If you’ve ever had an MRI, you have your own story to tell, but I’m guessing most of our stories include some coping strategies. I don’t think of myself as claustrophobic, but being cranked into one of those tubes can turn it on for me like a finger in an electrical socket. Little panic thoughts start racing through my brain — they are creative and crazy.
What if the tech forgets about me? What if the thingy that moves the tray in and out of the tube (with me on it!) gets stuck? What if there’s an earthquake, or a power outage and I’m stuck here? What’s my exit plan – could I wiggle my way out if I lose my cool?
“Breath” … “You can do this” … “Say your mantra”
So far that’s always worked to keep me fixed in place as I watch the minutes faithfully march towards the end of the test. I know it will be over; I know when it will be over; I can manage this.
This “Stay At Home” order is starting to feel a little like that MRI tube. I didn’t think this was going to be so hard for me. Stick with your schedule, keep meditating, exercising, etc. You’ve got this. It will be over soon enough. I can manage this.
However, I’m starting to experience fleeting panic thoughts creeping around in my head and causing some havoc. The cool veneer is cracking a little. I’m getting a little testy. Just ask around.
When is it going to be over? What if we get stuck in here for a really long time? Will things ever be the same? What if I freak out? What if I dissolve into a heap of misery? Mantras and deep breathing can only take me so far. What kind of escape strategy can I fantasize about?
I can’t bail out of this one. It won’t be a matter of rescheduling another appointment or appealing to my doctor for some relaxation meds to smooth the way. Alcohol, sugar and carbs appear to be the best anesthetics we have right now, but they will leave us crying over the “COVID 19 pounds”. Also not ideal.
After all the spiritual, metaphysical, exercise, etc. tips and techniques are exhausted, at the end of the day I just need to put on my big girl pants and get on with it. That’s what I know my mom would have done, and my Depression era grandmother, and my pioneering great-grandmother.
That’s my pep talk to get me through another day. Hope you’re hanging in there too.