Tuesday, June 16, 2009

MRI-My New Friend Receptionist & Bonding Over Diabetes

AN MRI & Bonding Over D

So I FINALLY went for my MRI yesterday morning! Was I nervous? YES, but after months of being bothered with severe shoulder and neck pain on my right side, I was more than ready to get this thing over with.

I had tried to go Thursday night, but when I got the imaging place, I’d forgotten my RX (YES- TOTALLY STUPID on my part) and had to reschedule for Monday morning.
I was mad at myself for being so stupid, and drove home and went to bed.

Cut to Monday morning. I was out the door at 8:50, I’d packed my car (I was going on work appointments right after) and drove to the imaging place, parked, took a deep breath and walked through the doors.
The receptionist told me to sign in and handed me a pile of forms to fill out.
As I sat down, I turned my head and noticed that she and the other receptionist were looking and me and talking…but maybe I was just being paranoid.
I filled out the first three pages of paperwork no problem.
But the forth page threw me for a loop.
It asked me if I had an array of medical devices including, “any and all steel parts, defibulators, pacemakers and insulin pumps/ infusion sets." Not to mention breast implants, chest plate implants, chin implants - the whole implant family if you catch my drift~

I knew that I had to answer yes regarding the IP and I also knew I needed to remove it, but what about my infusion set? It was plastic parts – would I need to remove my infusion set? And if so did I have an extra set in my glove compartment?

I walked up to the Receptionist and asked her about my infusion set and she said she thought it be OK, but would check with the MRI Tech and asked me to wait at the desk.
She came back and said: Yes, your infusion set is OK, now worries. SO…How do you like being on an insulin pump?

Me: I like it fine. It’s work, but it’s worth it. As far as I’m concerned insulin pumps equal freedom and better control. The first week was rough, lots of testing to figure out my basal rates, but after that – it was a cakewalk–so to speak ;)

Receptionist: Really? That’s what people tell me. I was diagnosed t1 4 years ago and it definitely threw me for a loop – I’m on insulin pens and am really having issues with shots in general.

Just than another receptionist chimed in and said: I told you you two would have something to talk about. She loves being on the pump - just like my sister does!

Me: Who’s your Endo and have you seen a CDE?

Receptionist: I’m looking for a new Endo and haven’t seen a CDE since I was diagnosed.

Me: I have a great one-Dr. J at Jefferson. He and his CDE, Cheryl work as a team.

Turns out, receptionist # 2 went to Dr. J for her Hashimoto's Disease and her sister was Dr J’s Nurse Practitioner - Small freaking world!

I took out my Blogger card and wrote down my Endo & CDE's info; I also asked her if she’d checked out any d on-line communities such as dlife, Diabetes Daily, and Tu Diabetes.

She’d told me she’d been on-line and was covered in that department.

Me: Look, so much has changed regarding diabetes care & treatment, you need to arm yourself with knowledge including; a great Endo, a smart CDE, and diabetes communities on the web. Be thankful that you were diagnosed now, when there are so many possibilities in care & understanding of PWD’s.

Receptionist; Yeah, I’m lucky, years ago, diabetics were so restricted! But still, a lot’s been thrown at me these past four years.

Me: Yeah a lot has been thrown your way, I bet it wasn’t easy!

Receptionist: I was in total shock!

We continued to chat until the MRI Tech came out and called my name.

We said our goodbyes and I followed my new friend, MRI Tech down the hall, to a locker, where we placed my insulin pump & purse & locked them up tight. I went to a changing room and took off my bra, but kept my shirt on (great day to wear a light colored shirt Kel) and then we walked in and she started giving me instructions for the MRI.

I was told to lay flat on the MRI table/ and MRI Tech friend harnessed my shoulder into some type of strappy thing a ma bob, and placed an emergency squeeze thing in my left hand. “Squeeze this if you start to feel uncomfortable in anyway.” I was also told to keep as still as possible.
As the sliding table slid under the MRI I tried to keep calm. I mean how bad could it really be??
Answer: REALLY, REALLY NOT PLEASANT. It was constricting, uncomfortable, and coffin like. My face was about 10 inches from the top of the MRI and as I breathed I felt my breath hit my face. I tried not to move, really I did, but every once in a while, my right food would twitch.

AND IT WAS LOUD IN THERE! Even with ear plugs I could barely keep my mind on task. I felt like I was in the middle of a Jackhammer concert.

I tried singing the Alphabet song to myself (in my head) really slow. I choose the Alphabet song because I once read article about brushing your teeth. The article stated that if you sang The Happy Birthday Song slow four times while you brushed one side of your mouth, it would take about two minutes and then you could switch brushing to the other side of your mouth and start the song process all over again. That Alphabet thing lasted about 2 minutes in the MRI because I could barely hear my inner voice, let alone keep track of how many times I was singing -and breathing was really starting to become an issue.

I tried yoga breathing and was told over the loudspeaker: Kelly, could you try shallow breathing in 3 minute increments so we could get a better image. I tried and really thought I was going to pass out. But I didn’t want them to stop & have to start this hell ride all over again so I continued with the shallow breathing.

I thought about my friend Receptionist, and how an insulin pump had sparked a conversation about OUR diabetes. I spent a lot of time thinking about how her world must have been turned upside down about her diagnoses.

“WOW,” I thought- it’s never easy – no matter what age.
Loadspeaker Voice: Kelly could you continue the shallow breathing for another 3 minutes?”

Me: Uhhh, sure – I guess….

Then I thought of how scary it must have been for my friend Receptionist to learn to take needles,test, and count carbs and I wondered if “Steel Magnolia” went through her head?

I thought about how difficult it must have been when she worked out and got low for the first time.

All those diabetes firsts that I take for granted must have really rocked her world.
I mean they continue to rock mine and I've been dealing with them for years!

The voice from the loudspeaker called to me again: Kel, continue the shallow breathing, we have three or four more images to get, shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes & keep still OK?

Me: I’m trying.

Then my mind drifted to a woman I’d met last week the Virtua T2 meeting. She was petite little thing in the back row, in her early 50’s -if that. She raised her hand and said: I want get a grip on this thing, I’m scared and frustrated. I want a good life, I want to be healthy.

I said something like: We all want to be healthy. And your well on your way because your here talking about diabetes, learning about it, and owning it. It’s hard, but the fact that you’re here and willing is half the battle!

Then I started to feel light headed the MRI machine continued to pound with its jackhammer like percussion.

Finally I couldn’t think anymore, I couldn’t hear anymore, and I was really ready to squeeze the emergency thing and admit that I couldn’t deal with the coffin known as the MRI.

And then it stopped, and everything was much quieter, the machine hummed instead of pounding and I began to slide towards the light.

The MRI Tech helped me up and took my earplugs. I apologized for my crazy right foot, thanked the all the techs, grabbed my locker key and went to my locker. I was mess.
Crazy hair, no bra, no pump, and my head felt funny. I grabbed my stuff, changed in the bathroom, got myself together and went out to the reception area.

I walked up to my friend Receptionist and said: It was nice to meet you! Go see Dr J and definitely look into getting the pump.

Receptionist: It was nice to meet you to! I’m really considering the pump. Every time I drive home from work I pass Dairy Queen and literally can’t even look in that direction.

Me: Your doing GREAT. Nothing is off limits with diabetes- you just have to look at things a different way and the pump really helps. However, almost everything is off limits in the MRI tube- I’ll take D any day.


Crystal said...

I was starting to get light headed reading about your experience.
At least it's over with!!! Whew.

So cool about the receptionist. Glad you were able to reach out and help. Small world. No doubt.

Great post k2.

wv: cruff --
That MRI experience was cruff.

(ok ok, lame but it looks funny down there, waiting to be entered, ya know...)

Sara said...

I had a CAT scan a few years ago and I think the machines are very similar. I didn't think I was scared of small spaces until I got in there. The tight spaces combined with the noise is just too much!

Glad to hear you made it through!

ninnifur said...

I HATE MRI's. I've had a few and I cannot stand them! Once I was taking out all my piercings before hand and I took out my earrings, tongue ring, nose ring and I was thinking I was all good! I was in there and they were about to start when suddenly I remembered I had forgotten about my belly button ring! OHH boy I squeezed my little emergency thingy. I had visions of it being ripped from my stomach. ew.

glad you got thru it ok! Hopefully they can get your pain taken care of. :( awesome D expericnce!!

Scott K. Johnson said...

K2, I hope that they can help you find some relief from all the pain and discomfort. That is no fun.

I enjoyed how your thinking about recent diabetes experiences with other people seemed to get you through the tough time in the MRI machine. That's pretty cool.

k2 said...

WV: Your silly!
Yes, I'm glad it's over 2, but meeting my new friend Receptionist made it all worth it!

Me 2! I usually have no problem with small spaces, and the weird thing is, in order to fall asleep @ night, I have to totally ensconce & cover my head with my sheet. But the MRI (like the C-Scan) is entirely different!

Ninnifur -
Wow, a belling ring save - good for you! Cause if u hadn't OUCH!
Yes, it was totally an awesome D experience!

Your lips 2 Gods ears!
And your right, my recent D experiences are exactly what got me through the MRI!

Karen said...

OMG, that sounded so awful. I'm so proud of you for being so strong and getting through it!! GO you!! And now, let's hope they have some answers for you and have you feeling much better asap.