is such a sanctuary of light and positive vibes, one can’t help but feel so much better after a visit.

      You rock my gorgeous friend! Xx

  8. I hope it’s not MS Breezy, but I guess it is better to know – one way or the other……Anxious time ahead until results are back. Diagnosis would throw up a lot of questions.
    Lots of love to you

    1. Thanks Liz, I got the results back yesterday and I am clear for MS, yay! Never thought I’d say it but ‘whoop whoop’ to the post GBS-crap for the win! At least I know exactly what I’m dealing with and it’s not degenerative like MS.

      The experience certainly isn’t the most fun thing one could pick to do in a day, that’s for sure! But out of all the scans I’ve had over the years, I was actually the most calm I’ve ever been in this last one. Must have been the essential oils and all the positive vibes I was getting from people. Xx

  9. Praying you don’t have MS. Juice, juice and more carrot juice.

    You would think in 2016 they could come up with an easier option than sticking someone in one of those machines.

    1. Hi Valerie, I’m happy dancing because I’m in the clear for MS, yay!

      Agree, the MRI machine seems to have remained in it’s current form for years, surely there is a better way to do this stuff. Oh well, at least it’s over with now! And I ain’t going back in one of those for a very looooooong time (if ever!). Xx

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