living with ms is remembering something that happened to you when you were five years old and you’re trying to differentiate if it was a dream or actually happened. you feel like no one else can relate but someone can…right?


how to survive the “death machine” aka MRI

When I was experiencing my first symptoms of multiple sclerosis (pre- diagnosis) I had to enter the “death machine” aka an MRI for my brain and spine to figure out what was wrong.  An MRI (for those who don’t know) is this huge enclosed machine that makes extremely loud and scary noises to x-ray your whole body (or specific parts) in depth. I was terrified out of my mind; sobbing and hyperventilating to the point where they couldn’t get clear images. At that point I needed a trick, some way to get me through my routinely done MRIs. Something that wasn’t simply “think about something that else” because that’s almost impossible with all the racket. Noted, that MRI lasted for several hours much longer than my current 15 minute MRIs. But now I have a trick that can potiently help other people that are just as terrified of MRIs as I was by using the racket to my advantage. When the loud and pesky noises start, imagine a scenario: either with real live people or cartoony characters. Start to turn the noises into dialogue or sounds that add to your story. Some of the noises will sound like words or sounds animals/ people make. One of my stories I crafted in particular centered around a woodpecker sound which lasted a long while. The “woodpecker sounds” would go from quiet and normal to loud and staticky. I crafted my story about a young traditional woodpecker and his older rebellious woodpecker brother bickering back and forth. Once I imagined this story in detail I wasn’t as freaked out. This tactic continued throughout my MRI regardless of how long the particular noises persisted or what they sounded like. I created stories- of weird accapella groups with troll members, a father losing his daughter named Ella- of anything I could grasp of the noises. Although these stories may seem odd or far out, they got me through my MRI and I just grasped any and every sound to formulate my story. This “storytelling” got me through several MRIs and I hope it can help many more get through theirs as well.