A Few Thoughts on Worrying (and My First MRI)

A Few Thoughts on Worrying and My First MRI

I had my first MRI last week and I walked away from that experience feeling overwhelmed with new things on my mind.

 First things first: if you have to get an IV, drink a ton of water a few days before. Maybe you're working on a big project with an approaching deadline and forgot or were even too hopeful that they wouldn't be giving you contrast dye for your MRI, so you accidentally spent the day before drinking coffee and Dr. Pepper and can't remember the last time you had a sip of water. If that's the case, they're going to have trouble finding a vein and you're going to walk out of there with so many little bandages on your arms that it looks like you got in a fight.

So far in my BRCA journey, the procedures have scared me more than the results. Maybe it's because I'm only 27 and still relatively healthy, or maybe it's because I have a bit of a needle phobia, but when I was getting the gene test all I could think about was getting blood drawn. And then I freaked out about how uncomfortable a mammogram was going to be (PSA: they aren't--don't be scared, go get your mammogram). And even when the radiologist told me he wanted to do a biopsy on something that looked a little suspicious, at the time I was more afraid of the numbing injection/biopsy itself than the possibility that I had breast cancer. All of this is to say that I freak myself out about things and they are never as bad as I imagine.

This MRI, though, was the one thing I wasn't afraid of, and it just so happened that I had a pretty terrible experience. And yet, it was over in an hour and I didn't waste any time before then worrying about it. That has really stuck with me these past few days (along with the bruises I have from the four tries it took them to get an IV in me).

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
— Baz Luhrmann, Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)

I can make myself sick worrying about something that will never actually be as bad as I make it out to be. Or I can take things in smaller doses and worry about the things worth worrying about only when they are actually presented to me. 

Easier said than done, as usual; but always worth remembering.