Tuesday, 9 February 2016

How many syndromes can one woman have?

It turns out that I have another condition or syndrome to go with my recently discovered Misophonia. This one hasn't been given a name yet, but scientists have discovered that many people who sigh a lot, aren't really as miserable as they sound; they just need the air. In fact it's apparently a "life-saving biological function" although most of us sighers aren't aware that we're saving our own lives with our sighing. 

Only last year my mother said, after one particularly deep sigh "I wish you wouldn't do that; it always makes me think something awful's happened." Half the time I'm not even aware I'm doing it, although my 12 year old has a habit of pointing out the more thunderous ones.

On a slight (but relevant) tangent, I had an "open" MRI this morning. My doc wants to see what's going on in my lower vertebrae and sciatic nerve. (I've been in agony, let me just say.) Being ever so slightly claustrophobic I requested an open MRI which was duly booked. I'm not quite sure what I expected, given that the machine is supposed to be taking pictures of the inside of your body, but they're not exactly open. 

They had me lie on a bed thing, then - bring on the claustrophobia - they strapped what can only be described as a loose fitting girdle around my torso, which of course, immediately made me think my chest was constricted. (It wasn't in the least.) With that, they slid me half way under a giant metal roof and I think I said out loud "Oh, this isn't too bad". "Oh, you're going in further", the radiologist replied, ignoring the panic now taking complete control of my face. And so, they pushed me under a giant piece of metal, which was all of three inches from my face.

She's only smiling because the top of this one is about six inches higher than mine, and there is a noticeable absence of any constricting girdle. 

Not only could I not breathe, I started to want to sigh - a feat that was pretty much impossible given the girdle of doom strapped around me. Argh. 

It gets worse. They told me not to move a muscle while the banging MRI noise was going on. No scratching, no twitching and no turning of the head. Which of course immediately meant I felt like I was wearing a hair shirt.

"Are you going to be alright?" asked the doc.

"Yes", I replied (lying through my teeth), "I'm going for mind over matter". 

FIFTY minutes. Fifty minutes I was under that darn thing. Three times I thought I was going to have to shout for help because I needed to sigh and they had told me not to move a muscle. I tried to get my breathing under control by breathing in for four seconds, holding it for four, then exhaling for a bit longer (or something like that). Unfortunately, I forgot that the exhale is supposed to be out of the mouth and I ended up giving myself a stitch! 

So yes, I sigh a lot, and sometimes when it's most inconvenient!


  1. I'm not particularly claustrophobic, thank goodness, but I do sigh a lot. An old friend who was with me during the process of moving my daughter a few states over actually took the time to analyze my sighing, then she shared her conclusion: I sigh a lot when I'm anxious. Like you, I was completely unaware of it. Maybe you're an anxiety sigher, too? I can't imagine that a loud, claustrophobic environment like an MRI machine wouldn't cause just a smidgen of anxiety?

    But you got through it, in any case. Good wishes for a positive outcome!

  2. Ugh I had several of those MRIs while in the States. It's awful not being allowed to move, isn't it? I did try to listen to music but the noise is so loud you can't really concentrate. I hope they get to the bottom of your sciatica soon.

  3. I must have the same condition as you because I sigh a lot too.
    I hate MRI scans and don't think we have the open ones. 50mins is a very long time. I usually am under the enclosed ones for 20 mins but it feels like a day! Fortunately, the ones I have most often are the CT scans and they're not scary at all. Good luck with it.
    Maggie x

  4. My sister has to have MRI number 2 in March - wasp talking about it and I nearly fainted....Good luck and take care


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