I have regular MRIs, I can absolutely say that in the tube, I am at peace. Yes it clanks a bit, I always wear socks as I get cold feet, I am tucked in and away from the world. It is an unusual experience but I think of it as the only place where no-one can get to me, phone me, bother me, after many MRIs under my belt, I am very relaxed about it. However, I get more panicky about parking beforehand so I get there nearly an hour before, make sure I don’t drink too much beforehand, take a really good book to read and watch what is going on, get my bum parked on the seat at MRI well in advance (once they came out and said ‘oh you are early, do you want to come in now as someone has cancelled’, and all of that is my coping mechanism.
Thing is, you have professionals looking after you, it doesn’t take long, you know why you are there, some results will come out of it, it takes only a few hours of your life to do it.
Sometimes due to back pain and other things, I take a cushion to sit on in the waiting area otherwise, after the MRI and lying down for a while, my back really hurts the next day. The last MRI was on my birthday, they all sang happy birthday MRI to me!
It is like most things, getting your head round it is hardest. Someone I know worked in Africa with women who have nothing, not even sanitary towels, so I try to think of it as a privilege, I remember the days of old when MRIs where not for the likes of us and not all hospitals had them. Now, we get an appointment and all of that technology and investment goes into trying to find out how we tick and what they can do for us.
Another coping skill for me, is that the night before I am sort of getting myself in relaxed mode ready for the next day. I listen to someone called Eckart Tolle on youtube, read nice things, do big breathing and tummy breathing, put something easy on the next day no bras or anything that makes you sweaty getting undressed, some banging tunes on the way there and then people watch at the hospital. Good luck tomorrow. We all have our own worries, my particular fear is being at the back of a big queue (I know sounds daft but if you are 5 foot and a fag end and everyone else is tall, it makes you feel vulnerable, you can’t see anything, you don’t know what’s going on and there is no control). Let us know how you get on.