From weekly pelvic floor physical therapy (PT) sessions to try to address painful muscle spasms in my urethra and vagina (which I used to think were chronic urinary tract infections) to more recently going to see an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist to determine what might be causing or contributing to occasional, but reoccurring, nausea and dizzy spells, Garth Brook’s “Much Too Young (Too Feel This Damn Old)” song is starting to resonate with me. Though overall I still feel pretty good being 38 and am proud of how I try to eat healthy and exercise regularly.
The PT is really helping and I rarely experience muscle spasm “flare ups” anymore. When I do get them, I know what they are and what they are not, which helps me to get through them more calmly, understanding they don’t usually last very long these days and I have more tools to cope with them.
My first appointment with my ENT seemed to rule out a lot of things, which was a relief. Prior to that my PCP had done neurological tests in her office and sent me for blood work, both of which yielded normal results. While at the ENT’s office, I met with an audiologist, who ran a bunch of tests and concluded my hearing was fine. Ultimately the ENT thinks my bouts with vertigo-like symptoms may be connected with seasonal allergies, as well as some lock-jaw issues. He gave me helpful suggestions on how to address both, in addition to asking me to keep a diary for a few months in effort to note when I feel nauseous or dizzy what may have preceded it, such as not getting enough sleep, having caffeine, more sodium than usual and/or other things that could influence my equilibrium.
All of these doctor and therapy appointments have been a bit overwhelming, but I try to remind myself getting help and trying to figure out what is wrong, is better than suffering in silence, with no idea what could be causing my discomfort. I am certainly learning a lot about my body and mind and how everything is connected, including my organs, ears, nose and throat and how they can affect each other.
Finally, my ENT wants me to have a baseline MRI. He was very clear that he does not expect to find anything, but that he thinks it is a good idea, just in case, in light of the problems with nausea and dizziness I have experienced. The ENT also would have sent me for an echocardiogram, just in case, but I shared with him that I had one in 2008, during my pregnancy with Molly, and everything looked fine. He explained that what he would have been looking for with my heart, could not have developed since then, so it was unnecessary.
So tomorrow morning will be another first for me. I will get to experience an MRI.
I wasn’t particularly concerned about the procedure until I started telling a few people in my life about it and began to receive feedback about their experiences, including someone sharing she felt like she was in a coffin. Also, when I called to schedule my MRI, the person taking my information asked me if I was claustrophobic. I responded, “not that I know of.” But I also hadn’t thought about it much before that moment. Then she asked if I thought I would need to take a tranquilizer before the procedure. To which I said, “why?” and she replied, “some people do.” Again, until I heard that I wasn’t worried, but the whole interchange definitely put some ideas in my head about what it might be like, that I hadn’t considered before.
So here I sit, on the eve of my MRI and in spite of some of what I’ve learned, am feeling fairly optimistic about it. I intend to pray and practice my yoga and meditation breathing techniques to relax during the MRI and believe that I will be okay. Apparently it may take between 45 minutes and two hours, but I think I can handle it. I do ask that you please send your positive thoughts and prayers my way tomorrow afternoon as I experience my first MRI. Thank you.
Have you ever had an MRI?
If so, was it a positive or at least neutral experience?
Do you have tips to share about what worked for you?