Saturday, March 10, 2012


Healing.  'Tis momentous. 

I don't do MRI's very well.  During the beginning of the diagnosis process, I had 3 of them within days of each other, mostly because I didn't know being in an MRI machine would cause me to have flashbacks of childhood sexual abuse.  One technician had the comment of "she's like a cat on a hot tin roof, trying to get out".   So they started putting me down, knocking me out, letting me drug my way thru it.  But then, policy changed and they weren't allowed to give me anesthesia any more.  So it was Valium and Versed.  Because Versed is supposed to help you "forget" the procedure/s, sometimes I would think "oh, I'll be fine", only to discover I wasn't and it would have to be rescheduled again.  Since I have to have one every year to keep track of the progress of the MS, it's been an ordeal each and every time.

(Only it isn't open like this - it's a closed up tube)

I've skipped having one for the past two years in Idaho because I got sick of the doctor situation.

There was one scheduled last Friday.  I had asked Jeremy to come be with me, and he flew in from Denver.  He's never been with me thru an MRI, so I was a little embarrassed to need him, but I don't know anyone here in SF well enough to go thru it with me.  I don't like Jeremy seeing me at my "weak" moments, and having sexual abuse flashbacks is definitely not my favorite thing for any one to see.

As luck would have it, there was a foul-up with my medication that was supposed to "calm" me down.  As in... it wasn't ordered.  My love for the San Francisco medical system slid down several notches.  If Jeremy hadn't flown in from Denver to help me, I would have cancelled it.  I didn't want it to be a waste of time for him, so I put on my big girl panties and went thru with it.

In the past, one time a boyfriend had been allowed to hold my foot in order to "ground" me, so that is what I had Jeremy do.  First he put his hand on my ankle, over my pants, and I asked him to move to my foot - bare skin.  Having his hand on my pants leg just made the material too... heavy. 

There was a mold-like thing that contained my head, and the technician stuffed cotton wedge thingies down by my ears, so that my head couldn't move.  Same with my elbows.  When preparing for it, I had asked how long it would take and she said 2 hours.  I yelped quite loudly "2 hours!!!???", and was very upset at the thought.  Brain, neck and spine.  Having to hold still that long is torture.  She said we would take breaks so I settled down a bit.

 Having Jeremy there and having my head wedged in helped TREMENDOUSLY.  As it turned out, I couldn't "feel" Jeremy's hand on my foot cause of the numbness, but when he would pat or rub my foot to reassure me, I could feel it move my whole body, which didn't matter during the first part, cause they were doing the brain, but it wouldn't work for when doing the spine.

I was doing it!  Without freaking out!  I even imagined Annie, who was in the next room with the technician, having on a Superman's cape, and that if I called her, she would come to my rescue by knocking down the door to get to me.

 After the 30 minute brain scan, she slid me out of the machine, and I told Jeremy I was fine, and he could go take Annie for a walk instead, cause I was OKAY!  Off he went, and an hour and a half later, I was done.  I walked out of the little building, into the bright and beautiful and perfect weather, and saw Jeremy walking up the sidewalk with Annie.

I was disoriented as to what part of the hospital we were at, and didn't know which way the bus stop was.  He bought me lunch, and as I talked about how wonderful I felt, overcoming such a longtime issue, and also how confused I was as to my whereabouts.  Jeremy said it was because the MRI was really a time-machine.  It might as well have been true, because I felt like a brand new person.  The flashbacks during the MRI's were the last frontier as far as the abuse issues are concerned.

I am done done done with sexual abuse!  Thanks to my kid, my dog, and stupid little cotton wedgies that held my head still.  I think, in the past, I would have to concentrate so hard on holding still, that it gave the flashbacks and panic attacks a chance to get in.  Something so simple as those wedgies... welcome to San Francisco medical care!


  1. Glad that it went well and Jeremy could be there for you. Sounds like a win win! Hugs!


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