MRI.. Oh my! Part 1

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to write something about an MRI scan I had today. Simply because there wasn't a great deal of info online about the little details and I'm a stickler for the details!

A bit of background info - but feel free to skip ahead in the story. As well as having CFS, I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome at the beginning of the year. Very basic explanation is the nerve/ blood vessels going from the neck to fingertips get intermittently trapped near the shoulder/collarbone.

I thought I had tendinitis of the shoulder at first (I've had this in both wrists before) but then I started getting swollen elbow and neck, pins and needles, sore skin feeling on forearm and itchy cheek (of the face!).

After 6 months of waiting to see a consultant, the diagnosis, 1 month of evil nerve medication, 5 months of physiotherapy and an X-ray, my consultant wanted to do an MRI.

So, the MRI... I arrived at the hospital wearing all of my best non metallic clothes as suggested in the cheap, badly photocopied pamphlet. This in itself was a task.

Gentlemen I apologise in advance for the following...Did you know that ladies shouldn't wear eyeliner or mascara for an MRI? Apparently they have tiny metal filament in them. Makes me think twice about wearing it in future!

I'd bought myself a sports bra without wires, hooks, zips or metal tags. But, as I was getting dressed I realised that my knickers had a logo on the front that was a shiny metallic print. I thought it would be fine but then remembered the mascara and switched to plain cotton. My Victoria's Secret yoga trousers were about to go on when I realised the logo of them was a shimmery metallic silver and freaked myself out again. They were switched to a plain pair!

I finally got dressed - who knew it would be so difficult?! Arriving at the X-ray department I gave them my pre-completed form and waited my turn. Now, I'm average height (5"4) and quite slim build with long hair. Even though I'm (just) over 30 I get mistaken for a teenager pretty frequently. So the nurse called my name and told me that they'd have to do my scan in the children's scanner. I had to smile knowing that my friends would find that hilarious!

I was left in the ominously named 'MRI recovery room' (what is there I need to recover from? I'm just going to lie down in a tube right?! Right?!). A lovely lady came out and asked me a series of questions about my medial history and talked me through what would happen. As they needed pictures of my neck, they'd have to place something across my shoulders to keep me in place. I nodded along trying not to let my anxiety spike and end up peeing on the floor like a scolded puppy.

'There's someone in there at the moment but it'll only be another 10 minutes or so and we'll be ready for you.' Said the lovely lady. I nodded along again because my mouth was too dry to respond and the co-codamol tablet I'd taken earlier felt lodged in my oesophagus. Then I was alone again in the ominously named room.

Within moments a loud alarm sounded and the lovely lady ran into the scanning room trying to calm the patient in there who was shouting to be let out. After a tense few minutes where the agitated gentleman refused to continue the scan as he 'can't be in there anymore', and I tried to politely not look or listen, he was wheeled out of the room. The lovely lady came back.

'Are you ready?' She smiled.



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