Fear the Tube

It’s two o’clock on Sunday afternoon. Is it too early to make the switch from coffee to wine?

Fuck it – it’s definitely wine o’clock.


It’s beautiful outside today: one of those gorgeous fall days where it’s sunny but cool, there’s a stiff breeze blowing the yellow and orange and red leaves off the trees…a perfect day for a run/stairs trip with my dog, except that she is stupid and makes a hobby out of trying to chomp wasps out of mid-air. Sometimes, like today, she actually catches one and gets stung on the inside of her mouth, and when that happens she develops a mortal fear of the outdoors for a few days. You’d think she’d figure it out. Oh well, it’s a good excuse to sit at home and drink chocolate-infused red wine (delicious but I’m not sure I’d buy it again – still on the fence about that one) and write.

So. I’m doing my best to try not to think about tomorrow. If you read my last post – my epic overshare that I’m still not 100% comfortable with leaving on the internet – you know that tomorrow’s MRI day. And I AM TERRIFIED. Not of whatever they find on the MRI of course; that will be fine either way: I’ll either still have a tumour and life will continue as it is, which is pretty damn good, or I won’t have a tumour and things will change a bit but for the better. No, what I am afraid of is actually going into the tube. Ridiculous, right?


Logically yes, it’s ridiculous. But I have a good healthy case of claustrophobia, and having my head locked into a frame (that they have to close with a screwdriver!) and then getting slid into a noisy coffin-sized tube where I can’t move a muscle for 45ish minutes sounds like Dante’s seventh circle of hell to me. I mean, I can barely handle being in a crowded movie theatre, for cripes’ sake! Other things that simultaneously push my terror and hatred buttons include (but are not limited to) airplanes, carnival rides, crowded buses and trains, and those weird hairdryers that fit over your head. Nope, nope, nope. It’s not that I won’t do those things (that would really interfere with life) but boy do I ever hate them. My hairdresser used come get me from under the dryer and find me all pale and sweating bullets. “Was that nice and warm and relaxing?” she’d ask. “Yeah!” I’d lie enthusiastically. “It’s like nap time in there.”


If I have to get on an airplane I usually drug myself beforehand in anticipation of the fear, so that right around the time that they seal the doors shut (gah) and the plane starts taxiing down the runway, my urge to freak out and tear my clothes off and jump out a window is superceded by the urge to fall asleep. Whimpering and trembling segues to snoring and drooling.

Given that I am aware of this, do you think I tell the hospital staff about my neurotic tendencies and ask for sedation?


Weeks beforehand, I always think to myself that it’ll be fine, I can muscle through this one more time. This will be my third brain MRI so it’s not like it’s a new experience. But the other thing that I cannot bring myself to do unless it’s in the most extreme of circumstances is ask for help.

So, tomorrow morning at ass o’clock, I will be getting locked into the head thing (with a screwdriver! Gah!) and sliding into the tube drug-free – which is good because afterwards I have to get in the car, probably have a panic attack, and then drive to the gym to throw some heavy stuff around because that always makes everything feel better.


Ok guys, talk to me – what are you afraid of? How do you deal with it? Either comment below or email me; I’m always listening!

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