One of my very least favorite times of the year is when the doctor tells me that it’s time for another MRI. My doctor likes to regularly check on my progress, which means that I get an MRI every six months. I get MRIs for Multiple Sclerosis to see if any new lesions have formed or if the disease has gotten any worse.
MRIs use magnetic waves and computers to show detailed images of a person’s body. The images are used for diagnosis of many things including injuries and cancer. The doctors figured out that I had MS after my initial MRI showed white lesions on my brain.
Getting an MRI is an extremely uncomfortable experience, and I have never met someone that thought otherwise. Even though I am not claustrophobic, I start to get anxiety as soon as the appointment draws near. In order to get good scans of your body, you have to lie perfectly still in the MRI machine. I am a very anxious person and when someone tells me that I can’t do something, I begin to overthink it. Staying still becomes one of the most difficult things that I have ever done.
You kind of feel like you’re in some sort of bizarre science experiment when you climb into the huge MRI tube. They put cushions around your head, put a mask over it, and give you a thing to squeeze in case of emergencies. Then the machine slowly takes you into it and then horribly loud noises start to go off. These noises are some of the worst things you have ever heard. Sometimes they put headphones on you and play music, but you can barely hear that over the machine whirring.
In the early months of my MS diagnosis, I was required to get a 2 hour MRI done on my brain and my spine to get a full view of all of my lesions. The MRI technician emphasized the fact that I could not even breath hard or it would ruin the scan. Good thing I had a cold and could barely breathe! The technician kept telling me that I was moving and eventually kicked me out of the machine. She made me get relaxants from my doctor and come back another time for a second try. That next time was a breeze. Luckily, I don’t have lesions on my spine, so this is not a regular practice for me. Most of my MRIs last 20-30 minutes long and get over fairly quickly.
Many MS patients dread the days they have to go in for an MRI. I have one in a couple days and I’m already worried about it. I hope that in the future there becomes some new type of scan where we won’t have to feel so uncomfortable and anxious, but for now I just have to deal with the situation and treat myself after!
Did you find MRIs for Multiple Sclerosis, let me know in the comments!