Friday, 21 August 2015

MRI Brain scan and Session Preparation

A week before today's date, while having dinner with Sam I had the email from Robin telling me that I had been accepted onto the trial. I was really happy briefly, followed by a feeling of nervousness.

So the first stage was a brain scan using an MRI. Robin talked me through the whole process and what I could expect, and what I would be expected to do. How to use the call button and I that would be expected to use a hand button device to answer small questionnaires from inside the MRI unit.

If my anxiety levels were being rated on a scale of 1 - 10 it would have been a 12. I'd been worrying about my dental work (implants and crowns) being affected and had nearly emailed Robin to say I could not attend. After about 2 hours sleep I decided I had to attend and see what their thoughts were. I'd almost let my anxiety get the better of me. The staff were very reassuring and the scan was fine. The MRI lasted almost an hour but once I'd calmed down I started to feel sleepy inside the unit. With the scan over with we had a short break for lunch.

I met David again (Mark was on holiday) and we started to talk again about emotional issues which centered (again) mostly around my mother's death. I became emotional again but felt more comfortable showing my feelings as we'd started to build up trust through talking through these issues. David and I discussed various aspects of different religions, relating to possible after-life and re-incarnation beliefs. I realised how raw it still the grief feels even after nearly 3 years and that I may have deflected or talked around these feelings and this event during my 1 year counselling session.

Robin suggested we relocate from the office to a room that had been created already for the session setting. To change it from a default hospital room into a sedate and calming environment with art, throws, candles and a lot of the hospital equipment removed. The set, as well as the setting are very important. I tried the bed and relaxed. I also tried the eye-shades and the headphones. I relaxed for a while more and the music felt quite sad. This may have been from all the talking we had done around difficult subjects. We practised grounding by holding each others wrists so I was holding Robin one side and David on the other. This made me very emotional for some reason; I think because it was quite nurturing and compassionate.

That was the screening day over. Next week will be the first low-dose session. In a way I can't wait because the setting and the music were so nice. This orientation setting was very helpful I think and will make it easier I hope, if I get pre-session nerves. On the tube, going home I still felt very emotional and this lasted most of the day into the early hours. It was quite a heavy day for me in terms of having the MRI, dealing with almost overpowering anxiety, as well as the orientation and continued talking therapy around emotional subjects.

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