So, yesterday morning I was scheduled for an MRI. It had been scheduled since a week ago, and since a week ago I’ve been quite apprehensive about having the MRI. Oh, not because of expected bad results or anything like that, but because I know myself to be claustrophobic in that situation.
Rewind about thirteen years. I had just moved to IL (don’t ask) or was about to, and I was visiting my friend Dan. Back then he was the manager for a fleet of mobile MRI trucks (the economics of the time/region did not permit each hospital to have its own MRI kit) and he took me into one of them to show me how it all worked. “Hop on,” he said, “let’s take a picture.” So I climbed onto the pad and he started moving me, head first, into the tunnel formed by the center of the toroidal magnet.
I wasn’t in further than my chest when I started to freak out, yelling for him to pull me back out. He did, immediately, offering that lots of people were claustrophobic and I shouldn’t be freaked out by it.
“I’m not claustrophobic,” I replied.
So I’d been anxious for days, coupled with the nausea I’ve been having because of the new meds or the progress of the healing, or whatever (I missed a birthday party and an Equinox party this past weekend because of it), I ended up not sleeping at all the night before the MRI.
I’d had a visit to my regular doc this past Monday and told her of my anxiety. She gave me ativan and told me to take two about 30 minutes before the MRI. And that if I wasn’t feeling the effects of it, take another.
So, right before I walked into the MRI suite I took that extra ativan tablet.
The tech was amazingly understanding; after I told her about my apprehension and the fact that I had some ativan in me, she told me that I could get out of it whenever I wanted, and that they could reschedule me, and not to worry about being in any way “required” to stay inside if I panicked. This had the (likely intended) effect of making me that much more relaxed. I’m sure the ativan’s increasing hold on me helped, too.
I remember the loud noises; I remember they were multi-tonal. I remember drifting off and thinking that the sounds of the machinery were actually voices repeating a thing. I remember the plastic shoulder girdle and the pillow stuffed between my left arm and the wall of the MRI chamber. I remember the voice of the tech for the first few images of the first study (I was there for two separate studies: one of the shoulder, one of the brachial plexus).
I don’t remember them taking me out of the chamber to refit me for the second study. I don’t remember them releasing me. I remember getting in the car with Sam when he came to get me, but I don’t remember calling him on the phone beforehand. I didn’t remember seeing Frank or rob or Jeff or ordering a coffee in the Castro. I didn’t remember writing an email to Mikey telling him how the MRI went. I don’t remember talking to my mom online. I don’t remember much of anything else about yesterday except that I slept when I got home, from probably about 11am (I say this solely by extrapolating from the timestamp on the email I’d sent to Michael). I woke up at almost midnight.
I slept again from about seven this morning until about 11:30am.
I’m sure it’s going to take me several more days to even out the loss of Wednesday.