Friday, April 12, 2013


quick note:

went for the mri tonight; radiologist said everything looks ok, but wait to see what the neurologist says; and i can come get a copy of the pictures next week. mri was interesting, hypnotic, staring at a blank plastic surface inches from your face, keeping absolutely still, listening and feeling these musical, super loud rhythms coming from the machine.

interesting in a different way was what happened first: the nurse tried to put a contrast agent into my blood through a vein in my arm; she failed on the first time, sticking the needle into the vein and through the other side; the second time, she hit a nerve, and i went into vasovagal syncope.

everything started to tingle, my field of view started to fade, i broke into a sweat, i felt nauseated, and then

then, everything was black, and i didn't know anything or sense anything - yet i had some sort of minimal awareness. i had a vague feeling of waking up from a deep sleep in a place i didn't know. i remember feelings that i associate in some way with sunlight, trees, and mountains. i felt confused.

then, i started to feel my body - i was in a chair, but i couldn't move. why am i in a chair? where am i?

then i started to hear a shuffling sound, loud and abrasive, felt my body being rifled back and forth - the confusion was growing.

then my vision came back - when i asked her later, the nurse said my eyes were open all along, deviated down and leftward - and only then i remembered i was in the MRI clinic. at first i thought, when did i go to sleep? i wasn't sleepy.., and then i realized that i must have passed out. everything started to come back.

the nurse was calling for the doctor and others to come, and struggling to put a blood pressure meter on my arm. the sounds were all muffled for about 30 seconds or so, as though i had earplugs in. at the same time, there was intense tinnitus.

after a few minutes i felt normal again. the shuffling noise, i think, was blood rushing back into my ears, and maybe also the agitated movements of the nurse. i was soaked with sweat. they gave me a can of juice and an oxygen tube in my nose. i didn't notice anything interesting about the oxygen. i talked with the amused radiology resident, Amad, and we decided not to do the 'GAT', the contrast, unless the scan turned up something worrying, which it didn't.

this was the first time i've ever passed out, but i often get woozy from needles, getting blood drawn etc, and i stopped giving blood in college because each time the wooziness got worse - the last time i couldn't walk out of the clinic, had to lie down for 20 minutes. point is, this wasn't important, just weird.

so, the quick note is: order of losing consciousness - all at once. order of regaining consciousness - awareness of self, body, hearing, and vision. glad i've been reading those tononi papers - i would estimate my phi went something like this:

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