OK, just a warning – this post may be a little whiny. 

I took today off to spend some time with Andrew before he goes back to school.  He’s planning on spending the summer in Maryland, interning or working, so I know that my time with him is going to become more and more limited.  But I also scheduled my MRI for this morning because he doesn’t wake up early, and I figured I’d be back before he was even awake.   I got up in plenty of time, had a little yogurt for breakfast and was off to the hospital.  When I got there, I waited for a bit, and then went back.  All was well until the technician said “you didn’t eat anything this morning, right?”.  Um…no one had said not to.  Sure, maybe I should have figured this out by myself – but I didn’t.  So she couldn’t do the test.   I wasn’t too happy about it – but they were nice and squeezed me in this afternoon – so I had to go home, wait, and then go back.  And not eat or drink anything.   So instead of getting this over with this morning, it ended up taking most of the day. 

I had a MRI last year when I had knee surgery – and it didn’t seem too bad.  I honestly couldn’t figure out why people freaked out about them – but I get it now.  When I had the MRI last year, I only went into the machine feet first up to my hips, and most of me was outside.  Today I went head first…and wow.  When they first sent me in the machine, I had my eyes closed.  I opened them when the motion stopped – and was immediately panic striken.  I have never been claustrophic, but damn!  The machine was so close, and there was no room.  I started to feel myself freak out…so I closed my eyes again, and started thinking of other things.  I thought about knitting and just visualized myself knitting.  It immediately calmed me down and I felt better.  I continued to keep my eyes close (with the occasional peek  – I could see the room from the very top of my vision), and kept on visualizing things that were calm – knitting, yarn, walking the dogs,  walking in the woods.  Finally it was over and they were pulling me out.  I mentioned my initial panic to the technician, and she admited that she freaked out in it too.   I really hope that this is the last time I have to do it – but if not, I know how to get through it!

Afterwards, I did get to go to the mall with Andrew and Larry so it all wasn’t bad.  Just not the day off I had imagined.  

I’ve been working on my lace scarf this week – needed a change from the socks.  I resisted starting a new project – I do want to finish something before I start something else.  And my queue is pretty long – so I probably should look through that before deciding on what’s next (I’ve been thinking more an more about a spring sweater).


I really do love this yarn (Malabrigo lace) and the pattern (On the Vine).  I think I should be done with this in the next few days, and I think its going to be pretty when its done.  I am wondering if I’m doing the nupps right right way – they don’t seem to show up that much, but I am going to see what happens when I block it out.   This is going to be a fantasic spring scarf though – the color is so green, and it will be soft and warm for the still cold mornings.

Tomorrow I have knitting group – I’m looking forward to spending some time knitting and chatting.  I’m not sure what else I’m doing, but I think I’m ok with a lot of relaxing (and napping).  OK, off to have dinner…have a wonderful weekend!


29 Responses to Visualization

  1. lilypily says:

    What a great thing to visualise to try to calm yourself down. I must remember that. I always go off to a favourite spot in the bush where this a pond and the sound of running water. That helps, but I hadn’t thought of visualising knitting. Glad you got through it all ok. It would freak me out too. The scarf is gorgeous. Lovely green for spring.

  2. Ren says:

    i had an MRI last year (unfortunately, i can’t remember which portion of me they were MRI-ing, definitely somewhere on my upper half) and i was pretty freaked out, too. it wasn’t because i’m claustrophobic, but rather because of a medical condition. not very fun, so i sympathize! and there wasn’t anything about not eating for me, either. on a similar note, i had a thyroid scan a few months ago and they put this part of the machine like 3 or 4 inches from your face… crazy!

    the scarf is really pretty so far, definitely springy! : )

  3. My first MRI was when I was fairly young, my Dad read to me over a mic to keep me calm. Whenever I have another MRI I can still here him in my head reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It’s weird how that machine and freak you right out even when you don’t usually have a problem with small spaces. I’m glad you got though is ok and still got to spend time with Andrew.

    Your scarf looks so pretty, perfect for spring.

  4. crimsonpurl says:

    It is good to know knitting relaxes you even when you visualize it! Hope you get some rest this weekend. And I am really liking that scarf (just qued it!) as I have lots of Mal lace waiting to become something pretty! :o)

  5. Stephanie says:

    I know what you mean about thinking about a spring sweater! I’ve been thinking about that and vests.

    Visualization is definitely a powerful tool to help you control your mind. I’m glad you figured it out to use it to keep calm during the MRI! I don’t think I would EVER have the courage to open my eyes during it if I had to have one. I do get a tad claustrophobic sometimes.

  6. Kim says:

    I would have a very difficult time head first in an MRI and am filing away your suggestions just in case I ever need to make it through one.

    Your scarf is beautiful. I have some Malabrigo Lace but have not had an opportunity to knit with it yet.

  7. TheBon says:

    I’ve never had an mri done, but they practically have to sedate my sister because she is severely claustrophobic. Glad it all worked out in the end!

  8. Robin says:

    Did I miss something??? Why are you having a MRI? Will be thinking of you and hope the outcome is good. They should have told you not to eat — most MRIs are fine if you eat — depending on what they’re looking for and what body part is being scanned. I have had many and some facilities will give you earphones and ask you what kind of music you like. That really helps — with the loud machine noise, too. Visualization is very good, also. Glad it’s behind you!

  9. misa says:

    Glad you were able to calm yourself down in the MRI, knitting is definitely a meditative activity. Your Malabrigo scarf is looking lovely.

  10. Cookie says:

    I’m so glad you were able to calm yourself down and get the MRI done. Now you know why a lot of people need a Valium to get through that scan.

    The scarf is lovely and remember there is nothing wrong with artificially enhanced nupps. ;^)

  11. weezalana says:

    Great idea, visualizing knitting to stay calm and relaxed! I’ll have to try that!

    Ooo, that scarf looks fab already, LOVE the green!

  12. Steven says:

    My usually stoic mother, who bravely endured several root canals and various other procedures, was completely freaked out by her MRI. I’m totally knocking on wood on that one. Her advice? If they offer you a sedative, take it!

    Here’s to surviving unnerving diagnostic tests.

  13. Denise says:

    MRI’s and related technology are so sci-fi, they are the exact opposite of lo-fi knitting and golf, which is why you got anxious. That is my diagnosis.

  14. Chris says:

    So sorry that happened to you! It is a little panic inducing – the first time I had one, I must have looked so stricken with panic that the tech came in a sat with me!

    Hope it all turns out ok – have a great rest of the weekend!

  15. Rebekah says:

    Oh how horrible, glad you had a way to get through it. When I’m stressed at work I go to my knitting room, a huge room filled with fiber, a comfy chair, a fridge of real Coke, kept at room temptuature, why I keep it in a fridge I don’t know, and my dogs laying on rugs in front of a roarind wood fire. Boy do I wish that room was real!

  16. brokeknits says:

    Knitting to the rescue once again! I hope there are no more MRIs looming in your future, it sounds unpleasant. The scarf looks great, but what doesn’t in Malabrigo?

  17. tiennie says:

    I’ve never had an MRI but it sounds a bit scary. I hope everything was OK from it!

  18. Valerie says:

    I had an MRI this year. I was warned ahead of time (by my father) so I had an idea what to expect. I didn’t bother me, but I found I had to keep my eyes open or I got disoriented and THAT bothered me, but otherwise I was fine. Of course, I was always the child who would look at a tight space and go “I wonder if I can fit in there” and the try it. I can absolutely understand how it bothers people though. If you let your mind wander too much…
    The scarf looks lovely… you always have such beautiful yarn!

  19. Lisa says:

    I remember my MRI fondly (not!) – particularly the part where they told me to avoid swallowing if possible. So of course, I just want to swallow more than anything! I was so busy trying to not swallow, I don’t think I noticed how tight it was!

  20. Lorraine says:

    I haven’t had an MRI- but I’ve heard about them. I do the same thing when faced with unpleasantness- I go through my stash in my mind.

    Works every time.

  21. Kim says:

    I think I’d probably freak out too. Smart thinking to visualize knitting. I’ve heard it’s loud too and you aren’t allowed to move at all.
    Love that green malabrigo goodness. Mmmmm

  22. kim says:

    Oh, I’m glad you finally got through the MRI. I’ve heard they are the worst. I hope I never have to experience one. The scarf is gorgeous. I hope you enjoyed your time with your son.

  23. lorent says:

    When I was last having work done at the dentist, I thought about knitting, too 🙂 I’m glad you got through it ok.

    The scarf looks beautiful!

  24. Anna says:

    I admire you for getting through that so calmly. I do get claustrophobic, and I can’t imagine what it must be like…

    The scarf is lovely too!

  25. Mrs MJW says:

    #1 We are allowed to whine when it comes to our knitting.

    #2 The colors are gorgeous…just gorgeous.

  26. Oiyi says:

    Love that green! So sorry to read about your scary MRI.

  27. vickiknit says:

    Wow – I just hope I never need an MRI. Glad you were able to get through it and hope everything is o.k. 🙂

  28. hakucho says:

    I know what you mean about a MRI being intense…I’ve had a couple for migraines….boy did my head ever hurt during and after!! Hope and pray you get good results. No one wants to have surgery, but knowing you can still knit will make everything better. Good luck 🙂

  29. rhoda says:

    oh my goodness! i got freaked out just listening to you tell your mri story. glad that visualizing yourself knitting helped! on the vine looks great!

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