Creating My First MRI

An MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a radiology technique which uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. The MRI scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet. The patient is placed on a moveable bed which is inserted into the magnet. The magnet creates a strong magnetic field which aligns the protons of hydrogen atoms, which are then exposed to a beam of radio waves. This spins the various protons of the body, and they produce a faint signal which is detected by the receiver portion of the MRI scanner. The receiver information is processed by a computer, and an image is then produced.

At the doctors on Friday afternoon I was told I might need an MRI, the above paragraph tells the medically minded people what an MRI is… I’m not medically minded nor do I have one of those machines at my disposal. I do have a radio, which does generate rock and roll radio waves, a computer(even though I rent it) and I have a magnet. I also have a lifetime memberships to ACME, the very same company that Will E. Coyote uses for his gadgets to stop a very fast bird found in some southern states.

I give Acme a call, tell them what I want to do and they send me some anodes, cathodes, a few light bulbs, a toggle switch, a few 20 watt fuses and an three receptacle extension cord. They also sent me some very detailed technical drawings called pink slips(I guess they thought that I wanted to have a drag race with their x-ray technician) These drawings were probably drawn by an overly intelligent five year old because the pictures looked like a house, a tall stick woman with long hair, a taller stick man with a cowboy hat, and a smaller stick person walking a dog. I used one of my refrigerator magnets and hung up the picture on my freezer door.

I poured myself a drink of Kool-Aid (and YES I did keep it away from my keyboard), then I walked into the livingroom/workspace and looked at all the stuff I had collected to make my very own MRI. The first thing I did was remove the twist ties from the extension cord, then I grabbed the radio with one of my favorite CD’s and plugged that into the extension cord. Then I tried to figure out how to turn my ordinary refrigerator magnets into a small electron magnet. There was a flurry of activity as I grabbed the anodes and cathodes, my cat, (He was playing with one of them) and I attached wires, fuses, toggle switch into a continuos loop.

I sure am glad that I didn’t waste any time going to electronics in high school or the Navy because I had this all figured out in no time. I think I found my niche in the world. Five, ten, and even 15 minutes later there was still no smoke on the magnet. This was when I now had to do the hardest thing, and that was logging off of Writing.Com so I could use the computer to create the “I” in the MRI. So there I was, completely alone with no one IM’ing me or chatting on Scrolling IMs… I unplugged the computer from the wall and plugged it into the extension cord then I plugged in the extension cord into the wall. And nothing happened. I turned on the computer and as it was going through the booting and the Welcome to MSN I tried to rub the converted electric magnet over my leg. All I could see was wavy lines on my monitor.

I thought, “Oh No my leg went back into the Navy and didn’t invite me”. After a few moments I figured out that was impossible because my leg was still there and functioning. Then I came up with a Nobel Prize winning idea… I put the electric magnet in the shell of my mouse and connected it to the computer. I put this up to my leg and I nearly ran a marathon around my livingroom. I really got a charge. Now if you know anything about electronics you know I have made all of this up so please don’t try this at home…and listen to your doctor.

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