Archive for September, 2017

Claustrophobia

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

When you have an anxiety disorder, every stressing situation goes to eleven and when you combine that with bipolar disorder, you get a brain that goes not only to eleven, but everything just happens to the power of twelve.

I’ve never thought I was claustrophobic. Turns out I apparently haven’t been in a tight enough space before. Put me in a tiny closet and close the door, no problem. Lifts, fine. Crowded places, no problem (except that i start hating people, but that’s not claustrophobia, it’s misantrophy). But this past Friday, I was supposed to be having a head MRI (nothing too dangerous that they’re looking for, worry not) and I was fine as fiddlesticks up until the point that they loaded me about halfway into the fucking donut. I told them to let me out and I took a moment and said ok, no worries, I’ll be fine, I’m just feeling a bit, you know, packed in. So I got to put my arms in a different position and in I went again. I closed my eyes and thought about nice things and then one of the nurses said this isn’t going to work, we need to pack you in a little tighter still. Apparently so I wouldn’t be able to move.

That’s when I started to feel really panicky, like there was still a bit of room to move and I was already being pulled out of the donut, but I felt my legs starting to twitch because the fucking loader wasn’t moving quick enough. Merely the thought of being packed even tighter made me panic. So I got out and said this isn’t gonna work. They didn’t even suggest booking another time and knocking me out with a sedative, they just ushered me away with ‘ok, this is not going to work then, go see the neurologist who booked you in’.

And out the door I was, in the dressing room, where I started to cry, because I was in hysterics and panicking because the claustrophobia and anxious because I immediately felt like I was a) a fucking snowflake and b) just wasting everyone’s precious time. Yes, sure, it’s a hospital, they have booked times and they’re not responsible for comforting me, I get that, but like they could’ve said something. Maybe say it’s ok, you’re not the only one who chickens out, it happens, and just maybe ask if I was fine. That would’ve taken them exactly zero extra time, since all that could’ve been said in the span of silence that went on for the half a minute it took me to get off the bed and walk to the dressing room door.

So I got dressed, went out to the hallway and had to sit down on the nearest bench on the main corridor of the hospital and cry for fifteen minutes, until I felt un-shaken enough to actually figure out what I had to do to get to the neurological department. In there, the service was infinitely better, the nice lady at the reception told me to take a seat and said it’s fine, it’s terrible for everyone and only most people can go through with it, not all. And she went to see the doctor to ask if it was necessary to take any kind of imaging of my brain (i told you, it’s nothing serious (at least that’s what they’ve told me haa-haa watch me crash and burn at this)) and she came back with a yes, but a CT-scan would suffice, even if it wasn’t as good. And she booked me in for that and booked a lab appointment for me as well, so wouldn’t have to do it on me own, as she clearly could see I was pretty shaken.

So I made it out, but in a shitty state. I couldn’t shake off the cloustrophobic feeling for hours, not for the whole day. I went home and made me an atomic strength cuppa, sat out on the porch, listening to the rain and just breathing in, but it still lingered. Up until the time I was going to sleep, where I couldn’t get to sleep for a good while.

I don’t know. It just feels so unfair that whenever something even slightly stressful happens, it wipes me out for a ridiculous amount of time and leaves me feeling invalid and inadequate and a waste of space.

Anxiety is truly a bitch.