Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So, I had my MRI last night.

It was horrible.

I considered taking a Lorazepam (anti-anxiety meds) before leaving the house, as I had read that some people find mild sedation to be beneficial during the procedure. I decided against it, however, since nothing had actually been mentioned about it when the appointment was made and I didn't want to be sedated if I wasn't supposed to be. I figured, "I've had a CAT scan before, how much worse can this be?" Turns out it can be a lot worse.

I initially went into the room alone with the technician. Chris had come with me to the hospital, but he stayed in the waiting room. I don't know if anyone reading this has ever had an MRI, but it's not a fun experience. You lie flat on your back in a tiny little tube, with a your head essentially locked in place by a plastic cage apparatus. You've got industrial noise-blocking earphones on, with wiring running into them to play music and allow you to hear the technician's voice. You have to stay in place for a bare minimum of fifteen to twenty minutes, while the machine makes noises that even the music and headphones can't block out. And the magnetic field is's like standing directly in front of the speaker at a club, only the sensation goes all the way around your body.

I lasted about a minute and a half the first time I was put in the tube before I had to be pulled out, shaking and sobbing, by the tech. We talked for a minute, and when I told her I had considered taking a Lorazepam, she said that someone should have mentioned that doing so would have been perfectly fine. Apparently, people with no history of anxiety have had the same reaction I did, so for someone with my history a dose of Lorazepam could have been a great thing. Eventually we decided that we would bring Chris into the room, with the hope that having someone there to comfort me would relax me a little. The tech told me that we wouldn't be able to talk or anything, but he could sit at the end of the bed and she could attach a mirror to the plastic cage around my head that would allow me to see him.

The tech got Chris set up in a chair with another set of headphones, and put me back in the tube. I spent the next twenty-five minutes or so alternating between praying, staring in the mirror at Chris, and squeezing my eyes shut so I at least couldn't see where I was. I somehow managed to lie still for the whole thing, though a few times I thought I would just lose it and try to rip the stupid cage off my head myself. I didn't realize how tense I had been until it was all over and I sat up. Once my muscles started to relax, I almost fell over.

Now all that's left is to wait for the call from my GP's office to tell me what the results are. Hopefully it's nothing major, but I'm still absolutely terrified.

1 comment:

Heather Renee said...

It sounds to me like you were Braveheart and deserve a medal. Getting an MRI is one of my highest fears due to my silly problem of claustrophobia. It sounds, after your story, that it's not a great experience and I'm validated in having it be a top 5. You'll continue to be in my prayers. I hope everything turns out fine.