Tag Archives: phobias

Conquering fears (with lots of help)

Today I survived a closed MRI.

For someone who is intensely claustrophobic, this is a red-letter event.

ClaustrophobiaI 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.

Tight spaces

I am claustrophobic.

ClaustrophobiaAnd 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!

Testing

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?

Don’t go.

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?’

Under the sea

I rarely suffer from insomnia, but last night, I was wide awake.

It sucked.

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.