The MRI Torture Chamber

First, a quick update on how I’m doing… after coming home on Wednesday, I had a couple of good days (thanks to the awesome drugs they pump into me pre-chemo), then had a bad weekend – exhausted after the whole ordeal and having something of a hate hate relationship with food. By Monday I was coming back around and had my 2nd treatment today (the first at the infusion center). Unfortunately I had an adverse reaction to the drug today and scared Dara and the nurses (and myself). They were awesome, stopped the treatment, got me stabilized, then started back at a slower dose so while it took longer, my body handled it better. Home resting now and looking forward to a couple of good days. It will take some time to get into a rhythm I suppose. The good news is that I can actually tell how much the drugs are working – my stomach is dramatically better. So while I have the negative side effects, the positive ones are so motivating… KCA!

Now, on to the MRI Torture Chamber…

I’m a big girl. Medically speaking, I think I’m no longer in the morbidly obese category, but I’m obese. Lovely terms huh? Why not just call them fat, super fat, and super duper fat? In any case, as I think back to my hospital MRI experience, I was reminded of a story from years ago. My family was leaving for a lake vacation and a friend offered me her kayak to take with us. My response? GIRRRLLLL, I can’t get my thang up in your kayak!! It’s exactly the way I felt when I was wheeled into the MRI room that day.

Apparently they brought me down to the MRI offices when they started the person before me because I waited for a good 30 minutes or more in what can best be described as a large storage room. When they finally wheeled me in, my first thought was, yeah, you’re going to need to find me the 2x size of this machine. I was bloated, distended, and had trouble breathing because of the fluid on my lungs (which incidentally was never pneumonia, but is the pressure on my organs pushing fluid into my lungs). Oh yes, and I also struggle with claustrophobia a bit. And, I was scared, no idea what was happening and where this was going… All in all, a perfect formula for an MRI procedure.

First, lie down flat on your back on this tiny piece of metal. Awesome, did I mention that I can’t breathe and my stomach is so tight that being flat on my back is nearly impossible? Now, let’s insert you into this tiny tube (big girl squeezed into tiny tube). And my diminished capacity to breathe created this situation….

Tech: OK, deep breath and hold.

Me: tiny breath, hold 10 seconds, release

Tech: (20 seconds later) Annnd, breathe

Um, yeah I released that breath about 20 seconds ago, but whatever. And they give you “headphones” to block the noise from the machine. Seriously, either those headphones were the discount dollar store brand of headphones or that machine is ridiculously loud, or both. Surely we have the technology to either eliminate that noise or block it out with better headphones – get me some Beats by Dr. Dre up in there next time.

Thankfully I was able to disconnect my brain enough to not have a full out panic attack, but I get how people do. This is a phenomenal technology and it ultimately brought me much better news than we had previously, but wow, that was a brutal experience. When they pulled me out after an HOUR, I was soaked head to toe in panic sweat and immediately asked for Dilaudid when I got back to my room.

Awesome technology, glad there are more evolved versions coming!