There were numerous tests to be done before Gunter’s knee replacement. One of them was an MRI. You’ve probably had one yourself or heard stories about that tube that’s too tight for you to move. The loud banging when you’re inside can drive you crazy.

Closed MRI

Closed MRI

Cutaway of closed MRI

Cutaway of closed MRI

I’d never imagined that Gunter would be claustrophobic. He has always seemed fearless to me. He climbs; he dives; he captained us around the world.  But here he was, insisting on an open MRI.

Open MRI

Open vs. closed MRI

Open vs. closed MRI

“Since when are you claustrophobic?”

“Since I got stuck in that anchor locker in Fiji,” he replied.

“I never knew. You didn’t tell me that.”

I felt guilty. Here I had taken advantage of his predicament and made it into a story. Even worse: I had sold it to Latitudes and Attitudes magazine for their humorous section, called So that was Dumb!

“Think about it. I felt myself going faint with the blood running to my head and I was thinking, what a weird way to die, here upside down in a locker, stupidly trying to pick up a tool from the bottom.”

I promptly apologized. “Uh, Oh. I’m so, so sorry I made light of it. I remember being scared to death at the time.”

I posted the published story on this blog earlier. Follow this link to Stuck in the Anchor Locker.

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