Lifestyle Magazine

My MRI Experiences For My Brain & Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)

By Princessonfilm @Princessonfilm

My MRI Experiences For My Brain & Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)I've been hella lucky to have just 3 MRI scans done in my entire life since i was a child and i don't even recall having any kinda MRI scan done until my mom had told me that i had one done when i had my Viral encephalitis witch i had in 1991, The infection had caused my brain to swell up kinda bad and i think the doctors at the time just wanted to check if everything was normal and nothing else was seriously wring with my brain. My mom had told me all about the issue that i had when i had to go and have this MRI scan done and i was around about 3 and i would be very fuzzy and i would also refuse to go into the tunnel and i was screaming and kicking my mom so badly as well. The nurses tried to calm me down and spoke to my mom to see if anything could be done so i could go into the scanner without any fuss, My mum kindly asked the nurses if she could take her Pink Panther in with me because my Panther was my all time favourite toy and i would refuse to go out anywhere without him! The nurses was very kind to me and let me have the scan done with my Pink panther beside me and i was so much calmer and the scan was taken successfully without any issues at all.I don't ever recall ever seeing this very first brain scan but my mom does and she remembers that i had a outline of my Pink Panther beside me and my brain contained scaring on the right hand side of my brain. I asked my mom why i had this permeant scaring on my brain and she said that it was from the Encephalitis and it will never disappear and it will be there for the rest of my life, I was a little bit worried when she had also told me about that i also had a bit of brain damage when the encephalitis effected me and i was totally shocked and worried because i never knew that my brain was badly effected at all.
Skip a few years later to 2004 - 2005 i was going though high school and i was also experiencing these really painful headaches and it started when i had some fish & chips and the headache started, I told my mom that my head was bad that she told me to go to bed in a really dark room and gave me some medication for the pain. The attacks were so bad that i couldn't attend school because i was't able to walk and talk and all of my face and mouth was very numb and my mum knew that something was wrong with me so she made me a appointment with my doctor to see what was going on, I went to the doctor and explained to them what had happened and they said that i was experiencing a full Migraine attack but they weren't sure what type they were so they just decided to give me some medication to try over the next couple of weeks to see what they do for me and then go back to see my doctor if they didn't work, These attacks were coming on around about 2 - 3pm every single night and this made it impossible for me to go to school and the medication that the doctors gave me never worked and they sent me to the Hospital for further investigation. I went to the Children's Hospital and saw someone there who knew everything about the brain and they also said that i was going though Migraine attacks and yet again they didn't know what type and they also gave me more medication to try and they just made it worse for me and i was very sick every time i had taken one and then they requested me to have a MRI San done to see what was causing these attacks. I went home and i remembered that i didn't wanna go though this MRI Scan because at the time i didn't know that i had one before so i told my mom loads of questions about the scan and of course the scanner itself because i had never seen one before, The day of the scan i was pretty nervous and i had to take a day off from school because the scan would take all day as it was a brain scan as they take a lot longer to take for some reason. We got there pretty early and i was greeted by the nurse who was looking after me for the day and my mom had to fill in some details about my health etc! I asked if my mom was allowed in with me as this was my first MRI scan and i didn't wanna be on my own and the nurse said of course no problem, When i had walked into the room and saw the scanner i went OMG! thats a bit big isn't it ? and the nurse explained what was going to happen and then i started to climb onto the bed and i was terrified and i was shaking like mad and even my mom said to me that everything will be fine. They also had to put a head cadge over my head to take the scan and also the scanner at the time was very small and cramped and i just laid there and waited for the machine to start.

The machine started and i was saying to my mom whats that noise? she said thats just the machine starting up and she just told me to relax and try and talk to me as this machine was so loud that my mom and I Felt the whole noise for almost 2 - 3 hours and it was so bad that i thought that my hearing had gone and i felt so deaf afterwards, The scan took almost 3 hours and i had to stay still and all i can remember seeing is a mirror on top of the head cadge and that noise of the machine and i wanted to come out by this time and i just shut my eyes until they were ready to take me out of the scanner. When i was finally out i felt very unwell and i wasn't able to lift up my head and i couldn't walk and i was actually wheeled chaired out of the room because i was that bad, I said to my mom in the car that i never ever wanna go though that ever again in my life unless i am dying as it was very small and cramped in there and it was horrible, I also had claustrophobia when it was all over with and my dad also suffers with it very badly as well. When the scan was finally done it took a total of 6 months to take a look at and i had every single doctor you could think of looking at my scan and i thought something was wrong with my brain yet again. I went back to the Hospital and then they referred me to the Bristol Children's Hospital to see a professional because they couldn't help me any more and they had also ran out of options for me.

When i saw the professor in Bristol he was very understanding and knew what type of Migraine that i was experiencing and he had also seen the Brain scans and told me that the attacks was caused from your permeant scaring on the brain and i was diagnosed with hemiplegic migraines and i asked the doctor what where they and he explained everything to me and told me not to eat anything like Cheese, Coke , Milk , and all other foods that will trigger off a attack, I then was given some more medication (witch i am still taking to this day) and they have worked for me ever since the doctor gave them to me and they don't stop the attacks at all they just prevent them. I am so thankful to the doctor in Bristol because if i wasn't on the right medication i would still be having these nasty attacks every single day of the week. I didn't eat Chocolate Cheese Coke fish  for over 6 months when i was finally told about my Migraines and i had lost over 5 stone and it wasamazing and i have been watching what i eat and drink since i have been diagnosed and i don't eat a lot of Cheese and Chocolate and fish that often but my coke intake is very bad. The lastMigraineattack that i had was about 10 years ago now so i knew that the tablets that i have been taking since 2004 has been working for me and i now wanna finally come off them but i don't really wanna experience it because i might go back to square one and start all over again with Doctors and Hospital appointments.I have been having a lot of problems with my teeth and jaw for many years now and i have been to every dentist around my area to see someone about my issues, I have also been to see a orthodontics about my jaw and my issues with my teeth, I had a lovely chat with someone who examined my jaw and my teeth and said that i do have very mild overcrowding and my jaw is out of a alinement and i would need treatment for over 2 years if i was gonna have the treatment done. As money was so tight and the NHS wouldn't pay for the treatment i would have to pay the £5,000 myself for treatment and my mom and auntie refused to pay when they had enough in there savings to cover the full amount. I was absolutely devastated when i couldn't have the treatment. I was seeing different dentist all the time when i was with a NHS dentist up by me and they were very rude to me and none of them spoke any good English and told me different story's all the time and in the end i basically gave up with them and went with a new practice where i have been receiving the correct treatment. My dentist who has been one of the best since i have been seeing them has been given me a lot of advice about my condition and they have been very helpful ever since,
As i explained to my dentist about all the trips that i gone on to see people about my condition no one actually knows what they are talking about and when i see someone else they say the opposite so i am so confused on what's really wrong with my jaw, I also told them that i had been to see someone at the dental hospital in Bristol and they wasn't as good and i thought it was a waste of my time and money seeing someone who clearly didn't know what they were taking about. I was given a split / mouth guard to wear at night and this wouldn't help my condition at all only make it worse as i explained to my dentist and it would also make me feel very uncountable and i just wanted some answers. The first time around they did suggest me to have a mouth guard once again and i said that i didn't wanna have one ever again because they are a waste of time and they will not fix my condition and the day i got it i threw it in the bin because i knew that it was hopeless and waste of time and money to make it. Anyways the next couple of weeks passed and my dentist decided that they would send me to see someone at the Orthodontics at the Hospital where they have more knowledge and information about this sort of thing,
The appointment took a while to come though and when it did it was in the wrong place as it was booked for Cheltenham and theres no way that i could get there for 9.00 am in the morning so i had to rebook it for Gloucester Royal Hospital when they decided to cancel my appointment and sent me a new one though! I was looking forward to see a specialist and ask them questions about my jaw problems and see what kinda treatment they would offer me, Well the appointment didn't go as well as planned because the person who i saw was absolutely useless and clearly doesn't know about TMJ and joint problems. When i spoke to her about the issues that i was having on a regular basics she then asked me to go and sit on the chair so she could take a look inside my mouth, She just poked her fingers into my mouth and asked me about this and that and the pain well it was horrible and i asked her to stop because i was in a lot of pain and i needed to rest and then she stopped and said more things about my condition and asked me to go on a soft food diet and wear a mouth guard for 6 months, I said to myself that mouthguard will not fix my issue and i need braces but you try and tell that to someone who clearly thinks they know everything about TMJ.
She then asked me to go and have a X-Ray done and a MRI scan to see what my jaw joints are like and i was thinking OH no not a MRI i don't want one as what happened in 2004 with the one that i had with my brain scan as she was requesting the appointment, The letter for the MRI scan didn't take that long to come though and on 21st September at 1.30am my scan would be taking place and i was so nervous and i was watching YouTube videos about the scan just to see what it would be like going though that tunnel again and to make me feel a bit more relaxed and calmer, I was so scared about it that i spoke to my dad regarding this and he said that you will be fine and the machines are a lot more safer then ever before and less claustrophobic now and they are a lot bigger then before.  He said stop worrying and you will be fine i promise you! The night before hand i went to bed and i nearly threw up as i was so scared about going though this all again and i didn't want it to happen full stop,
So the day finally arrived and i was pretty calm and i also had to take my dressing gown with me to make me feel more at home and relaxed and i had to walk down to the reception desk and booked myself in as my mom was parking the car! and i waited to be called for my scan to be done. As i was waiting in the room i actually herd the machines going and i was thinking though my head i don't wanna go though this and i was on my phone to release some of the pressure of me and then i was called in, The person i was greeted by was absolutely wonderful and i explained everything to him about my claustrophobic when i had a brain scan done in 2004 witch made me have it. As he explained to me that the machines are much more faster now and they are not as small as you think because some people does suffer from claustrophobic and thats why they have improved the machines. I had to wait for a few minutes until the last person had there scan done as i had to get changed into my dressing gown and also i had to be measured and my weight just to make sure that i was safe enough to go into the scanner.
As the last person left the room i was able to walk in and get myself placed onto the scanner and i saw the new machine and i also had a little chat to the person who was doing my scan and he had explained to me what will happen every step of the way,  He asked me to have a cadge over my head and also hold a splint so when he needed to he could have photographs of my jaw when its open so they could get the right photograph,  As i took my shoes off and got myself on the bed while they were talking to me and gave me a support for my legs and they also gave me a stop button just incase that i needed to stop the machine for anything and then i was placed into the scanner. When i was in the scanner i could hear the person taking to me and asking me questions and i can remember that it was kinda hard to relax my hands and the split that he had gave me was also hurting my hands as well.
As i was also feeling very tired that day i just went to sleep but i was also able to hear what was going on around me and the scanner was very fast taking each photographs, and the machine made a very loud noises and i had cushions against my ears and ear plugs so i didn't get the full effect of the machine and i was so glad. The noise reminded me of a woodpecker pecking at wood and having music playing at a disco it was a amazing experience in this new scanner.
While i was sleeping i was thinking about the dogs and especially my dad and i think this had calmed me down while i was in the tunnel and for some reason i didn't freak out and i was thinking about a lot of wonderful things witch made me feel like i could easily do this again.
The hardest part of the scan was when they had asked me to put the splint into my mouth and keep it open to take photos of my jaw joints while my month is open and the pain that i was getting it was very painful and i just sat there with a cadge over my head with a splint in my mouth and i knew that i had to do this and i just took it off my mind when this was being done,
The scan took about 1hr - 2hrs and i was so pleased with myself that i went though a MRI machine again and i thought that the person who was looking after me he had cured my claustrophobia and i was so over the moon because i knew that i would never ever be scared about going though it all again, When i came out of the scanner i did feel very weak and stiff because i had been lying down for a long period of time and i was also helped by a wonderful nurse who helped me up from the bead as i didn't have the strength in me to do so.
I must say that it was a great experience have a MRI scan done in a top of the range scanner and of course i don't suffer with claustrophobic anymore witch is fantastic news, I am more then happy to have a MRI scan done when ever i need one done and i was just blowed away with the support from the staff and the nurses that day who looked after me and spoke to me every step of the way about the scan. They also knew that i had depression and anxietyas they asked me how i was feeling and i knew that i was in the right hands when i was the scanner.
I am truly thankful to the whole team who looked after me on the day of my scan at @GlosCCG
I am due to get a follow up appointment any day soon to go and see my scans and further treatment.
You can follow my progress and status on my twitter account on @Princessonfilm

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