Daily Archives: May 18, 2016

How I Stopped Fretting, and Learned to Love the MRI

Yesterday was a fun day for me. And by “fun”, I mean at least I didn’t cry.

Full disclosure: I have back issues. Last January, I managed to do something that aggravated my lower back, specifically my lumbar region (I was born with fused vertebrae in the lumbar region). I was in pain for a few days, and after it lessened, I discovered that my lower back now liked to crack like it was Knuckles Malone. My back now hurts more periodically than it used to, specifically when I bend or sleep in an awkward position. So, I made an appointment with my provider to be seen. He suggested I take a steroid (NO!), ibuprofen (CANDY!), and Lidocaine patch (…..wut?). I will say that patch does relieve the pain rather nicely. He also scheduled me for a back X-ray and…an MRI.

Sigh…. I am not a fan of certain enclosed spaces. I can hide in a closet just fine, but can’t wear a scuba mask. I knew there was a chance I could get the open MRI is there was no wait list. I called, begged, pleaded, and finally they told me they could fit me in.

In August.

That wasn’t going to work, so I chucked it up and made the appointment for the old-fashioned tunnel of despair. And so it began.

I get there with plenty of time to check in, only to be told they are running 30 minutes behind. No worries, that just gives me time to breathe deeply and not freak out. In what seemed like a few seconds but was actually 35 minutes, I was escorted out to the dressing area and asked questions about my affinity for metal. I told them I get my metal from Sirius XM. Satisfied, I am instructed to get into scrubs ten sizes too big and wait in the lounge area. Sooner than later, they walk me back to the gallows MRI. It looks like a tunnel to nowhere. I am given earplugs and a button to press in case I have issues with the procedure. As I lay down, I ask if I can have a bolster for my back, as I can’t lay straight without a considerable amount of pain. They tell me sorry, but no can do since that’s the area they need to scan. Fine….FINE!! They slide me inside the coffin, and the scanning begins.

BANG BANG BANG!!!! Sounds like some kid is hitting the outside of the machine with a hammer. I concentrate on counting the holes in the speaker so as to distract me from the fact that I am now a sardine. All goes quiet, and then I begin to pray my thanks to the Almighty God for the earplugs, because it begins to sound like my head is inside a semi truck’s engine while the trucker is blasting his horn.

Meanwhile, my back is beginning to let me know she is about to stab every single nerve. I am trying my damnedest to stay still when suddenly, I remember my ablation procedure and begin to panic because I HAVE COILS IN MY FALLOPIAN TUBES!!! I feel my heart thudding while I picture the coils being ripped out of my abdomen and sticking to the sardine can in bloody splatters. This is when I calm down enough to remember the freaking button in my hand and press it. Scan is stopped and I explain my dilemma. I hear the tech laugh and tell me that it’s ok, the X-ray shows it isn’t metal. Well,  of course it isn’t. Momentary lapse of reason due to panic. The adrenaline rush isn’t the only pain I am experiencing by now. And before I can stop myself, I move juuuuust a teeny, tiny, weensie, itty bitty bit. I’m talking micro-milli-meter here. I realize what I have done and pray the techs don’t notice.

Yes, I laughed too. After I got home and had taken a pill and drunk a margarita.

Due to my slight movement, I had to repeat the procedure. This time I begged for a bolster under my knees to help with the pain. The obliged, and even though it was a small bolster, at least it was something. Second time was the charm, and finally I was able to go upstairs to wait fifteen minutes for a CD of the scan to take to my provider, who as we all know can’t read it, but whatever. I’m just glad it’s over for now. I can stop fretting over it and move on to fretting over more important things.

Like wondering when the rain will stop 😉