mriI had an MRI scan today to throw some light on my recent relapse.

I know the score now – I leave the watch and earrings at home, wear a sports bra (no metal clips), don a tatty old cashmere sweater (usually freezing in the tube) and took my best friend (where would I be without her?).

At the hospital, I mainlined caffeine before we made our way to the clinic.

Once there, I answered all the questions, disclosed my weight (state secret), confirmed I wasn’t pregnant (hah!), accepted the ear-plugs and laid down, squeezing my eyes tightly shut.

Ho hum. I was whooshed into the tube and had that momentary burst of panic, which I knew if I let it grow, would condemn me to squeezing the emergency button and calling a halt to the whole thing. Claustrophobia + MRI = gritted teeth and the promise of looking round the hospital gift shops if I make it through.

After a while of zoning out, working out a shopping list in my mind, I was slid back out and injected with a dye to light up any active lesions in my brain. Then I was popped back in again. More banging sounds, which I attempted to ignore and concentrate on whether I needed one or two courgettes and had I run out of loo roll?

I was slid back out yet again, fully baked, and rolled off the plastic tray I’d been lying on, relieved it was all over. Except it wasn’t. Someone lifted a huge plastic square over to me, like a massive head brace thing with bolt bits on it. A different head rest was put in to place. Ah, they were preparing for the next patient?

Nope. For the first time ever, my neck was to have it’s very own special MRI. It was terrifying. My head was locked in to place, like some Medieval form of torture and I was slid yet again back in to the tube.

This time it was even weirder. Far from being cold, I felt as if I was being cooked. The heat blossomed all around me and then a pressure started on my head, like a gentle crushing, but crushing nonetheless. Hmm. The panic took root and I frantically tried to recall the courgettes. Three?

Over the intercom, I dimly heard ‘only two more scans to go’, listening to a brand new MRI theme tune. I swear it sounded like some bloke saying, ‘dah, dah, dah’ to a backbeat of drums.

Finally, eventually, I was slid out for the final time. I was shaking as I popped the earplugs in the bin and fell against the wall as I tried to put my boots back on. I staggered back to my friend, went to the loo (pesky coffee) and set off for the shops.

My heart was beating so fast, I couldn’t decide whether to buy a coaster with ‘Live, Love, Laugh!’ on it or a pencil with a tiny windmill topper. I went home, images of courgettes following me like a teasing hallucination.

I hate courgettes.

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10 thoughts on “OMG … MRI …

  1. Ann says:

    I went through the exact same process a few months ago. But I sang to myself all the way through it. Brain and spine. Yes I still have them. I saw the results in clinic recently and I couldn’t believe how the inside of my head looked. Fortunately, no active lesions at the moment so good news there.

    Fingers crossed you will get good results soon. Onwards and upwards. See you soon. Best wishes. Ann x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I really, really hope so – although I’m divided; I either need another course of Campath or I need something completely different!
      It’s a worrying time, having such a long relapse and seeing the impact of that. For readers who won’t know, I attended an MS Wales Society Council meeting in April. Sadly, I completely underestimated the effects of the relapse and ended up in a fairly bad way. Upshot is, I isolated myself during those long months and reacted to the company of fellow MSers with exuberance.
      But hey, that is the best thing about being part of an MS network – we all look out for each other, and that is incredible!

      • Ann says:

        I can see what you mean about the result.
        They did not consider me for
        DMT as I have SPMS so I am back to symptom management. I hope you get more treatment. I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Xx

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Thank you!
          I really hope I am still in the running for DMT’s, so to speak. It just worries me that the relapses seem to sneak through the Campath 🙁

  2. Teresa McTernan says:

    Oh you know…it’s funny but it’s not funny at all…it’s the way you tell ’em. Hope the results are good well at least good enough. Never heard of a neck scan…x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Me neither!
      Seriously, that huge piece of plastic they put around my head was terrifying.
      But definitely, got to look on the funny side!

  3. Joan (Wales) says:

    At least it’s done and over with, that’s good. Let’s hope there is a positive outcome from your ‘torture’.

    I’ve had two MRI scans, the first time it was to confirm that I had MS and that was in an old CAT scanner and fully enclosed. My imagination got the better of me and I had visions that the world had ended and I was locked/imprisoned in that tube that’s like a coffin and couldn’t get out. I was very brave though and completed the 30/45 minutes, saying ‘never again’. The second time I was braver as I knew what to expect, but it was a more modern machine with a window where I could see the radiographers. This was all ten years ago and I haven’t had one since.

    How long before you get the result?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      That’s so uncanny – it’s exactly the scenario that runs through my head; I even mentioned it to The Boss yesterday. I have this fear that I’ll be left in the plastic tube and everyone else is either dead or has run away.
      That aside, I am sooooo relieved it’s all over until next time. That neck scan was a real curve-ball, but I got through it (just).
      I left a message with the MS nurses and the scans are now available to see online, so hopefully my neuro will have some time spare to have a look at them and take it from there.

  4. Annie says:

    Hey that sounds yuck ? … at least it’s over and done with … hope you don’t have to wait too long on results ? And fingers crossed things will be as good as they can be? X

    • stumbling in flats says:

      It sure was! One of our lovely MS nurses called me this morning and said I would know fairly soon. So lucky to have such a great MS team here in South Wales 🙂

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