The bad news is it’ll set you back about two million bucks.
The good news though: it comes with a 90 day parts and labor warranty.
Yes, if you happen to be in the market for a MRI machine, take a look at the newest GE. It’s a marvel, unless of course, you happen to be the on-deck patient and it goes haywire.
You arrive at 10:55 am for an 11 am appointment. Two minutes later they call you back into a little private lounge. Impressive. This is moving along really well. An hour or so later, the tech, Ashley, finally comes into the room for a series of canned questions. I was rattling off the answers like a third grade math test until she wanted to know if I had any shrapnel in my body or tattoos on it. I told her I was Jewish. She didn’t made the extreme long-shot connection.
“Okay, it will be another 20 minutes, there’s only one person ahead of you.”
Yea, sure. Twenty minutes becomes thirty, which then is forty-five and the big hand keeps moving to make it an hour, which now makes it two hours total, sitting in that room with an iPad and Facebook posts I’ve already read twice. Ten minutes later, she comes back stressed and tearful. That pissed me off a bit because I hadn’t even started in on her yet.
The MRI is broken but no worries, the GE repair man is on his way. This clinic has been open for two months, so I guess it’s still under warranty. At least you don’t have to carry it into the shop for repair. Then it kinda hit me– the GE repair man? If we thought the Maytag guy had a cushy gig, then the GE MRI expert hit the occupational lottery. And secondly, telling me the tech is coming is like boarding an airplane, getting ready to push-back and the captain comes on the speaker to tell us he just called for maintenance for ‘small problem that shouldn’t take long.’ Whatever he says the delay will be, you can comfortably triple it.
Now I’m getting angry. It’s been two hours. If Ashley thinks she’s crying now, just wait about thirty seconds until I get on a roll. Then her cell phone rings. It’s the GE man. She asked him if he thinks she can do an ankle/foot MRI even though the machine has a burnt coil used for neck images. Listen, I only went to two years of MRI school but even I’m guessing that shouldn’t be an issue.
“Take off your watch, belt, rings, empty your pockets of everything and leave your phone and iPad in the room and let’s go,” Ashley said. Like making sure I don’t miss my number while waiting for a marble rye, I was out the door on one good foot.
She propped me up on the MRI rack. I asked her how long it would take. “About thirty minutes,” she said. “The smaller the body part, the longer the exam.”
Hmmm, right then I’m thinking I’m glad I only hurt my foot playing baseball a month ago. If it had been a one-hopper to the five-hole I could be there all day, which I almost was anyway.
Clang, bang, clitter, clatter, clang and bang. For $2M this is the best they can do with the sound? And all you can do is stay prone and listen to the racket. The noise kept changing. First, it was a series of loud knocks on the door; then a fog horn, fog horn, fog horn; the Majesty of the Sea pulling into dock; a railroad crossing; the 24 second clock expiring at Madison Square Garden; the bullet train getting into high gear; Delta flight #798 touching down; the quiet of a empty church but not for long; the Chicago Blackhawks just scored a goal at the United Center; Andy Sipowicz using a battering ram to crash down a steel door and get the perp; the elementary school fire alarm; 4th and goal at Lambeau; the tornado siren and the friendly sounds of the Long Island Expressway. And with no distractions except for looking up in the air or closing your eyes, it’s all there to absorb and enjoy.
But the good news for me was it ended in only 25 minutes, which must mean my foot is big after all.
And who was waiting to get into the room when I finished? As promised, none other than the GE repair guy.
In the market for an MRI unit? Buy American. Buy GE.