I had a neurology appointment yesterday, to check how I’m getting on since the Alemtuzumab treatment I had in the summer. I always arrive early at hospital to have a wander round the shops in the main concourse and chill with a (revolting) coffee and a spot of people-watching.
I bought some bits and pieces from Boots, including a horrendously overpriced Jamie Oliver sandwich then wandered over to the gift /clothing shop. Who goes to hospital and buys cruise-wear? Or a new handbag? I decided against buying a new sparkly, spangly scarf and went to W H Smiths and looked at the expensive books and bizarre range of food, including tins of baked beans (always makes me smile).
Anyway, I had some coffee with my mum and watched the clock tick round before heading off to the clinic. The appointment went well, although I had to go through those neurological tests again – you know, the ones similar to the tests American cops make you do when they stop you for drink-driving. Touch your nose with your finger and walk in a straight line heel-to-toe. Luckily, I am normal – and not drunk – and didn’t fall over or make a fool of myself.
However, the bad news is that I will need to have another MRI scan next year. If I had to choose between an hour-long lumbar puncture and an MRI, I would choose a lumbar puncture any day. I absolutely loathe small spaces. I am claustrophobic beyond all reason. When I was a kid, my sister locked me in a wardrobe, went for lunch and forgot all about me. Pot-holing as a hobby fills me with horror.
I have had two MRIs and have no idea how I got through them. You’re given earplugs, fitted with a guard to keep your head still and told you can keep your eyes open and look in the mirror set above you. Er, not a chance. My eyes were squeezed shut the entire time. You go in head first and it is terrifying. The magnets whizz round making a racket and it’s freezing cold. Each time, I could feel blind panic rising and each time I chucked my mind to a happy place, anywhere rather than in that Tube of Terror.
So I have seven months to prepare. I will do my yogic breathing exercises, employ visualisation techniques and pretend I am lying on a very cold, hard beach. Any tips from fellow MSers?