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Claustrophobia and your MRI

Hardly a wide-open spaceIt sounds trite and a bit Pollyanna-ish to say that there are some positive aspects to this whole back pain nightmare - but in truth there are.

I have already written earlier about  "growing up" psychologically in a number of ways. One is finally admitting to myself that it is alright to ask for help when I really need it.  Another is accepting that one can do all the right things to stay fit and healthy- never smoke, eat right, exercise regularly - and bad things can still happen. Alright I do admit that dancing for hours at a stretch in really high heels against the advice of those more sensible than I, may have worsened my back problem - but hey- my core was sooo strong!

One thing of which I am actually quite proud of, and which may potentially be of help to others in a similar situation, is that I discovered how to overcome my intense claustrophobia to enable myself to undergo an MRI examination.

A friend of mine who needed one recently had to stop the test because she found it too claustrophobic.

Here is my secret - it has worked for me three times and I have really severe claustrophobia, to the extent that I missed out on a mine tour in Australia while the rest of my group got to see the inner workings of the mine.

Basically I just do not open my eyes from the moment I settle down on the bed until they tell me it is time to sit up. So whether I am inside a small tunnel or in an open space, I never think about being confined. I imagine I am lying under an umbrella on a white sandy beach, with ocean breezes cooling my face. The weird thuds, bangs and thumpings that are part of the procedure, I think of as a contemporary percussion composition.

 And voila - 45 to 60 minutes pass by in a flash.