My First Doctor Visit During a Pandemic

I recently went to the doctor’s office for an MRI and I noticed significant changes throughout the process of my appointment, as compared to before the pandemic. The doctor’s office I went to was in Colorado Springs at Centura Health Broadmoor. 

I drove 30 minutes into the Springs to get an Arthmograph MRI. An Arthrogram is a special type of MRI where dye is injected into a ligament in order to see if there is a tear. Penrad Imaging had its own suite (section) inside of the building. 

As I walked up to the door, I was greeted with a sign that read “Do Not Open Door: Wait until staff opens door for you.” I thought it was odd and proceeded to try to open the door. I also thought that the sign pertained to handicapped or disabled people. 

After pushing and pulling the door, with no luck in getting it open, the receptionist came and opened the door and informed me that I had to fill out a paper form before being allowed in. I turned around and realized I had missed an entire table of COVID-19 screening forms. 

There was a stack of forms on the table along with two pen holders labeled “Clean” and “Used”. I quickly filled out forms for both my mom and I, handed them to the receptionist and made my way into the changing room to get into the gown provided for MRIs. 

photo by Madissyn Moore

A nurse brought me to a small changing room with one bench, a mirror, and a cluster of lockers to store my clothes in during the procedure. Shortly after I changed I was brought to another room, my mom signed a few consent forms, and the nurse prepared me for the procedure. 

My mom was not allowed to stay during the procedure. A doctor soon came in and hastily injected a numbing medication into me, then a long needle which the dye flowed through. Because I am extremely uncomfortable with needles, the nurse held my hand while the needles were being injected. 

Afterwards, the nurse helped me to the MRI scanning room where I was met by another doctor and nurse. The doctor quickly got me onto the bed and with the nurses help, positioned my body to get the best scan. They used foam and bed straps to help keep my body in place because a scan takes 25-30 minutes, and holding a position for that long would be very difficult. 

I was given headphones to listen to music of my choice during the scan, as well as a small ball to squeeze in case I needed the scan to be stopped for anything. After the scan was complete, I was helped back to the dressing room to change back into my clothes. My mom and I left after I had gathered all of my belongings. 

During my entire visit, I had to keep my mask on because not only is there a state-wide mask mandate, but because there are other patients in the building who are more prone to catching COVID. I definitely felt like the entire visit was rushed. It may have been the fact that my mom and I had some unforeseen delays and arrived late to the appointment or the fact that the doctors want to get everyone in and out as timely as possible.

I definitely felt like the appointment was not as hospitable as it used to be, regardless of showing up on time or late. I did really love how the nurse held my hand during the injection of the needles. When it comes down to needles, I am a huge baby. 

Overall, the appointment went smoothly and the doctors and nurses took the necessary precautions to make sure each patient was safe from catching COVID-19 or any other disease or bacteria.