Friday, October 15, 2010

A Tight Squeeze


Did you watch any of the rescue of the Chilean miners? I did. I am ashamed to admit this but, until the day it was in the news that an American (Navy man, I think) had finally drilled through, I had really given little thought to their plight after the initial few days of the discovery that they were still alive. And that was well over a month ago!

Anyway, the other night I happened to be surfing the internet in bed and saw where they had rescued the first two or three. Then I started to read about the specifics of the rescue - the tight squeeze of the tube in which they would ride to the surface, the length of the trip through such a narrow passage, the possibility that something so minor as a rock coming loose in the passage could derail the whole operation. Let’s just say, this was the wrong thing for a girl who suffered a near panic attack the first time she ever had an MRI to do. I should have just said a quick prayer of thanks for their safe returns, closed my laptop and started spooning with my hubby. By the way, just in case my mom is beginning to feel as if she should be mortified at reading that, spooning is simply what you call it when you cuddle or sleep with the front of your body against the back of someone else. I promise. Now, back to my story.

It seems I am claustrophobic. I did not know that until the previously mentioned MRI. For about three hours that night I lay in bed wide awake in an almost panicked fear for the miners that still had to be brought up. I kept thinking about what it would be like to be one of them, knowing that you are somewhere along a half-mile route unable to move in a capsule not much bigger than yourself and all you can see is rock. And, again, all it would take would be for a rock to become dislodged and you’d be stuck! This line of thinking made for a very miserable night. I cannot even begin to imagine how much more intense the feeling was for the miner and his family. I was thrilled when all thirty-three made it safely to the surface!

I have known since I was about ten years old that I don’t like high, open spaces, especially like those super high bridges. But I had never felt any fear about being in a close, tight space. Being inside elevators had never bothered me, even those packed with people (unless some of the people smelled bad and we were heading up or down 20 floors or so). Plus, one of the best memories I have of visiting my grandparents as a child is of crawling from Mammy’s bedroom to Pa’s bedroom through a closet (even though they had separate rooms their closets were connected). It was as if you were travelling though some secret passageway.

A little over a year ago my doctor scheduled me for an MRI to check on some things. He asked me if I had ever been claustrophobic and would I like to receive a mild sedative prior to the test. Umm, no and no. What kind of wimp needs to be put to sleep to slide through a little machine? Well, now I know. And, if you’ll look through some of those pamphlets that can always be found in waiting rooms, I’m sure there’s a big picture of me in the section describing patient apprehension and anxiety toward certain medical procedures.

I won’t bore you with all the details of that day except to say that I opened my eyes about one minute into the test and that was all she wrote. I officially became a claustrophobic. According to professionals, there is help out there in the form of “counseling, education, and therapeutic techniques” for potential MRI patients who are scaredy cats like me . No need for that. If I ever again find myself needing one I will ask for the therapeutic technique known as “knocking the patient out.”

Here’s hoping we all have a great, wide open weekend!

5 comments:

Farmchick said...

I know these are not fun! Sorry to hear that it was overwhelming. But, just take those drugs next time! lol You won't even know what happened!

Tyla said...

You can bet I will!!! LOL

Vanessa said...

Oh Tyla! You and I are total kindred spirits girl! I had a panic attack in the middle of an MRI and that is even after taking the drugs! Seriously, if I was ever tied up I would totally pass out! So sorry you are in the same boat as me but nice to know I'm not in that boat alone! :-)
Vanessa

Tyla said...

Vanessa, I was really shocked I became so panicked. As I said, that was something new for me. I just know the only way I got through it was by keeping my eyes shut and visualizing my school. I began to recite, from the north end of the building to the south end, each teachers' name. I did this over and over and over. "Jent, Patton, Walker, Rippy," and so on and so on. I'm sure the tech thought I was nuts. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad to know I have a kindred spirit.

Tyla said...

Ooops. That should have read "each teacher's name."