The MRI experience

Yeah, I would rather bang my head with a hammer than go into an MRI machine. I have no issue with closed in spaces at all. No problem spending time in closed in spaces. Hell, if it was more comfortable I could sleep in that tube.

Do have a problem with a massive clanking, banging noise right beside my head vibrating into my skull. I can feel the vibration all the way down to the base of my back, which then after a little bit begins to hurt. It is sort of like extremely loud bass music… can’t listen to that with a migraine either, as the vibrations hurt as much as the music does. In this case, the noise itself is very close and very loud and of a very unpleasant sort… but you also vibrate. And that combination is just not good at all.

You get headphones, with music even. Not that you can hear the music. And with all the banging noise it just makes it More noise, that my brain can’t even understand as music anymore anyway. It is just sounds that don’t even make any sense. They could crank the volume I suppose. That might make it better. Or worse. Not even sure.

The sounds and the vibration triggered a migraine pretty quickly really. I got one impressive aura. One minute I was staring blankly at this stripe in the middle of the machine… next minute my entire field of vision was consumed with aura lights. Nice big warping blob of purple in the middle and the rest just this warping field of darker purple, black and gold. With blackout spots in the corners. I was hypnotically staring at that, for lack of anything else to look at. Then my hands went numb. Had I wanted to panic I could not feel the panic ball to squeeze they put in my hand as I lost all sensation in that one. I thought actually I might have dropped it, but I was still cupping it exactly the same way when they pulled me out.

I did start getting shards of pain, beyond the neck pain I already began with, while in there. Sharp and jarring with the vibrations. And the noise became harsher to me. But the test, while loud and entirely obnoxious wasn’t long. So the migraine itself didn’t begin until after I got out. The technician was chatting with me after and I sounded like I had left my brain in there because… sort of got that feeling of slowing brain activity prior to the migraine hitting. Where everything is offensive, from light, sound and scents but comprehending language sort of begins to stagger. Plus my hearing was sort of… off because a) the tinnitus went nuts with the migraine kicking in and b) I have a wicked sinus cold and sort of muffled hearing as is right now.

Thankfully I’m not driving myself anywhere these days and my spouse had driven me to this, so no night time driving with a migraine. And this is good because my night vision with the persistent migraine auras and photophobia sucks a lot. Without adding to that.

I did however use my yellow shades for this drive. Last drive into the city at night I thought ‘too dark for sunglasses, don’t want to not be able to see and fall on the ice again’. But the lights were so sharp and painful, as well as the halos and distortions caused by my PMA making light rather harder to see anything else around it. Which is why I don’t drive at night, even when I did drive. So I tried these yellow shades, which are far too weak for day time, but quite nice at night. They just dim the brightness of headlights and streetlights enough that they are not quite so painful and also therefore less distorting because they are not as bright. But everything else remains crisp and not too dark for me to see details, so quite effective. So I could see quite a bit better wearing them. And this made the drive home a lot less aggravating with this migraine. Have to control that light sensitivity or the pain can really go nuts in a moving vehicle. That is never enjoyable as it is.

This should be the last MRI for a bit though. Had my brain one recently (and with chronic migraines they do these once in a while but not often and not necessary. Just when odd symptoms crop up, they sometimes… double check). And now two back ones, so my entire back area is now done. If they cannot find the cause of my symptoms with this back MRI, which the neuro said I should not count on, it is not likely they will continue to look. Because it means my spine isn’t the cause of course. Could be peripheral nerves. Could be brain. But that is entirely different.

I can tell you one thing though. I would loathe having an MRI with the pain level I am currently in. Like if you happened to have one scheduled when you have an acute migraine, instead of it triggering one. I have been fairly lucky in that most of mine have been without a migraine, and then got one during or shortly after. Or once I had the tail end of a migraine and just amped it up. But not a full-blown acute migraine. That would be horrifically painful.


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