Twenty hours of labour with a 10lb 3oz baby the wrong way round and clearly stuck with just a Paracetamol for pain relief? No problem.
You want to inject local anesthetic several times just a millimetre from my eye? I won’t even flinch.
A painless MRI scan? I’ll hyperventilate and then cry like you’ve just told me there won’t be a new series of Poldark.
January seems to be all about appointments so far, including the one I am least looking forward to.
I need an MRI scan on my shoulder on Wednesday to check a large lump is just fat (no reflection on me, according to the nice ultrasound man) or a lipoma, to give it its proper name, and I’m already in a panic.
I had one last year to check my endometriosis but because all they wanted was my tummy I went in feet first so I could see the room if I turned my head – even then I had to stop the scan mid-way through because I thought I was going to be sick.
This time I’ll be head first. I know that they are doing it for my benefit and I’m lucky that they are taking such good care of me (and that nothing worse is hopefully wrong with me) but it is already causing me nightmares.
Claustrophobia is relatively new to me and whereas it’s not bad enough that I can’t get in a lift, yet, I know that it is bad enough that being trapped in a tiny tunnel is not going to be easy. Apparently even people without claustrophobia sometimes struggle with an MRI, what hope have I got? In fact, I can feel my heart rate increasing just writing about it.
I’ve had all sorts of advice from “just close your eyes” (why didn’t I think of that?) to some breathing techniques I could try. My doctor also offered me drugs but I’m not keen on taking medication when I don’t need it (see labour) and I can’t help but think it would only add to my problems – especially when I need to look after a toddler afterwards.
I also know that there are many people who would happily swap me an MRI for the awfulness they are going through and I’ve tried giving myself a good talking to but it’s just not working.
And I feel stupid.
I really want to go back to not feeling anxious but I don’t know how.
Does anyone have any tips? Or is it just a case of getting on with it?