Musings: My First MRI

I am not claustrophobic!

At least that’s what I told the doctor, the check-in person, and the tech. Well, okay…I may have been singing a different tune as I was being slid into a very small tube like machine, while simultaneously being told it makes some loud and obnoxious noise. Oh and if you can stay completely still for 20 minutes, or so, then you can get up. If not, then you’re there again for

So, I’ve been having some knee issues that started about six weeks ago during a routine women’s outdoor game. I was already in pain in my right leg from getting clipped in my lower calf earlier in the game, with a bruise to prove said incident. Later in the game I turned and cut, then felt my knee feel really weird. I somewhat shook it off and played the rest of the game, but kept messing with my left knee for the rest of the game.

In a hurry to get to J’s game, I hobbled to the car. This isn’t uncommon these days. I don’t recover fast. It was when I went to put pressure on my leg to get out of the car that I almost fell. I knew something was wrong. It swelled immediately. I thought it would heal. I couldn’t bend my knee and I made the mistake of forcing it. I about keeled over in pain, almost crying, a day later trying to get something out of my closet.

All that said, I went to the doctor who told me she wouldn’t talk to me until I RICE‘d for 10 straight days. The week after the incident I was working and traveling and did not RICE at all, even though everyone suggested it. Work called, as did life. When it wasn’t looking better, I decided to really RICE.

Blah! Blah! Blah! About a month later it was starting to feel really good. I threw on a knee brace and played an entire outdoor co-ed game as best as I could. Some sprints, mostly jogging, and plenty of soccer playing. Let’s just say, I couldn’t move it again for a week and a half, swollen and all.

I let that heal, but was hesitant to do anything else. Finally after doing some PT exercises the Lil recommended, I decided that this process wasn’t getting better. Play one soccer game, be hurt and in pain for a week and a half or so, then get better?!? 

That isn’t how I want to continue. So, I called my doctor and basically said I wouldn’t stand for anything less than a MRI. I wasn’t going to pay for PT when Lil could advise me on that. So, they finally obliged and pushed through the approval. 

So, here we are in 2017 and I had my first MRI experience. 

How the hell do people go in there all the way without freaking out? I never thought I had an issue with being in tight spaces, but that experience
changed my mind.

I’d never really spoken to anyone about their experience, so I had no clue it was super loud. Lots of loud, weird machine noises and clicking.

It is in those 20 minutes where every itch, slight touch (imagined or real), or tick become very important not to react too. I was so scared I’d have to start over again. Luckily, I could move my arms, but I didn’t dare. I laid there with my arms crossed and almost fell asleep toward the end, even through the continual noise. They did provide me with headphones to help, but you could still hear everything.

Since they had to get my entire knee, top and bottom, I was about 80% in there. It was a surreal feeling. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t going to go in entirely, even though I felt at any moment I would just slide right into the gaping machine and go into instant claustrophobic panic. But it never happened!

HAHA! I had planned to read my book to calm me, but because of where I needed the MRI and the actual machine capabilities, I could not do so – my arms would have been too tired and in an awkward position.

I’m still waiting to hear the final results, but damn…I guess you don’t know you’re potentially claustrophobic until you are placed in a position to feel that way!

I’m worried that I’ll be told there is no tear and I’m exaggerating the pain. I’ve always been one to have a high tolerance of pain, but never having broken any bones, might not be the best judge of that. I’ve always just gone about my business, even if I didn’t feel fully up to par. My biggest fear is not surgery, it’s that I’ll be told nothing is seriously wrong and I need to manage it. I highly doubt this, but I’m more worried about that outcome
versus potential surgery to fix an issue.

I guess I’m just TBD until further notice…

One Comment

  • Unknown

    Don't worry steph. I have had similar injuries. When I tore my ACL, the MRi was a bit intimidating. Soccer is the worst on knees and the winters are always the bad for injuries. Try doing more biking rather than impact activities.


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