The Surf Dude and the MRI Scan

Me, in 2001

My recovery took a small step forward today when I went for an MRI scan to detect the extent of the damage to my knees. I wasn’t looking forward to this at all, as my previous scan in 1994 had been one of the worst experiences of my life. It was then that I discovered I was claustrophobic, and I still don’t know how I stayed in the narrow tube while the scanner hammered and banged and God knows what else it was doing while I sweated and panicked nervously inside.

Thankfully I only needed to go into the scanner as far as my armpits today, but I was still a bit nervous. I knew it would be 40 minutes of Phil Collins on the headphones.

As I presented my appointment note at the desk, I noticed a sentence right at the top which I hadn’t read properly.

Patients are advised to bring a dressing-gown from home.

A dressing gown? Bloody hell,. the only dressing gowns I own have been given to me as presents. Do I look like the kind of man who has a dressing gown? I have a Kimono from Japan, a very long flowing linen robe from Saudi Arabia, and a red silk baby-doll with Chinese dragons  which rises sexily to reveal my ginger hairy arse as I sashay across the living room, worn only in candlelight on Saturday nights when the children are away from home.

A anticipated, I was presented with a standard issue NHS gown, the design of which reminded me of an incident in Cornwall about ten years ago.

We had gone to stay in a cottage in Newquay, which was fast becoming the coolest place in the UK. Eager to fit in with the general vibe, and to ward off my receding hairline, and impending life of domesticity, I had decided to buy a boogie-board. But after just an hour in the cold winkle-shrinking sea, I had realised why everybody else was wearing a wetsuit, and I determined to buy one myself.

I chose the hippest, funkiest, most inappropriate boutique that a 16 stone land-lubber Dad could have chosen to purchase his new shortie. I realised my mistake as soon as I walked in through the swinging doors, and was met by a soundtrack of Jack Johnson and a bevy of the most beautiful young girls that I had ever seen preening themselves at the counter in awe of the blonde Adonis who was working that day. I made a quick U-turn but he called me back. “Alrite there mate – can I help you?”

“Erm, err, yeah dude”. ( I actually said “dude”. I did – I called him “dude”).   “I’m looking for a shortie man – I left mine at home in the rush to catch dem well lairy waves”. I simply nodded to the first suggestion he made, and meekly let him guide me to the changing room where he insisted I try on my new purchase. It had to fit snug see. He offered me some talcum powder, which I thought was really strange because I wouldn’t be having a hot bath or anything.

The suit fitted pretty well, and he had insisted that I let him see it, so I drew back the curtain expecting to see him waiting outside. But no, – bloody hell – , he had gone all the way back to the counter on the other side of the shop. To make matters worse, he cried out when he saw me peeking round the corner. “That’s it pal, come here, let’s have a gander”.

I mustered as much dignity as I could in the circumstances, and strolled through the shop with what I thought was a confident gait. I threw my shoulders back and let my hips roll casually from side to side as I slowly lolloped past the large numbers of bleached-haired beautiful people that had come in since my arrival. “Yeah, alrigh, bro!” I nodded.

I could sense people stopping their conversations to look at me as I passed the rows of surf boards, and racks of Billabong and Quiksilver. Maybe I should have taken my Homer Simpson socks off before coming out. The Adonis stopped chatting to the girls and they all turned to give my suit the once over. I had been holding my breath in for about 30 seconds now, and was praying that I wouldn’t have to speak. “Is that OK? Does it fit?”, I hissed while making sure I didn’t release the wind from my red cheeks like a burst pimple.

“Erm, yeah man, it looks well good. …Just one thing dude….it’s back to front. The zip goes at the back.”

So there I was today, sat in the waiting room, with my NHS gown tied up at the back, which is where that wetsuit zip should have been, listening to the woman who had gone in before me making some terrible noises. She was exhaling and groaining as if she had jut been interrogated by the Khmer Rouge. She had my sympathy. Forty minutes of Phil Collins can do that to a girl.

My scan today was OK. I only needed to go in as far as my armpits, which is the important thing. I looked into that forbidding tube and realised that my stomach had only about 4 inches room before it would have pressed against the roof of the scanner. But once you add my arms into the equation, I’d have been in real trouble, as pressed tightly against my side, they would have pushed my belly outwards and upwards in a wonderbra effect, which was last seen in a Newquay Surf Shop in 2001 . Nonetheless, it’s over and done with now, and hopefully, the cartilage tears will be confirmed and fixed, and then I can recommence my life as a dude. Where did I put my wetsuit?





About 2clots

47-year old Welsh cyclist. I suffered a dual pulmonary embolism in March 2011, following an attack of transverse myelinitis in 1994. Apart from that, I'm fine. Author of Red Dragons: The Story of Welsh Football.
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2 Responses to The Surf Dude and the MRI Scan

  1. Denise Flanaghan-Burrell says:

    Hillarious! not that u had a scan..I’d be scared too,but the way you describe it you made me laugh! x

  2. Livzy says:

    hahahaha 🙂 Ace!

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