Howdy Hydrocephalus

Understanding my unique gyroscope

Claustrophobic Tendancies

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I became claustrophobic after being shoved in sleeping bag and not let out at a birthday party sleepover.  Those damn parties can be cruel, especially if the birthday girl was forced to invite you because the mom’s were friends. I wish I could go spelunking as it looks  like fun but instead it is hiking or rock climbing. When I was younger my claustrophobic tendancies were worse, but now I can recognize the weird fear building within me.  For example, I can often begin to feel the fear and anxiety in a crowded space.  I  bring myself back under control by breathing.  It is all mind over matter!

When I am signed up to have an MRI, I am still a little apprehensive about the whole thing.  I always given the option  of being put under, but really who really wants that to happen to them.  Last friday I had to go to Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alberta for my final MRI before they do my surgery.  So I am not so nervous, as I am becoming a veteran at having this test done.

I am given ear plugs – thank you! I lie down on the table, they put a cushion under my legs.  The tech shoves foam pieces around my head and neck to keep me from moving as I let him know that I am a figiter and will do my best to be still. Then the tech reaches for it – the mask!  This is where the feeling of claustrophobia begins to stir.  I know they describe it as a football helmet…but no…it is not. I played tackle football and have worn a helmet.  Tell that story to another female who has not worn one those helmets before. To overcome the fear stirring inside me, I close my eyes.  My eyes will now be closed for the entire test.  Focus on my breathing…Focus damn it, I don’t want to be here any longer than I have to.  Come on it is mind over matter – breathe and think of travelling, the beach…anything. I ask how long this test will be.  The tech answers “25 minutes.”  I shout out “easy peasy as the last test was 1.5 hours long!”

With a lurch the machine moves back and I am in the donut, my own little space capsule. And the concert begins.  There is on large sound repeated by a few shorter higher pitched sounds.  I imagine cartoon aliens having a conversation and I am watching the show with my boys.  I was feeling  good about the test and thought I would slightly open my eyes – Wrong thing to do! I quickly shut my eyes again and calmed myself down by focussing on my breathing.

The mind is a weird thing, I know that I was flat on a table facing up, but I felt like I was moving around – twisting and turn – very strange stuff.  Then the final test comes and it like an emergency siren going off – dong…dong…dong…dong. The ear plugs weren’t really cutting it but now I am imaging hiking and looking out at a beautiful view…a nice beach with blue sky and warm sea breeze on my face.  I know I can do this!  The sounds finally stop and with jump I am actually, not imaginary, moving forward.  The tech comes and takes off my mask right away.  I open my eyes and say “thanks” as I sit up and are ready to jump off the table.  I am told to wait because the table is raised…so the movement may not have been imagined after all!

I survived quite well and I am getting over my claustrophobic fear.  Next time I should try spelunking…easy cave spelunking where I don’t have to wiggle on my belly.

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2 thoughts on “Claustrophobic Tendancies

  1. I feel for ya here! I dont seem to have problems with claustrophobia in these things (which is weird because if my blanket comes up over my nose in the night, I awake kicking the blanket across the room to get it off my face lol – i instantly feel like I cannot breathe at all)… but when I had to go for some crazy heart tests a year ago, I fell asleep I was so relaxed lol. Maybe next time you can think of me falling asleep in my space capsule and jolting awake to apologize to the techs for snoring lmao. They said that most people don’t fall asleep in those things, where I fell asleep every 5 minutes haha. My response – I have three kids at home and work in a daycare with 21 kids, so any 20 minute bit of silence I get is a huge bonus and darnit, I’m going to have snooze. They laughed 🙂

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