Having a chronic illness

Let’s just say it’s not all picnics, rainbows, glitter showers, and unicorn farts.

Because of my MS, I have an MRI every 6 months (or so). When you’re claustrophobic, it’s your worst nightmare. Thankfully, the medical equipment industry has been kind to those of us who suffer from claustrophobia. They have come out with a wider MRI – which is nothing more than an MRI with a few extra inches around the sides. But it certainly saves one from having to pop a Valium (or like drug) before the MRI.

Here’s a good article about the differences between the different MRI machines: https://info.blockimaging.com/bid/102182/closed-bore-mri-vs-open-mri-vs-wide-bore-mri

My MRI’s consist of with and without contrast. I’m sure most, if not all, of the people who suffer with MS have w and w/o MRI’s. It turns into one long ordeal because it’s like having 2 tests instead of one. Unless you are also having a C-spine MRI along with your brain – then it’s like having 4 tests instead of 2.

And don’t even get me started on the little things they put over your head. Good gracious, people, claustrophobia includes these things. Not just the MRI machine itself!

Anyway, yesterday, I went for some follow-up MRI’s. Definitely wasn’t one of my better ‘I suffer with MS’ days. The room is kept cold because of the MRI, so the techs were kind enough to put a sheet on me so I wouldn’t get cold. Worst. Decision. Ever. Let me digress for a minute. You see, people with MS…well…their bodies don’t regulate temperature very well. It’s like the body loses the ability to tell what the temp is outside and make the necessary changes on the inside. Back to the MRI. It wasn’t too long into the C-spine w/o contrast before I start frantically pushing the ‘panic’ button (as I call it). The machine had gotten so hot, and with the sheet on, I felt like I was on fire. I was halfway to a panic attack because the button wasn’t working very well and I thought I was going to burst into flames. The techs finally got the memo and they, thankfully, pulled the sheet off before catastrophe struck.

I leave you with these words. Please remember that it is not easy for us who suffer from chronic illnesses (MS, Lupus, cancer, etc.) to keep doing what we do. You see what we want you to see. You don’t see what is really going on.

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