I’m scheduled for a MRI at Virginia Mason. My claustrophobia and fear of the MRI escalates the already escalated stress level; so I opt for a conscious sedation. This requires needles. If you haven’t started from the beginning of this blog, stop now and go read. But I am willing to have a needle to get the MRI.
I envision a metal tube with cow udders hanging underneath.
Nurse Eileen seems a little uptight. She attempts to insert the needle for the IV and my vein closes. But she is going to get that needle so help her! It felt like she was making multiple stabs/movements of the needle in my vein. I get nauseous and light-headed and 2 more nurses appear, one flipping my bed backwards (to get blood back to the brain) and the other putting a cold wash cloth on my forehead and is fanning me. Ericka and Elisa are fantastic . . .warm and fuzzy nurses. I like them, but not Eileen who is still trying to get the needle in that vein.
Eileen finally leaves and Elisa gets the IV needle in the other hand. Off we go to the MRI, but it’s Eileen accompanying me. I see the 3 syringes that are connected to my IV that have the wonderful Versed in them. I love Versed! Somebody hooks something up to my back, heart monitors? I’m told to lay down face first on the table and poke my ta-tas through these holes on the tray. Obviously, nurse Eileen has pushed one of those wonderful Versed syringes because I’m not aware of very much. I hear a voice far away saying that we are doing just a test run before the MRI starts. I feel myself go in the tube, a little panic, but it’s okay. I feel someone tying up my arms to my sides and I try to tell them not to do that.
I’m pulled out of the machine on the cow-udder tray and sit up. I look at nurse Eileen and was told that the MRI could not be done; my shoulders are too wide and if they forced me into the tube, my clavicle would be broken. Huh? I’m on Versed, what did you say?
Yes, I am overweight, but I am not super huge overweight. There are tons of women out there who are bigger than me. I think they are lying; nurse Eileen just wants me gone. I’m in the recovery room, being given crackers, apple juice and cheese, standard fare after sedation. I’m trying to communicate that I DO NOT want that IV needle taken out . . . I AM going to get this MRI done. My attempt to ask nurse Eileen about the next steps and to please leave the IV in is met with, “You are done. You will need to contact your doctor for another choice.”
I won’t bore you with the details any further on our experience with MRI @ VM, but we were able to go to Overlake Hospital. They have a MRI machine dedicated to breast imaging and it’s a feet first machine. Hallelujah! Versed is leaving my system as we wait for 2 hours for the MRI to start. Once again, the IV needle is not working, the vein collapses. Did I tell you this is my 3rd poke of a needle? They get a doctor in who is able to get the IV to stay. Can we say 4th poke of a needle?
My Rock was able to sit outside the MRI and we could touch hands. I was further in the tube than I anticipated, but I got through it. My Rock doesn’t know how much I appreciate him!
We miss the appointment with the oncologist because of the delay in the MRI. I later learn, without anyone telling me this, we should have met with her first, then done the MRI at another time.
Lesson learned: Any female considering a breast MRI, go to Overlake Hospital or find a place that has a dedicated breast imaging center.
Second lesson learned: Meet with the oncologist first. Do not pass go, do not meet with the radiation oncologist or the surgeon until you have spoken with the medical oncologist.