What the hell was I thinking?

DO NOT SCHEDULE 2 MRI’S ON THE SAME DAY!!!!!

I know better!  I’ve even written about it in…. Not the Tube.   Of course, I didn’t listen to myself. SMH  Then again, when I do listen to myself, I often make bad decisions.  When your done reading and or watching please share your opinion about whether YOU think I should listen to myself.  I’m pretty sure the answer is not a simple Yes or no.

Ok, so my dumb ass not only scheduled two MRI’s for the same day, but I also attempted to do it drug free.  I will NOT be doing that again!  In fact, I’m pretty sure the hospital put a great big caution sign in my chart saying that I have to be sedated. SMH again

Thing 2 picked me up on Friday and drove me to the hospital for the procedures.  I found that she REALLY enjoys pushing me in the wheelchair.  ( into the curb, into the wall etc)  I went through my 200 question checklist about whether I had metal implants, tattoos, etc in or on my body and was surprisingly ok’d to get in the tube.  Then the nurse asked if I was claustrophobic.  Um yeah….”OH SHIT, how had I forgotten to take the medication?!!??!?”  She told me they could reschedule the MRI, or I could take the medication and wait 45 minutes for the medication to take effect.

I TOLD her I would be fine as long as the tech talked to me between pictures.  SHIT SHIT SHIT!  As she wheeled me to the dressing room to change into the scrubs they provide, I could feel my anxiety increasing, and discreetly slipped a xanax into my mouth. Work work work!

The MRI tech was back within moments to take me to the MRI room.  I’m sure the terror I was feeling (yes terror) showed on my face when he also asked me if I was claustrophobic, but I also told him I would be “ok” as long as he talked to me between pictures.  (I told him all 5x that he asked me)

I wasn’t ok.  I freaked out!  I pushed the panic button before the first set of pictures where complete.  I passed out before he pulled me out of the machine, and vomited on the floor as soon as I came to. SMH again.

Fortunately, the MRI department was very forgiving and not busy that day.  They cleaned my mess, and allowed me to clean myself up.  They told me if I wanted to take medication I still could, but I would have to wait 45 minutes for it to take effect before we could try again.  Perfect! I thought.  I would probably only need another 25 minutes to be “calmer” since I had already taken one, but the least I could do was wait 45 minutes after the ordeal I caused.  Unfortunately, they needed to see me take the medication.  Ah fuck!

Um OK.  I do know that I CAN take two pills, as I have previously been prescribed a higher dose, but I also know that it pretty much puts me ‘out’ for the evening.  So OF COURSE, I made Bad decision number 3, (if you’re counting) and took the pill.  While waiting to retry the MRI, I noticed an empty wheelchair in the hallway, and asked Thing 2 if she would like to have a race or 2.

We did.  Here is the video to the only race I may have won (my foot dropped and I think I may have pushed off).  Wheelchair race  After several races, (I encouraged other patients and visitors to get involved as well)  I did survive the two MRI’s to test for PML and am waiting to hear the results.

So what’s your opinion?  Should I listen to myself or not? 😉

NOT THE TUBE!!!!

By the time this post appears, I am probably already stuffed in the tube for my annual MRI.  Nothing new really, I’ve only had 40 or more, I should be a professional by now.  But Today is a First for me.  I am going to attempt to go in without being drugged.  Lately, I have been pushing myself to do things outside my comfort zone, you know like dealing with FEELINGS and shit….. :(,  So I figured why the hell not….?

Tonight (well now last night) Thing two looked at the dry erase board with all of our schedules on it.  She saw that I was scheduled for an MRI at 10 AM Friday, and asked who was taking me.  Like a proud 4 year old that learned to tie their shoes, I replied, “I’m going by myself.”….. The NEIGHBORS could hear her laughing……smh heh Thanks for the support kid!

I guess I should start at the beginning and maybe share some of my MRI tragedies with you.  The very first time I went in for an MRI was 20 years ago, when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I had never even heard of such a thing.  The doctor explained,  “it’s just a glorified xray machine, but it will take much better pictures”.  If she was still in practice I would find her and let her know exactly how I feel about her bullshit explanation by placing my foot in her ass.   SMH….

So about 20 years ago, My sister in law and I show up at the hospital for my first MRI of my brain. I thought they were looking for a pinched nerve or something simple to explain the numbness in the left side of my body.

c spine coilI was 25 and had no idea that I was claustrophobic.  I laid down on the table and they put something that is called a coil around my head.

Coil my ass!  This thing felt like a vice and I couldn’t breathe!

While they were trying to calm me down, the doctor called down to say that she wanted a cervical spine and thoracic MRI as well with GAD otherwise known as Gadolinium for contrast.  This meant another coil and two more hours to the one I was already committed for.  The second coil looks like this.

head neck

Oh fuck no!  Although the coil is very lightweight, it felt like 100 lbs on my chest.  I started panicking  and hyperventilating before they even put me in the tube!!!!

Hey guess what…. I’m claustrophobic as fuck!!!!!!

They called the doctor back and told her I was being ‘uncooperative’, could they give me something to relax me?  After all these years, I still can’t believe I was the first person to ever freak out about being put in a tube, in fact I am positive that I wasn’t.  Seriously though, no warning!!!!

I don’t know what they gave me to sedate me, but I kind of remember climbing back onto the table, being “strapped down”, given a little “panic bulb” and being  pushed inside the machine.  I must have fallen asleep.  When I woke up, still inside the machine, I tried to squeeze the little panic bulb, but I had dropped in in my sleep.

I started yelling, and kicking the machine from the inside.  No one was coming!!!!!  My sister in law could here me yelling in the waiting room and came busting through the door yelling, “can’t you hear her in there, get her out!!!!”…. That is the LAST time I ever let anyone put me in an MRI machine without being drugged to some degree.

In fact this is the perfect time to share another MRI mishap.  It was 5 years and several MRI’s after that first bad experience.  This time I was going to be smart though…or so I thought…. I had scheduled the MRI for 6 am on Black Friday.  My thoughts were, that I would stay up the entire night before shopping and I would be so exhausted that I wouldn’t need as many drugs to go in the tube.  Sounds like a good plan right?

We went to Thanksgiving at my parents, did black Friday shopping, but I couldn’t stay awake.  The last time I looked at the clock it was 2 am Friday morning.  The next time I looked at the clock it was 11:30 am.  I started yelling at my husband, why didn’t you wake me?  I had to be at the hospital by 6 am!!!!  When I stopped yelling, he said, “Grace, you were at the hospital and you had your MRI, Honey it’s 11:30 on Saturday!”

NO fricking way!!!!!

My stomach was growling so loudly, so I went in the fridge to find something to eat.

veggie tray I found something like this with a section filled with turkey, another with sweet potatoes, and so on and so on.

When I finished stuffing my face, I told Ken that he his idea of filling the veggie tray with leftovers was brilliant.

He responded, “I didn’t do it, you did.”  “after we went for your mri, we stopped by your parents, you ate almost a full plate of deviled eggs, and filled this up with leftovers”

I have absolutely no recollection of anything after 2 am Friday morning.  Apparently, everything he said was true though.  Looking back, I Think I self medicated TOO much.  That’s the only explanation for it.

I really scared the shit out of myself with that one!

Since that time, I have learned better and SAFER coping mechanisms for being placed in the tube, but it has taken me years to work up to this.

  1.  I know how to disconnect the coil myself.
  2.  I only schedule one mri at a time.
  3. I do keep my eyes closed the entire time.
  4. I keep the music on very loudly in the headphones
  5. I “tie” the panic bulb around my hand
  6. I make the technician talk to me between each picture and tell me how long the next image will take.  (so I can break it down into 5 minute segments)
  7. and perhaps most importantly, I go to the same place with the same technicians each time, so I have developed a bit of trust for them.
  8. I know that if I can’t make it, I always have the option of LIMITED drugs

I hope to write tomorrow (later today) that it was a piece of cake.  I have to try!  MS is not going away, nor are the yearly MRI requirements to stay on Tysabri, so I might as well give it a shot.  If you are interested in learning more about my experiences, with Tysabri, please type tysabri in the search box, I think I have made several posts.

How do you deal with repeated MRI’s?  Any tips?