A sincere thank you to Michael, the MRI technician at Lenox Hill Radiology, who was so patient with me today.
I have a history, recorded on this blog, of bad experiences with closed MRIs, and my claustrophobic fears seem to worsen with age.
Michael was extremely patient with this anxious, weepy woman who is far too old to be acting that way.
Many thanks, Michael.
Maybe I’ll outgrow this fear one day…like after I retire.
Posted in Health, Humor, Life, New York City
Tagged claustrophobia, closed MRI, gratitude, Health, Humor, Lenox Hill Radiology, life, medicine, MRI, retirement, weepy
I’ve mentioned here before that I’m claustrophobic.
It’s getting worse instead of better.
I had to have another closed MRI yesterday, and unlike my experience a couple of years ago, I was a bit of a wreck.
The technician used all the bells and whistles to calm my fears — and trick my brain — into thinking I wasn’t in a narrow, closed tube.
But they didn’t work this time.
When I got home, I started reading up on possible therapies, cures even, for this debilitating fear. Guess what the first recommendation is?
Get an MRI.
Posted in Health, Humor, Life
Tagged bells and whistles, calm my fears, claustrophobia, claustrophobic, closed MRI, cures, don't fence me in, fear, Health, Humor, life, MRI, sadists, technician, therapies, trick my brain
It’s no secret that I’m claustrophobic.
There are security guards at the St. Louis Arch who probably still talk about the girl who hyperventilated all the way up the elevator to the top (and wouldn’t go back down…for two hours).
I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
So I am happy to see small children today won’t have any problem at all with small, enclosed spaces…what with their mothers wrapping them in plastic inside their strollers!!
I, on the other hand, am gasping for air just looking at those poor kids. Don’t they know their oxygen is running out?
Posted in Children, Family, Humor, Life, Walking
Tagged children, claustrophobia, cough, elevator, gasping for air, Humor, hyperventilation, kids, life, oxygen, phobia, plastic covers, save the children, security guard, small spaces, sputter, St. Louis Arch, strollers, walking, wheeze
I have read some books over and over. Other books?
I wish I’d never cracked the cover.
Case in point — Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.
This book was published way back in 1979 — when I was young and impressionable — and its harrowing tale of child abandonment, abuse, and eventual incest between siblings imprisoned in an attic for other two years made me nauseous.
(An attic? Let’s add claustrophobia to the mix as well.)
Flowers in the Attic was the first in a five-book series by Andrews, but I couldn’t stomach reading anymore. And in 1987, the original book was made into a movie. I’ll admit I watched it; I just had to see if it was going to ‘go there’…and luckily it didn’t.
Well, that luck has run out.
A new Lifetime movie adaptation is scheduled to air in January, and they have promised to be faithful to the book.
Luckily, I’ll be busy watching Downton Abbey.
Posted in Books, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Movies
Tagged attic, book series, books, child abandonment, child abuse, child incest, claustrophobia, commentary, Downton Abbey, entertainment, Flowers in the Attic, Humor, life, Lifetime, luck, Movies, reviews, V.C. Andrews
Today I survived a closed MRI.
For someone who is intensely claustrophobic, this is a red-letter event.
I did my homework on the procedure, so I knew what to expect. That’s why I opted for an open MRI when I needed imaging on my left shoulder a couple of years ago.
But an closed MRI was the only option today, which meant I had to face my fears.
I began by taking a light sedative, at my doctor’s advice — to take the edge off. And the technicians were great, walking me through the device and the actual procedure step-by-step. But the greatest help during what would have been 30 minutes of hell?
A series of mirrors that bounce images in the exam room back to me, so I always felt like I could see the outside world clearly…regardless of my position within the tube.
Hey — mind games are welcome here.
Posted in Commentary, Education, Health, Humor, Life, Technology
Tagged claustrophobia, closed MRI, commentary, conquering fears, doctor, exam room, fears, Health, hospital, Humor, imaging, life, mind games, MRI, open MRI, phobias, sedatve, technician, technology
I am claustrophobic.
And the condition rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times.
Riding the elevator to the top of the St. Louis Arch. Getting an MRI for a shoulder injury. Or simply being crowded into the corner of the elevator by one too many people.
But I never thought a facial would freak me out.
I was at a salon today over lunch — indulging in said facial, thanks to a birthday gift card from a generous friend — and the technician completely covered my face with a solid wrap, leaving only a small slit for my mouth.
Needless to say, I panicked.
Once I explained my phobia, she offered to leave a slit for my nose as well. I still couldn’t see, but I did deep breathing and mind games to remain calm. Not exactly the soothing experience I had in mind…but hey —
My skin looks fabulous!
Posted in Beauty, Commentary, Humor, Life
Tagged beauty, claustrophobia, commentary, crowded, deep breathing, elevator, facial, Humor, indulge, life, mind games, MRI, panic, phobias, psychology, salon, salon technician, skin treatment, soothing experience, St. Louis Arch, tight spaces
It’s been bitterly cold in NYC the past few days, and in the family-friendly Upper West Side, this has been a common sight:
The plastic-covered baby carriage
On an intellectual level, I realize the plastic covers serve a useful purpose, shielding the child inside from the cold, snow and rain.
But my claustrophobic mind registers only one panicked thought…
He’s smothering! Get that poor kid out of there!!
Sorry. All better now.
It does makes me wonder — would my fear of small spaces have been averted if my mother had used such a baby carriage when I was young? Will children today whose mothers use such contraptions have less of a chance of developing claustrophobia?
For their sake, I hope so.
Some good should come out of being publicly shrink-wrapped.
Posted in Children, Commentary, Family, Humor, Life, Walking, Weather
Tagged baby carriage, baby carriage plastic covers, children, claustrophobia, cold weather, commentary, family, Humor, life, mothers, New York City, shrink-wrapped, small spaces, Upper West Side, walking, weather
I’m having an MRI done today.
My left shoulder is injured (no doubt a result of daily blog postings to The Egg).
When my doctor put in the order with my insurance company, I made sure it said “open MRI” on all the paperwork. And when I later made the appointment with the radiology center, I re-confirmed that I was scheduled for an open MRI machine.
I would have to be sedated to go through the tunnel in the regular MRI machine.
Yep, I’m one of those claustrophobic types. I don’t just talk the talk; I really am claustrophobic. And unfortunately, my fear of tight spaces has reared its ugly head in public places in the past.
Most memorably, I panicked in the tiny, windowless elevator at the St. Louis Arch. If you ever been, you understand. If you’ve never been and you’re claustrophobic?
Of course, going into my appointment today, I wonder if my chart has special notes on it because I specifically requested the open MRI.
Do you think there’s a medical code for ‘wuss?’
Posted in Blog, Blogging, Commentary, Health, Humor, Life, Relationships, Travel
Tagged blog, blog posts, claustrophobia, closed MRI, commentary, doctor's appointment, doctors, Health, Humor, injured shoulder, injury, insurance company, life, medical chart, medical code, MRI, open MRI, phobias, radiology, radiology center, sedation, St. Louis Arch, St. Louis Arch elevators, The Sticky Egg, Travel, wuss
I rarely suffer from insomnia, but last night, I was wide awake.
And yet, even as I lie there, eyes wide open, I was not inspired to spend the night amongst the fishes.
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Hotel is celebrating its fifth anniversary by transforming its underwater restaurant into an exclusive suite for two. Tired of traditional hotel rooms? Sleep instead under the waters of the Indian Ocean…and 125mm thick glass walls.
Lie in bed, sip champagne and watch the sea life swim above your head before retiring for the night. Then enjoy breakfast in bed in the morning.
I know this is supposed to sound ideal — and the photos are lovely — but I get claustrophobic at the mere thought of all that water rushing above my head.
Breathtaking? Yes! My breath…as the glass walls shatter, and the waves come crashing in and sweep me away.
This isn’t an idyllic vacation. It’s the premise for the next disaster picture…and I’m the unsuspecting tourist who meets her tragic end.
Yep. Still not sleepy.
Posted in Health, Humor, Movies, Travel
Tagged claustrophobia, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Hotel, Health, Humor, Indian Ocean, insomnia, Maldives, Maldives Rangali Island, Movies, phobias, sleep, Travel, underwater hotel room, underwater restaurant, vacation