By Adam Cohen
“That’s not good,” Dr. James Brewer says to me.
I blink, shifting my eyes from the watery blue of the Pacific Ocean to Brewer’s worried face. We’re sitting on the deck of a restaurant perched a few hundred feet above the water, our half-finished bowls of pasta warmed by the California sun. A line of gulls rides the sea breeze above us. What could be not good about this?
“You have metal in your body,” says Brewer. “And if you have any metal in your body, MRI”—magnetic resonance imaging—“can be a problem.”
Don’t worry, I tell him. It was only jaw surgery. Surely a few pins won’t interfere with his 15,000-pound magnet. And the operation was 13 years ago. Brewer pokes his sesame noodles and shakes his head. “Older is worse.”