I’ve spent the last month stressing, thinking, wondering who might be able to take me to the city for my yearly MRI yesterday. Luckily a week ago a kind friend offered to take me (I almost cried in relief). She had a few errands herself so it was a win-win.
It’s a 2.5 hours drive in each direction to the hospital, add in parking, re-assemble of scooter, check in with the hospital, restroom breaks etc., it works out to be about an eight hour day on the road. I also wanted to practice driving a little at the start of the trip (yes you read that correctly: I have started to drive a little again!). Getting to sleep early was going to be key.
For most pwMS you already know this part. A day trip somewhere means spending a few days packing and planning every single detail of the trip. Items include, but not limited to: pre-loading the scooter into the vehicle the day before, regular and emergency medications pre-partitioned, portable chair for pumping gas, extra set of bottoms in case of an accident, water, snacks, proper lunch, cutlery, extra warm clothing, toilet paper, handy wipes, bag for garbage and other miscellaneous items. OMG it’s exhausting just listing it all!
If you know me, you already know I am a control freak when it comes to my health. This includes having my yearly MRI. I want to know what’s going on inside my brain/spinal cord, plus I want to see the actual images, as a way to interpret the (alien-like language) reports.
Knowing the exact time of my MRI, I have to figure out what time in advance I need to take extra meds to ensure my body is relaxed enough to stay still. I am not claustrophobic at all, but the pain and low levels of spasticity cause my body to move involuntarily.
SIDEBAR. In the radiology waiting area I notice a few heavily armed corrections officers standing guard so I look behind me to see a man clothed in bright red attire, chained up. Wow, obviously an inmate from somewhere. It was a pretty creepy feeling. I didn’t stare, as my mom taught me that was rude 😉 Moving on….
Here’s the thing that surprises me each time I get on to scanner bed: I am engulfed by feelings of vulnerability. It happens when I have CT’s, ultrasounds, X-Rays, once a PET scan, etc. I feel very little; almost like a child waiting in the principal’s office for reprimand about something I’ve done wrong.
But maybe I feel this because I’m in the company of other people who also have something wrong health-wise; something less serious or maybe more serious than me. I’m often the youngest person in the waiting room, and almost always the youngest person in a mobility device. That in itself, makes me feel vulnerable.
There I am lying on the stretcher, deep in the centre of the magnet, with my head and neck literally caged in, immoveable, surrounded by machinery a few inches from my nose, and my mind wonders if something new will show up. I’m sure many others have this cross their minds too.
Perhaps it’s the unknown of it all that makes me feel so vulnerable. As soon as the familiar sound of the MRI jackhammer starts, I close my eyes, focus on slowing my breathing, and clearing my thoughts to start meditating.
I’ve never had any MRI reports say my disease is getting better, but after HSCT I have my fingers crossed that this time it might say ‘some lesions are smaller’. In two weeks I’ll have the report, but will keep a level headed attitude that MRI’s don’t tell the real picture on how I’m doing.
Brand spankin’ new Siemens 3T MRI
Waiting with positive vibes and anticipation Jennybug!!!!👍🏼💗🌈
🥰 you have such a way with words, I felt like I was riding along with you on your journey to the machine.
(The song “welcome to the machine” comes to mind.. )
I always envision Depeche mode music while I’m in there, it sounds kinda similar 😂.
That cage gives me a slight panic, too and I’m not claustrophobic.
Here’s hoping for a successful outcome!
Depeche Mode?! Hahaha. I count the hammers and sometimes fall asleep….then they yell at me to wake up 😉
Driving?! Yay honey!!! So excited for you!
Sending love and positive vibes for a good MRI Report! ❤️
Thanks darlin’! xoxo
I have followed you journey since your arrival in Mexico. You are doing so well Jenny. How brave you have been. The treatment has been brutal but I pray it halts the progress of this wicked disease.
I hope your MRI reads well. Keep doing what you’re doing!
(I have a 26 year old daughter, diagnosed RRMS October 2021
She has been very poorly with a nasty relapse. She was eventually given steroids which started her recovery. Lots of physio and walking practice has led to improvements and she is battling on and is working again but not in her proper role yet.
She has had her first Ocrevus treatment recently. We will see. HSCT is always in the conversation.)
With all good wishes,
Thanks Judith! I wish your daughter the best ❤️
We are happy that you update us on what’s happening in your life. We wish we were closer so we could offer to give you rides to and from appointments, maybe take some anxiety away while you’re not sure who will help. Anyway, sending our love as always, and praying for a good outcome from the MRI. Love you lots, Maui Sister and Brother!
You’re so kind; thank you 🙏 Love you my Maui bro and sis ♥️
Holy f*** batman! Driving again…. Now that’s incredible too!
A bit more freedom from the body you feel trapped in.
God dam! Can’t wait to hear about the MRi Results in 2 weeks.
See you later!
I love getting your updates & have everything crossed for you! 🤞🏼
Super woman Jenny, I’m going to mark my calendar for the 2 week moment! I cannot wait to hear about the results! Does HSCT typically lessen the scaring or literally make them disappear! I’ll have to research that today! Contrast? I’m so positive that you will have medical history book improvement!!! Wish you had taken a picture of the red guy! Too polite and classy, Miss Jenny! ❤️😘🌟
Thanks Patty! Some people have some disappear and decrease in size. I would love that, but likely it will be ‘stable’. Haha, pic of red guy 🤣😘
I am in Puebla right now. My transplant was on 6/15. Ana is my caregiver. She was the caregiver for your neighbor in Monterrey. She gave me your blog address. What a wonderful resource! I am blogging too but nothing to this extent. I am so glad that you are doing so well!
Hi Christy! That’s terrific news, please pass on my kind regards to Ana and so glad you have my blog info now. What’s yours?! I really hope everything goes smoothly for you in the days ahead. Feel free reach out on Instagram you have any questions. Take care! You will do amazing!♥️
Only briefly read by it’s all the energy I have tonight