On Sept. 13th, I went to the hospital because I was not able to see right out of my eyes, it looked like crystals had formed directly in front of my eyes that I could not rub away, and I started to get a headache.  Well I just would have drank some water and went to bed if I was not driving home from my in-laws house with my kids in the car.  I stopped the car right before I entered the highway, rubbed my eyes, took deep breaths, took the kids out of the car to go for a walk to see if it would clear up but no luck.   I called my in-laws who drove out to pick up me and the kids up and drive my car back to their house.  I wanted to drink some water and lay down and see if I could see right again. After laying down for a while it was not helping and I my husband was worried since I had never had visual changes or a migraine in my life that I might be having a stroke, aneurysm or blood clot.  My mother in law drove me an my kids home (45 minute drive) and she dropped me off at the ER where my husband met me.   They admitted me to the emergency room, gave me an ice pack, checked my vitals checked my vision, and then wheeled me into the CT Scan.   The CT scan came back clear so they gave me an IV and administered Benadryl and a smooth muscle relaxer medications which immediately stopped my headache and made my head so heavy I could hardly hold it up.    After a few glasses of water and one more vitals check they removed my IV, and gave me my release paperwork.  The Emergency room doctor referred me to have an MRI scan because this was my first migraine to rule out M.S. or inner ear problems.

That day I went home and relaxed and took it easy since that is pretty much how the medication made me feel.   A few days went by and no more headaches or visual changes, we drove out to pick up my car 3 days later and my father in law asked me when I have my MRI scheduled.  Well I had no intention of having an MRI, I was fine!   Why waste any more money or MRI resources from people who may actually need them?  Now my husband and In-Laws were all explaining to me that I had to have an MRI and just to schedule it.   I ho-hummed and gave in but knew that there was no way I could stick my body inside of a small tube, just watching them done on TV makes me nervous.    The next day I called around and found out where I could get an open sided MRI because I thought that I could handle that, the appointment lady tried to convince me that I could handle the regular MRI with sedation and I assured her I did not want to be sedated at all costs.  So they finally schedule me for the open sided machine.  I mentioned to my mom that I was getting an MRI and she warned me that they were really loud so I should make sure I get hearing protection.     I then put it out of my mind until I received the reminder phone call yesterday afternoon.   I found the location on Google maps and went to bed early because I had to be across town at 7:45AM.

I woke up at 6:00AM showered, made coffee, got ready and made sure I did not have any metal on. My husband stayed home with my kids so I drove off into the unknown.   I made it there with not a minute to spare due to rush hour traffic, walked in filled out the 5 pages of medical history and permission forms. As soon as I handed in my forms my radiologist who I spoke with yesterday afternoon called my name.  I stopped at the potty, deposited my purse in the locker and walked back into the big room with the giant open sided MRI.  I did not even look at pictures of what it looked like online and it way more closed in than I thought something called open sided could be.   The radiologist was very calming, he had a great mellow, almost hypnotising voice.   He told me I was fine with what I was wearing and after I asked, assured me my under wire was fine in my bra and that I could keep my sandals on.   He walked me thru the process that it would take 30 minutes for the first series of scans on my brain, that he would pull me out, put in the contrast dye in my vein and then 11 more minutes of scans on just my inner ears.   He had me sit down, put in my ear plugs, put my knees up on a cushion for comfort and to keep me flat on my back, he put a mask over my face that snapped into clips to hold my head in place and help with the pictures since it was a head scan.  He put two cushions over my ears to help keep my head still and to help with the noise and handed me a panic button and assured me he would stop the machine and run in if I needed help, I held onto that button with a death grip. Now it was time to put me in the unit.    As the machine started to move my head further inside the big machine it became harder for me to catch my breath.  I looked with my eyes only( because my head was immobilized) to my left to see light, and then to the right, then down at my legs.    I started to panic.  I started taking deep breaths, more breaths, closed my eyes and told myself to be thankful my hands were free and envisioned myself drinking a cold beer on a warm, sunny beach.  I told the radiologist I needed to take my shoes off and he helped pull off my sandals quickly, after that I was able to calm myself down and relax.  The radiologist asked me multiple times if I was alright, I assured him that I was ok now and he calmly reminded me that I could push the button anytime and that he would keep talking to me to tell me what was happening during the scan.    Now that I was calm the scan started.

My mom said it was loud, the radiologist said it was loud, it was not just loud it was a jackhammer loud!  It was so loud you could feel it, It was like being inside a car when the stereo is on so loud your ears ring loud!     I managed to keep calm during the noise, it kind of distracted me.  I kept my eyes closed and thought about my kids.   I loved that the radiologist told me how long each scan would take and how much time left in his soothing voice.    Now it was time for the 2nd part of the scan.  He slowly moved me out of the machine to put in the IV with the dye. Did I mention I hate IV’s? I cant stand having something stuck in me that I can’t take out!  He assured me he would only keep the IV in until the dye was injected then remove it.   He did not take off the mask and asked me to stay in position that it would take a minute to put in the IV and he would put me right back in.   He quickly found the vein, tried to push in the dye in and it would not go in.  He now called in the IV guru, who found an alternate vein in my hand and pushed in the dye in 60 seconds.   I thought I was calm now it was time to go back in and I knew what it felt like the first time.   Now as I was moved into the machine I lost control.  I tensed up and started having trouble breathing, my vision started having a dark fog over it, I was having an anxiety attack.   I was trying to take deep breaths but they were too fast.   Now the radiologist put his hands on my arm and his touch helped ground me,  his calm voice encouraged me to calm down and relax.  I felt my shoulders unclench, I started being able to breathe again.  I quickly snapped out of it and was able to calm down, it felt like an eternity but it couldn’t have been more than 3 minutes.  He handed me the call button, told me only 11 minutes left,  and calmly hurried to get it done.  I was just fine until it was over.  I was thrilled to have the mask removed!   I was totally ready to jump off the bed, he had to remind me he had to lower the bed before I could get down.  He  told me my results should be ready by Friday and complimented me on being able to regain control, he said that very few people he has worked with could pull it back together.  I walked out happy that I did it without sedation and hoped that I don’t have to do that again for a long, long time!