I had my first of three yearly MRI’s yesterday. Even though I’m not claustrophobic they really suck. The test itself lasted for about 30-40 minutes and in that time my mind wandered as I listened to music and closed my eyes. There’s nowhere to go and no distractions once you’re in that machine. You’re there, unable to move for however long the test lasts so you’re left with nothing but your thoughts.
The loud pings and pangs, bumps and bangs get to you, especially since you’re crammed into a small compartment head first. The techs try to make you comfortable, but, ultimately, it’s an uncomfortable test. Not only because of the physical surroundings of the test itself, but what the MRI will ultimately reveal.
My results have remained the same for 5+ years, to which I am grateful, but I always have that fear lurking in the back of my mind. What if.
What if this time is different?
What if my results show active lesions?
What if my results show a loss of grey matter?
What if. What if. What if.
I know these thoughts and fears are normal. I know I am increasingly lucky because my medication, Tysabri, is working, and my body is tolerating the medication well. I know there are several factors here, all in my favor.
I know all these things, and yet, my anxiety causes these fears to fester.
One of the many difficult aspects of this illness is the uncertainty. It allows for anxiety to morph until it can spiral out of control.
I know I am incredibly lucky. I hope and pray everyday that MS remains quiet (stable) and I can continue living my life as is for as long as possible.
I pray my medication continues to work and I can continue my treatment for the unforeseeable future.
I pray more medications are developed that work to fix the damage already accrued in my central nervous system (CNS) — a process known as myelin repair.
I pray neuroprotective agents are discovered to slow, or even stop, the rate of decline in brain shrinkage and functionality.
I pray that one day a cure is found.
Until that day arrives, I pray scientists and researchers are able to make MS a boring, limited or even non-disabling condition. Even if that means I need to remain on medication for the remainder of my life.