On Wednesday I had my first ever MRI scan and I thought I would document it as it was another milestone in finding out what’s wrong with my joints. I’ve been struggling with my joints for a little over a year now (you can read about that here) and I did try physiotherapy however I got told that I needed to go see a rheumatologist as my symptoms sounded a lot like arthritis. Fast forward a month and I saw a rheumatologist who sent me to get an MRI scan so they could look at my spine and see what was happening with my bones.
Let’s start with the fact that I hate small spaces. I have claustrophobia and suffer from panic attacks so I was pretty nervous from the offset. I had my MRI in a mobile MRI scanner (basically a MRI in the back of a lorry) and my mum wasn’t allowed to come with me into the lorry thing which made me even more nervous!
I had to lie flat on my back and had a plate thing put on top of my chest which allowed them to see my bones easier. I was also given a buzzer thing which I could press if I started to feel un well or just really didn’t like it. The radiographer knew I was nervous so he gave me a test run of going inside the scanner fir a few moments to experience it. I HATED it. I asked to come out almost straight away and then proceeded to shed a few tears to which I was told that it happens a lot! I had another go and this time it wasn’t as bad but it still wasn’t as nice. I then was allowed to test the buzzer which made me feel a lot better!
I was given headphones and listened to the radio whilst I was in the scanner which was a definite life saver – I don’t think I would have managed without them. In a weird way, I found it easier with my eyes open, which surprised me as I thought if I had my eyes closed I’d be able to forget about the small space but it actually made me feel even more claustrophobic! The machine was really noisy but I managed the whole hour in there which amazed me! I genuinely thought about pressing that buzzer probably every five minutes but I didn’t because I knew I needed the scan to find out what’s wrong so I stuck it out.
If you have an MRI scan coming up, try not to panic too much (waaaay easier said than done!) Yes, it’s not nice and yes it’s scary but you will get though it! Reminding myself that it would benefit me having it helped and I think the longest they do is an hour which, in the grand scheme of life, isn’t that long (even if it does feel like a lifetime and the time!). Let me know in the comments below if you’ve had an MRI and how you cope with it!