So. I’ve noticed when I start a sentence with “so” it’s a delaying tactic. It’s because whatever follows isn’t really something I want to talk about or face. I’ve learned the hard way that bottling stuff up just gives it power over you and I try very hard not to do that but it’s not easy! It’s hard to face things you are uncomfortable with or are afraid of. Even if it’s just feeling silly.
So. Yesterday I was supposed to have an MRI of my left shoulder at 6:45am. I’ve managed to tear both rotator cuffs but the left is worse so that needs fixing first. That “supposed” is your first clue it didn’t go well.
Waking up at 4am after not getting home until after 10pm from inspecting at Elections the night before was not joyful! I was pretty tired but I was ready to leave by 5am and joy of joys! Dunkin’ was open as I drove past! I got myself a firebucket of coffee for the drive and set off for Rochester. Traffic was bad but I was there by 6:20am.
I was chirpy from coffee and laughing away with the receptionist. She gave me the 976 page pre MRI questionnaire and I set to filling it out. Eventually I got called back to get changed etc and I had the sense to nip to the loo! I’ve had a lot of MRI’s and CAT scans in the last couple of years and I get mixed up over which ones you get contrast for and which you don’t! I have some weird ass reactions to that stuff but one of the normal reactions I get is feeling like I’m wetting myself so I wanted to make absolutely sure I wouldn’t!
I was quite happy. I was joking and messing about and hopped up on the slidey jobby-whatsit. I got earphones instead of ear plugs as I hate stuff in my ears and I was all set.
Now I will say here I have never liked MRI’s. I’m always extremely uncomfortable and very relieved when they were over.
I had to go in head first this time which I never have before. I got in there and they started and I had my eyes tight shut and all I could feel was panic. My heart was pounding, I couldn’t breathe and I was fighting hysteria. Tears were running down my face and I couldn’t bear it. I’m actually crying again now as I write this, more than 24 hours later.
I started squeezing the bulb they gave me repeatedly. I couldn’t speak because I’d have screamed. I heard a voice say ‘Stop squeezing the bulb now. What’s the matter?” But I couldn’t answer. I just kept squeezing the bulb over and over which must cause an alarm to go off because it really irritated them. It felt like forever but eventually someone said, “Hold on I’m coming into get you out. Stop Squeezing The Bulb!” I felt so bad but I just couldn’t stop.
I started sliding out and they had to hold me as I was strapped into a shoulder support and couldn’t have got up without hurting myself or breaking the contraption – I don’t know which. I was gulping air, crying my eyes out, incoherent and snotty. I was a mess and I felt so stupid. The tech said I’d have to come back and have it done under sedation.
Honestly I don’t know if I can. I feel panicked thinking about it. I’ve never liked confined spaces and thinking about it, I can see more and more triggers that have led to this. I don’t know how to get past it or if I can. I tried to nap yesterday and I kept jolting awake feeling trapped. I woke from the same nightmare twice last night.
I can totally understand how easy it would be to let a phobia consume you and I need to work on this because I won’t be a victim to my own head.. but the thought of it makes me literally vomit. I’ll call the surgeon on Monday to see what other options I have. There has to be something I’m sure.