MRI ordeal…….

When I recently went back to Hull Royal to see another neurologist – much better one than the first….- he suggested I have another MRI scan to look at the part of my brain that controls balance. He suggested at the time that balance and gait has nothing to do with dementia……….mmmmm, that’s why so much research is looking into gait and dementia then? 🤔.
However, I agreed. I’d had a few MRI scans when I had a stroke and again when dementia was mentioned a couple of years ago, but they were at York hospital. I remembered that they were very noisy but I also remember wearing headphones and having music played to me to make it less unpleasant.
Now as some of you know, noise is a big problem for me since being diagnosed and noise startles me more than ever now – but fear not I thought, I’ll still go for the MRI as I will have headphones and music to help…………..this time I wasn’t at York though……..

So, I received an appointment to have an MRI at the infamous Hull Royal last Saturday at 6pm – yes, very strange day and time, but good to see them making use of the scanner and giving patients appointments at the weekend – even if it did mean I had to record ‘Strictly come Dancing’……small price to pay. The bonus was that Gemma was able to take me and Stuart said he would have supper ready when we got home – supper cooked and ‘Strictly’ to watch on TV with Billy by the fire – perfect!

The day before I received a message to say the scanner had broken at Hull Royal but they could still see me if I went to Castle Hill – much nearer, so even better!
We got there to find an almost empty car park – bonus for going on a Saturday – and an even emptier hospital – very spooky……We were the only ones there and even though we got there really early, I went straight in…..

It was at this point that things went downhill……

I was shown to the scanner – Darth Veda mask in situe 🙄 – and then they produced a pair of foam ear plugs – the type you sometimes get in hotels……Words wouldn’t come quick enough to ask where the music was or headphones as it all happened so quickly. The ear plugs were rammed into my ears and held there for a few seconds – no asking if I’d like to put them in myself……I distinctly remember asking how long it would take as the panic began to rise in me…..the equally distinct response was: “10 minutes”…

So I resigned myself to the fact of no relaxing music, but hey ho, 10 minutes wouldn’t be long ….

Now I don’t know how many of you have ever been in an MRI to have a head scan but it’s like having your head stuck in a metal tube with a load of workmen hammering the tube at random intervals and with random pitches of noise……..hence the need for headphones and calming music……I just had the foam ear plugs – trust me, they don’t have the same effect.

I did open my eyes once at the beginning, but that was a big mistakes as all I could see was the roof of the scanner a couple of inches away from me. I almost started to panic, but thankfully closed my eyes, and started counting the seconds – after all, she had distinctly said “10 minutes”………

Now while I’m grateful for the Saturday appointment, and grateful for the better location, but why oh why don’t they use headphones and music to alleviate the stress of being enclosed in the scanner? I wonder if the technicians have ever been through the scanner to experience the claustrophobic conditions and excruciating noise? If York is unique in the use of headphones and music, then others should follow…..

As for the 10 minutes……I stopped counting after 20 because I knew I’d start to panic if I didn’t…………

I had a very wakeful night as I kept waking up and thinking I was enclosed in the scanner – I also had a throbbing headache – from being so exposed to all the noise……..

Must remember never to agree to an MRI scan again, at least in this region………

On a lighter note, supper and “Strictly “ was amazing – every cloud…………..

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

5 thoughts on “MRI ordeal…….

  1. I have to have regular MRI scans and being very claustrophobic it always makes me a little anxious – less so now that I’m used to them. Not good that you were just given earplugs and no option – I’m always allowed to take a CD with me or have the radio on which helps.

    Ironically just as this pinged into my inbox I was watching this

    which features you and some others – it’s from victoria darbyshire about the PIP issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Wendy. So sorry to hear about your experience – I’m sure most people would agree that hospital appointments for anyone are anxious experiences, but for those suffering with Dementia as I know with my Dad all senses are heightened, so must have been a stressful time.

    In my childhood I had multiple MRI scans and can remember the experience as I had a cyst which was situated in a rare part of my brain which severely affected my short term memory, balance and mood. I can recall the whirring noise of the machine and feeling frightened. I thought things may have moved on from my experience, but it seems like they haven’t with what you went through. I don’t think you will be going back there somehow. I hadn’t realised that you’ve had a stroke in the past, you have been so unlucky, I’m sure that must have contributed to your Dementia.

    As for myself I am lucky now that I can’t have any MRI scans as I still have some metal clips in my head, and as the MRI scanner is a huge magnet it wouldn’t be safe for me to have one. Hope the results of the scan go well and you won’t be having another one in the near future.

    On a lighter note, I’m glad your day finished a lot better than it started with watching Strictly. Such a high standard this year.

    My Dad recently an operation to remove his Prostate as he had Prostate Cancer as well as Dementia and the operation has been an success thankfully. But he said something that brought a tear to my ear.

    He was relieved but said “Just the Alzheimer’s to fix now.” Sadly some things can’t be fixed, though here’s hoping that in the near future it can be cured or at best prevented to stop this horrible disease affecting so many like yourself, my Dad and your followers.

    Hope you and Billy continue to enjoy Strictly.

    All the best,

    Martin x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had a few and I def wont be having anymore under no conditions. I told the guy I cannot lie flat as I feel as if I’m choking to death and after ten minutes he needs to stop give me a break then I would lie down again for finish I was like you opened eyes worst moment of my life I had to keep pressed the alarm but he totally ignored it so I shouted at him he did come eventually. He said only got a little more to go. I said I told you but I hope yo god you don’t have to have same scans then you will know what patients go through

    Liked by 1 person

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