Praying, Hoping, Waiting: MRI Anxiety
Last updated: March 2023
Each time I go in for an MRI, I leave a nervous wreck awaiting the results. In cancer patients, they refer to the the anxiety before, during, and after medical scans as scanxiety. I think MS patients often have the same thing. The thing about MRIs is that you never know what to expect. It could be really great news or it could be terrible news. I don’t think I’ll ever be prepared for the latter. I never know when my body is going to turn on me, and my MS is going to become more severe.
More anxiety than normal
After this last MRI I had in April, I left feeling fueled with more anxiety than normal. I’m not sure why, but I had a sickening feeling that it would be bad news. You see, I have been blessed without having any change in my MRI for ten years. I believe I owe so much of that to my doctors for catching my MS so early on and getting me on an appropriate treatment plan. I notice that as I get older, the more symptoms I exhibit, so I feel that is the reason I was so nervous to find out the results of this one. With MS or any disease it’s not always easy to pursue new life adventures and dreams because the reality of what could be makes things scary. I try not to live in fear of the “could be’s” or constantly saying “what if”, however that’s much easier said than done some days. It’s so easy to get caught up in what has been in the past and what could be in the future, but we forget to cherish the present. I know I do, at least. Some days all we can do is look an hour ahead and remember the only way out is ahead. That’s where the praying, hoping, and waiting comes in.
Awaiting the results
I don’t mind MRIs, other than the fact that they are extremely loud and annoying, it’s awaiting the results that get to me. It is the fact that I have the disk in my hand, but can’t see what’s on them, and waiting months before my scheduled appointment to find out the news. It is going to the doctor and the waiting after my exam as he sits and types on his computer. It’s the wondering if he’s writing down good or bad news. It’s searching his eyes during my exam to find any hint of negative change. I am a religious person, so during the waiting, all I can do is hope and pray that there will be good news. I’m not naive, and I know that praying won’t magically make lousy news disappear. It does help ease my mind, though.
Leaving with happy news
Going to the doctor with MS is always an anxiety roller coaster. So many thoughts and emotions fill my mind. The thing is, sometimes we get the news we are hoping and praying for, and other times we don’t. I am so thankful that after my appointment this last week, I left with happy news. And, you better believe I walked out of that room crying happy tears. So many emotions go on before and during those appointments, but the most significant emotional roller coaster is stepping out of that room with the results. I haven’t always gotten to walk out crying tears of joy. Many times those tears have been filled with even more anxiety and heartache over the news I’ve just received. This appointment went unexpectedly well, but I know that this will not always be the case.
Feeling like I could breathe again
When I do get good news like in this last appointment, I can’t help but leave feeling confident and relieved. When I walked out of that room it felt like I could breathe again; like I could live again. I felt like I could keep looking and moving forward without fear. MS may stop me one day, but now is not that time! So, take that, MS! I’m ready to kick your butt! You’re not giving me any more anxiety at this time. I’m going to keep living by a saying that I love, “You control what you can control, and you give God the rest.” Right now I’m taking the good news that I have, and I’m running with it!
Wishing you all the best and good news ahead,
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