Today was my turn to FREAK OUT

I thought I’d had an MRI before, about 10 years ago, the last time I started having migraines.  It must have been some other type big expensive machine, because in that one, all I had to do is have my head inserted into it.

So that’s what I expected this morning.

No.  No no no.  This one, they strapped me down tight, put a plastic cage over my head, and tried to stuff me into a little hole that I didn’t quite fit into.

The moment my arms were pinned solidly against my body, my lungs stopped working, and some animal part of my brain pushed THE BIG RED PANIC BUTTON labeled:

YOU ARE
ABOUT
TO DIE

I totally lost it.  Totally and completely.  They couldn’t get me out of there fast enough, apologizing, telling me it was okay, that it happened at least once a day to patients. 

I think my waves of terror upset the entire office — everyone looked shook up.  Me, I was in shock.  I had not realized … I mean, I knew I had claustrophobia but not to this extent.  I was upset for an hour, trembling, mad at myself, embarrassed, shamed.

The thing that went through my mind, though, during the 45 seconds or so I was actually inside the machine, was very odd and disturbing.  It was a vivid memory of being inside a old time airplane cockpit, strapped in and trapped, as it sank into the ocean.  I remember the goggles on my face, the gloves on my hands, the stick and instruments in front of me, the leather sleeves of my flying jacket.  Mainly I remember the light fading as the plane sank and the water filled the cockpit.

Does anyone here believe in past lives?  Did I just experience how I’d died my last time around?

The whole experience has left me feeling physically ill.

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6 thoughts on “Today was my turn to FREAK OUT

  1. Wow, Jerry. That sounds scary as hell. And yeah, that is a pretty detailed vision to have in the middle of a panic attack. Nothing to be ashamed of, or embarrassed by, there are a LOT of people who freak out in those things.

  2. We all (mostly) have our phobias! Claustrophobia is common – I think being put into an MRI machine would freak me out too. I’m an atheist and don’t believe in the paranormal – obviously including reincarnation. My take on what happened to you is that in your terror your imagination worked overtime, or maybe you remembered something you saw on TV or at the movies or read about or a combination of all three! Something similar happened to me when I was a child – I still remember it vividly to this day.

  3. I am also claustaphobic, so I probably would’ve done even worse (there likely would’ve been blood on the inside of the MRI, if that makes you feel better). As for the possible ‘past life experience’, I think your mind simply did what it does best… It wrote… A story that leveraged your experience with planes… That fit the experience of the moment. But that’s just my opinion.  

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