Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Wonder...

When I was four years old I was riding in our big white station wagon with a green stripe. I was on the front seat sitting on my feet, almost kneeling. It was just my mother and I and we were heading to Sharon School in Orem to pick up Brian. At least I think that's what we were doing. I was four after all. Anyway Mom slammed on the brakes for some mysterious reason and launched me into the windshield. Seat belts in 1961 were optional and if you had them at all they were usually tucked into the seats themselves. Car seats as we know them today did not yet exist. It would be years later before it would be an automatic response to buckle up--even after this incident.

So anyway I hit the front windshield and it broke. Lots of little cracks where my head hit and spider-webbing out from there. I think my mother said, oops and mildly told me to sit on my seat the right way. Ok she may have shown a little more concern, but my mother doesn't rile. Years later Mom  visited Sweden and felt right at home. She said she understood why the Swedes were neutral during the war. That Swede demeanor made it always seem like nothing was worth making too big of a fuss over. We continued on, picked up my brother, and did not go to the doctor. There were lots of jokes made at church and in the family about me being so hard-headed that my head broke the windshield but hardly a bruise on me.

Fifty years later--Valentine's Day. Yesterday. I lay on a table to get at MRI on my neck. Years ago I had one on my head because of a life-long problem with migraines. Now its discovered that I--at some point in my life--had whiplash so severe that it damaged my neck. My neck not only doesn't have the gentle curve its supposed to, it actually curves the wrong way. Doctor Clegg says it's no wonder I've had headaches my whole life. Well lots of people have headaches in my family, so it can't all be from whiplash. But if you've ever had an MRI and if you're the least bit claustrophobic as I am, then you'll know understand the following tips for making your MRI a bit more pleasant. If you haven't had an MRI know that you lie down on a table that moves into a space ship like tube--or a casket--take your pick. You have to be immobile for up to 40 minutes and you have a cage around your head, at least in this case. The tips would have helped me.

1. Wear comfortable and just the right temperature of clothing, not binding and women preferably no bra, then you won't have to undress.

2. Wash your hair before so that your scalp doesn't itch. Reaching up and discovering the cage on your head is freak-out time.

3. Don't think about any space alien abduction movies. Don't think about any movies where they replace your brain with someone else's or do any other kind of operation about mind-control. Don't think about Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Stepford Wives or Close Encounters. Don't think about any medical thrillers either.

4. Don't think about what it must feel like to be put in a casket alive.

5. No matter what don't open your eyes! Freak-out time. You see the cage around your face.

6. Don't eat Mexican food the night before--really poor choice. 

7. Choose a radio station that doesn't have super annoying commercials. (They will pipe this into your ears for you--I recommend it. I also wonder if you could bring your own play list. If I ever have to have another this is what I'd do.

8. Remember if you hit the panic button, you'll just have to do it all over again. This one though kept me from squeezing the button in my right hand. And believe me it isn't like they can pick up where they left off. They really have to start over. If that doesn't freak you out I don't know what will.


Josi said...

Not only am I grateful for not having headaches requiring an MRI, but I'm also very relieved not to have seen many alien abduction movies. I hope this experience leads to some options to get some relief. Good luck, and thanks for the laugh.

Janet said...

Sorry you never were taken to the Dr!!! I had the MRI last year and it is a terrible thing. I had good advice but not opening your eyes is the most important and having good music is the second. I tried to think of everything but where I was and what I was doing or I would have screamed for sure. I am really amazed I made it through. Never want it again.