The Tube of Hell

The Tube of Hell

The Tube of Hell

I just got home from the MRI, secure in the knowledge that I am a full-blown claustrophobic. I am thankful that I had such a kind and patient technician, because as soon as she put me in the tube I felt like I couldn’t breathe and went into a panic attack. I squeezed the panic ball she had given me, and she brought me out of the machine. I was shaking like a leaf and gasping for air. That had never happened to me so severely before, and it was terrifying. Embarrassing, too.

She asked if I wanted to try again or come back another time with medicine. There was no way that I wasn’t going to get this test done, so she let me breathe for a minute, and then I went back in for a second attempt. I kept my eyes closed and mentally played through all of my scales and the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, made rather difficult with the bass drum and jackhammer-like sounds of the machine. I tried to remember what Dan told me before the test, “Honey, see yourself on our waterfall, and I will be there with you.” I thought about how I had promised Andy Sigler that I would smile and think of all of my OGBF friends in the MRI clown car with me…but I blew that one- sorry, Andy.

Part way through the test, she took me out of the tube to insert the contrast dye and sent me back in. I opened my eyes for a moment as I entered the tube, and I had the sensation of being on the Space Mountain ride at Disney World. I also felt the panic rising in my chest again, so this time I put myself in Dan’s yoga class and tried to breathe slowly and deeply. I was never so happy in all my life to hear the technician tell me we were finished.

When I got to the clinic at 6am, I was one of three people in the waiting room. When I left, the room was filled with people, all with their own health concerns and fears. I sent up a prayer that they would all be healthy, and that they would be at peace in the Tube of Hell.

When I came out of the clinic, I was greeted by a gray, misty morning. I was also greeted with many messages from dear friends, and Dan told me he had “Big Breakfast” waiting for me (code for eggs and toast, usually enjoyed only on Sundays). I felt wrapped in the love and support of so many caring people, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I was told that my results should be ready in about a week. I meet with the audiologist next Tuesday to go over the results and map out a plan of attack. One day at a time.

Thank you all for the good thoughts and kind words. I felt you there with me, and it meant more than I can put into words.

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