Just 3 Little Letters

If you’ve already listened to my story then you can just move on to the comment section – say something nice – and I won’t think any less of you.

After all of the frustration with my regular doctor, I took a chance and went to my Allergist.  I figured maybe it was a sinus thing going on.  

He asked lots of wonderful questions, listened carefully, checked his handy, dandy prescription drug booklet.  It was fantastic, I tell you!  I was being heard!

Then he did something so horrible that I can hardly tell you without tears springing to my eyes.

He wrote out a prescription for an MRI…and an MRA…and I started to shake, just a bit, inside.

I’m one of those folks that starts to panic if I can’t take off a tight shirt.  You know?  When it gets stuck half-way up?  And you can’t go up and you can’t go down?

Twenty years ago I had to go for an MRI, after a car accident.  I may have lasted about 2 minutes in that tube.  That small, confining, suffocating, banging tube.  Then they couldn’t get me out of there fast enough.  I had to drive myself back home – a 90 minute drive – and was still shaking and crying when I got there.

Since that day I have always dreaded the possibility of someone uttering those horrible 3 letters.  Last year I had to go for an MRI of my knee.  MY KNEE!  And I freaked out when I went into the tube, up to my armpits.  Somehow I made it thru.  But now…

I’m not sure I can do it.  I don’t know if there’s enough drugs to get me back in there.

I went to the MRI place, on Monday, for them to show me the “new” machine.  I felt all brave and confident.  I had just been to the gym and was feeling good.

No, it’s not an open MRI.  I can’t use one of those because of the MRA.  “It’s not strong enough”, said the smiling lady.  I wanted to cling to her like a baby money clings to it’s mother.

The nice, young man let me lay on on the table.  He said I’d need a “collar” for the test and proceeded to put that on me.  (Suffocating feeling…8 out of 10)  Then he put on the face cage. (Bells and whistles started in my head.) Then he raised the table into position…

let me take a moment…

and was about to press the button, to slide me into the tube of hell and I said to him (WARNING, WILL ROBINSON!  WARNING!!)

“You don’t have to put me in there.  And you can take this off,”

(swirling motion with hand, over my head)

“because this isn’t going to happen.  This isn’t working for me.”

I don’t know how I kept my sh*t together but I know that when I got to my car, I texted Tom and all it said was


8 thoughts on “Just 3 Little Letters

  1. You’d think that years of technology removed from the original MRI, they’d be able to address this. And FIX it.

    Face cage… I’m not claustrophobic (though I do panic if I get stuck in a shirt), but that freaks me out from all the way over here.

  2. Two words scared the crap outta me. “Collar” & “face cage”. Heartbeat speeds up even imagining that machine.

    Hugely claustrophobic here too. But…you just got to do it chick. No choice. It could be the answer to the health stuff. How long does it last? Is like 10 mins or an hour? Do you have to be conscious? Maybe take music or a audiobook.

    Maybe get liquored up.

    Scares me too….but I really hope you find the courage.

    Hugs your way.

  3. Oh, god. I practically had to get smelling salts to even read this. I am equally claustrophobic, and positively refuse to have an . . . one of those. Unless they can knock me stone cold OUT.

    I hope, hope, hope they can find a better way for you.

  4. Poor thing…may I humbly suggest that you dont by any tops with built in shelf bras…they always get stuck halfway up 😉

    You can do it…I know you can.

  5. How about a sedative??? I work with patients – some claustrophobic / panic attacks / etc. The doctor can sometimes prescribe Valium or the facility can do it under another type of sedation. Depends on the test -ask your doctor and see. Good luck.

  6. Uhg, what an experience. I don’t know whether they’d let you take in an iPod, but that’s helped me during some procedures. If not, I hope you’ll go with a friend and drugs next time.

    I’m hoping you get some answers and solutions and start feeling better soon. I send you healing thoughts every time I come across your beautiful stitch markers and am reminded of you.

  7. Yes I feel your excruciating pain when it comes to this machine from HELL! I’ve had my horrible share of MRIs last year… when I had al those health issues:(

    No fun indeed:(

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