Monday, August 8, 2016

First hair cut! Also, claustrophobia.

My first haircut, 41 weeks post final chemo
Another one of those up-down days. Today I was supposed to have an MRI on my shoulder to rule out any other cause for the pain and range of motion loss besides the stress from treatment. It took a long time to get the referral and then to get an appointment for this issue I've been dealing with since March (but is steadily improving thanks to physical therapy and a whole lot of work on my part).

I've had a lot of scans in the past year, including an MRI, a PET scan, and several CT scans. I didn't anticipate this one being any different. Except it was.

The tech got me all prepped and gave me a squeeze ball to squeeze if I was having trouble and needed out RIGHT NOW. I almost laughed, because I'm such a rational, calm person and would never need that. Then she slid me into the tube. She'd had me close my eyes first because she turned on the lasers, but then she said I could open them as she was moving me. I opened them briefly, saw the tube was pretty small, and closed them again and decided I would just keep them closed throughout.

But then when she got me all the way in, I could feel how close the tube was around me. Much smaller than the ones I'd been in before. My chest constricted and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I tried to tell myself it would be fine, just breathe and relax, but instead the feeling got worse. She asked if I was ok, and I couldn't answer because I was trying to decide if I was. She asked if I needed to come out and I said yes. I just knew I couldn't take it for the 40 minutes or whatever the test would be. So we rescheduled for another day at another facility where they have shorter, wider tubes. I'll get valium from my doctor and Michael will have to drive me. That will happen the 17th.

So, that was frustrating. Generally, my claustrophobia has only been triggered when I feel trapped, like someone holding me down, not just from being in close quarters. I've noticed before that I have more anxiety since cancer, and this is a good example. And then not only can I not do the thing I was supposed to do, I feel awful afterward. I have a stress headache and just a general...I don't know. Discomfort--mentally and physically. As I write this, I've gotten past it somewhat but I'm still feeling some of the after effects. And it  happened two hours ago.

However, while I was out I got a bug in my ear to finally get my hair cut. I stopped at a place on the way home and they happened to have someone available right then, so I went for it. I like it! And one of the ladies working there recognized me from the dance studio, so that was fun. I think this will be my last hair photo, and when I get around to it I'll make my video of the growth to this point.


  1. Looks cute! The only time I cried from any medical procedure was during the MRI for my frozen shoulder. It hurt so much trying to stay in position in that tiny tube. And the lady was a B! They had to do 4 different scans and I wanted to take a break in between and she said they couldn't. She acted like I was a big baby. But I've had needles shoved into my bones- I am not a baby.

    I was so upset afterwards.

  2. Sorry you went through that, but it's good to know I'm not alone!

  3. Keep fighting, best wishes and prayers being sent your way from Texas.

    Hector H