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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 kinda lucky in my entire life that i have ever had 3 MRI scans done and i didn't even know that my first scan was taken almost half a decade ago when i was only 2 years old, As i suffered with Viral Encephalitis in 1991 the infection caused my brain to swell up like a huge balloon and i suppose the doctors had to keep checking my brain to make sure that everything was ok and there wasn't any permeant damage and problems after the infection. My mom told me everything about my very first MRI Scan and how difficult i was about having it done as i was kinda young and pretty scared too, I really don't know how i reacted about it all as my mom has never told me to this day on what really happened on that day! I do recall my mom telling me that i was allowed to go into the scanner with my pink panther as he was like my companion and he came everywhere with me including my appointments and even shopping he was my favorite thing that i ever owned, I have also have a MRI scan of my brain in my hospital records with the outline of my pink panther and my mom and the doctors are the only ones to have seen this and hopefully it will be my turn soon. The scan went absoulty well and i never caused a fuss after i went in and that was that and the scan reviled that i have permeant scaring on the right hand side of my brain due to my Encephalitis and i also contained a bit of brain damage as well. I didn't even know that my brain had these issues until i was old enough for my mom to explain everything to me. I don't even remember having my brain scan done when i was a kid!
Skip a few years later on to 2004 - 2005 i was going though high school and i was also experiencing these very painful headaches and it all started when i was moving house at the time and i had some fish & chips from the chip shop and in about 20 minutes after i had ate it i experienced my first Migraine attack and i didn't even know what they were when i was having a attack, I told my mom that i had this very painful headache and my vision was very blurry and fuzzy and i felt extremely sick and she told me that i was having that was having a bad Migraine attack and she told me to go to bed in a very dark room and take some paracetamol for the extreme pain that i was in. The attacks that i was having was so bad that i couldn't even attend school half of the time because i was having symptoms of a stroke and this gave me pins and needles around my mouth and this made it impossible for me to talk and also my left hand side of my body was completely paralysed and i couldn't even walk and explain to my mom how i was feeling and it was very scary for me because i had nothing like this before and i was flooded in tears because the pain i was in, My mom who has been having Migraines for many years has never ever seen a attack like mine before and she was kinda worried about me and how i ended up having these awful attacks all of a sudden. These attacks went on for a while around about 2pm every single night and this made it impossible for me to attend school and while this was going on i missed so many days of school that all of my school work was so far behind and i had to catch up on so much work that i had missed, In the end my mom made me a doctors appointment to see a doctor to see what was going on with me and they gave me some more tablets to try for one month and to see what happens next. The tablets didn't do me any good and i went back to the doctors and they then referred me to see someone in the children's hospital at the hospital to see what was going on with my brain, As usual they gave me more tables to try and then they asked me to try them for one month and then go back to see them to see what they were going to do next.
When i went back to the hospital after one month testing these tablets out they even made things even worse for me because the attacks was coming on even more and made me feel extremely sick and i knew something else was wrong with me because every tablet that i was given nothing worked for me at all, The doctor requested for me to have a MRI scan and when i was told about it  i didn't even know what it was and what it does until my mom told me that i have had one before and this is when she told me about the one when i was a kid and i didn't have no memory of it ever being done. My mom explained to me what will happen to me and what the machine does and i was feeling pretty scared and nervous at the same time, I explained to my mom a few days before the scan that i was feeling very scared and i didn't know what to expect because it was a new thing for me and i just didn't wanna go though with it and my mom said to me stop worrying and you will be fine. The day the scan arrived kinda quickly and i remember that i had to take a day of from school because the scan took would take all day as it was a brain scan and it explained everything on the letter when it arrived and what to expect on the day. I remember that we arrived in the department kinda early and the nurse who was looking after me for the day greeted herself to me and said that i will be looking after you for your scan today! My mom had to also fill in some details about me and my health and to see if i was ok to enter into the scanner and things like that. I asked the nurse if my mom was allowed to come in with me while i have the scan done as this was my very first MRI and i didn't wanna be on my own though it all and she said thats absolutely fine and as i walked into the room and i saw the scanner for the first time i went omg thats a huge machine and its huge! Then the nurse explained to me whats gonna happen and she told me not to be nervous and just try and relax and your mom will be just beside you if you! I started to climb on to the bed and i was absolutely terrified and i was shaking like a leaf and i started to get myself winded up and then the worse bit was that they also had to put a cadge on my head to make sure that they get the correct photographs and it was very cramped inside and then i was taken into the scanner ready for my scans to get taken.
As the machine started up i was asking my mom whats that noise? she said thats the machine just starting up and getting ready to take your scans and just try to relax and talk to me and that machine was so loud that my mom and i felt the whole noise for almost 2 hours or more and i thought that i had lost my hearing for a while, As this was my very first scan i didn't know that i had to stay extremely still for the whole thing and i can remember that i moved quite a bit and this landed me being in the scanner for almost 3 hours or more. As the machine was making this noise i just closed my eyes and relaxed until they were ready to take me out of the scanner. After almost 3 hours i was finally out of the scanner and i felt extremely unwell and i said to the nurse that i cannot lift my arms and my legs as they were so stiff and she said just sit there for a few minutes she told me and see how you feel in a few minutes or so, After a few minutes had passed i didn't get any better and i had to be put into a wheelchair and take out of the scanner room because i couldn't get my feeling back into my limbs for almost a hour after it had happened. When i was able to gets sorted i was able to get dressed and go home and i said to my mom that i never ever wanna have a MRI scan ever done again unless i need it done because the experience was absolutely terrifying and when your in a small space its very claustrophobic and especially if your inside a tunnel for almost 3 and half hours on your own!
I waited almost 5 - 6 months for the scan to be looked at the doctors and specialist people and then the doctor then referred me to see someone at the Bristol children's hospital where my scan was looked at a professionals and then i was given a appointment after a few months,
When i arrived at the Children's hospital in Bristol i was greeted by friendly staff and the place at the time was kinda new and i loved the place everytime i visited because you felt like you were being looked after by professionals all the time, When i saw the doctor he had my scan results with him and he said that he had everyone from around the country look at my brain scans because he didn't know what expect and also to figure out what was causing these bad Migraine attacks. I had a few appointments with every month or so just to make sure that i was following his instructions. As i was seeing someone in Bristol for my Migraines i tried to attend school as much as i could because i was always in and out of school and these attacks were destroying my school life and i just wanted it over with as soon as i went to school. Within the couple of months of me seeing my doctor he also requested to me to have a EEG done to see if my brain waves was ok and doing what they should do and i felt OK with the whole process and the nurses looked after me very well on that day and it was so good that i fell fast asleep while the test was being done, Once my doctor had received the results from the EEG and everything came back as normal and then he told me that i was suffering from hemiplegic migraines and i asked what is that? he explained everything to my mom and i and also told me to avoid some foods like coke fish milk and cheese because this can easily trigger of a attack at anytime of the day and night. He also explained to me that you are also getting symptoms of a stoke while you are in the attack and no body knew why this was and the doctor told me that my Migraines are trigged by your scaring on your brain and my mom didn't think that this was the case and when he had gone though all of my information he then put me on full time medication called Pizotifen and this started off at 2 tablets before bed and i was on the highest dose at the start of my course of treatment and a few weeks after being on them this stopped my Migraines completely and i have been on them ever since.
I would love to come off my Pizotifen at some point as i have been on them now since i was 15 and i sometimes do get a Migraine but not as bad as i get them because the tablets are stopping these attacks coming on at 2am every night And i also have been watching what i eat and drink on a regular basis since i became a Migraine sufferer, It isn't nice having to carry around a injection kit and medications on you when your out and about as my attacks can come on at anytime of the day and night and having the stuff there with me just makes me a lot more safer for me.
Skip a few years to 2017 i have been having a lot of pain with my teeth and jaw for many years now and i have been to every dentist around my area to see what was the problem was, I have been to see a orthodontics about my jaw and he had explained to me that i do have a mild overbite and my jaw is out of a lineament and he said that i would need treatment for 2 - 3 years at a cost of £3,000 and i went back to have the x-rays and impressions done and then i told my mom how much the treatment was gonna cost and she wasn't prepared to pay for it for me and even my auntie too when they both had the funds available to get my issue fixed and i was in tears when i was told that i wouldn't get my treatment that i needed. I was seeing a NHS dentist for a while and none of them spoke any good english and spoke to me like dirt and told me different story's all the time then i decided that i would look for a new dentist that knew what they were doing and taking about, The dentist that i have been seeing since last year has been one of the best that i have ever seen and has offered me the right treatment and offered me support as well As i also explained to him the problems that i have been having with my jaw over the last couple of months and i was also referred to see someone in Bristol dental hospital witch was a total waste of time and then i said i want it fixed as soon as it can be done.
He was very understanding and then offered me yet again a mouth guard and i said to him on my second visit that this guard was a waste of time and i want to be seen at the Hospital because by now the pain was getting extremely worse and i wanted some treatment sorted, He then made a letter to the hospital for the appointment witch came kinda late and then it was cancelled and then a new appointment was made for me. I was kinda looking forward to be seeing a professional and to ask them questions about my Jaw and what possibilities there could be to get my issue fixed and The person who i saw was a couple and utter waste of time and clearly doesn't know anything about TMJ! and joint problems. She then asked me to go and sit on the chair so she could take a look at my jaw and mouth and i said do not put your finger in my mouth as i will scream as it does hurt me a lot! Well she poked her fingers around my mouth and caused me to be in a lot of pain and clearly didn't take in my information about my condition when i told her to stop! Once she had finished poking around in my mouth she told me to wear a night guard and be on a soft food diet for 6 months and i said to myself she can get lost because a mouth guard will not cure my TMJ, As i was walking out she then requested me to have a MRI Scan on my jaw joints and a X-ray and i am thinking do i have to go and have this done again because i didn't wanna go though that awful tunnel again.
The letter for the MRI scan didn't take that long to come though and i believe it was around about September time for 1.30pm and my scan would be taking place and i was extremely nervous and i was saying in the car to my mom that i don't wanna go though with this again and i was asking people and watching YouTube videos to see what the experience was like going though a tunnel again and my dad said don't worry all the machines are much better now and doesn't cause claustrophobic anymore as they are much bigger and wider and this made me feel a lot more relaxed, He told me to stop worrying and you will be fine i promise you! The night before the scan i went to bed and i nearly thew up as i was so scared about the whole process and going though it all again and i just didn't wanna go.
So the day finally arrived and i was pretty calm and relaxed and i had to take my dressing gown with me to make me feel more at home and more relaxed and i had to walk to the reception desk while my mom was parking the car and then i booked myself in and i then waited to be called. As i was waiting to be called in i could hear 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 that was building up inside me and then i was called in and the person who was greeted by absolutely wonderful and i explained to him about my claustrophobic when i had a brain scan done in 2004 / 2005 witch made me have it and then he told me that the machines are much more bigger now and doesn't cause any claustrophobic these days as the machines are much better and more improved and i said OK to the person who was looking after me. As i was waiting to be called in for my scan i had to have my weight measured and my hight to make sure that i was safe enough to go into the scanner, As the last person left the room i was allowed to walk in and get myself ready and placed into the scanner bed and i saw the machine and i explained to the person that this isn't the machine that i remember when i had my scan done and then he explained to me what will happen every step of the way of the scan! He asked me to have a cadge over my head and also to hold a splint in my hand so he could get a photo of my jaw when its open and closed and i said OK lets go for it.As i took my shoes off and got myself onto the bed while they were taking to me and gave me a support for my legs and they also gave me a button to stop the machine just incase that i get worried or something, i was also given some ear muffs to lower the noise of the scanner because its very loud and this made me feel a lot more calmer when i was finally given these and then i was placed into the scanner waiting for the machine to start taking the photos, While i was in the scanner i could hear the person talking to me in the scanner and asking me questions throughout and i can remember that it was extremely hard to relax my hands as the splint that i was holding was hurting me and i was in a lot of pain holding that splint. As i was also feeling very tired that day i just went to sleep and i was also able to hear what was going on around me and the scanner was very fast at taking the the photographs and the machine made very loud noises and i also had cushions against my ears and my ear plugs so the noise wasn't that bad as i thought it would be. 
The noise reminded me of a woodpecker pecking at wood and having music playing at a disco and it was just a amazing experience in the new scanner, While i was taking a nap i was thinking about the dogs and especially my dad and i think that had calmed me down a lot while i was in the scanner and for some reason i didn't freak out and went all claustrophobic and i also thought of wonderfulthings that made me feel a lot more safer and calmer, The hardest part of the scan was taking the photographs of my jaw while my mouth was open and using the splint to hold it there in my mouth and the pain that i was getting was very painful and i just sat there with the cadge over my head and a splint in my mouth trying to relax and it was very hard for me and a experience that i will never forget.The scan in total took over 1 hour to complete and i was very pleased with myself that i went though a MRI machine again and the people who was looking after me on the day had cured my claustrophobia because they were so good with me and explained everything to me every step of the way, When i finally came out of the scanner i did feel bit weak and very stiff because i had been lying down for a while and i was helped my a lovely nurse who helped me up from the bed as i didn't have any strength in me to pull myself up, I must say that it was a great experience having a MRI scan done in a top of the range scanner because technology has change so much over the years and our machines these days are much faster then previous generations. I don't suffer with claustrophobia any more witch is fantastic news and i am more then happy to have a scan done at anytime of my life if i ever need one for anything. I was looked after by the most supportive and caring nurses and doctors on the day who looked after me and took all of my information in about my anxiety and my claustrophobia and i knew from the start that i was in good hands when i was placed into the scanner.I am truly thankful to the whole team who looked after me on the day of my scan at @GlosCCG!

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