I’ve been struggling with hip pain for a long time; in the last 6 months it’s been getting worse and I finally went to the GP about it in June. In classic NHS style, I then waited till 2 weeks ago for my appointment with the specialist to roll around; I was in with him for about 5 minutes and he is pretty baffled, so now I have to go for an MRI. As he filled out the MRI forms he said words that made my blood run cold – “There will be a small injection.”
I hate needles. I have tattoos, sure, but that’s different for some reason (I’m not entirely sure what the reason is though). It’s only recently that I’ve managed to get myself to face up to needing regular blood tests – as a lot of mental health patients have to. As I walked out of the consultation, I was straight on my phone, looking up what an MRI with an injection entailed. Initial Googling reassured me that it would probably be what they term an ‘indirect arthrogram’, where they inject a small amount of contrast dye into the bloodstream and let it diffuse around the body. This seemed deal-able with.
But then, I got a letter to confirm the appointment and as I read it I felt the anxiety swelling in my throat. It contained details of the investigative procedure; specifically that they would be doing a direct arthrogram, which means they will be injecting the dye directly into my hip joint. Shit. It isn’t a prospect I’m ecstatic about (who would be?!). I am torn between reading up about every last detail and simply pretending it isn’t happening until the very last minute. I will admit I’ve had a little look on Google, and I’m not sure if that was a helpful thing to do.
Thankfully my mum is driving me there and waiting for me so at least I won’t be flying solo. But I am in a horrible panic about it even now, with 3 days remaining on the countdown. I’m hoping I can keep a handle on the anxiety and ‘power through’ it; I’m not half bad at doing that (I practice it every day of my life between travelling on the bus, dealing with work, and walking round town – I don’t let the niggles of fear swell into anything greater than a sense of nervousness, else I’d never get anything done.)
If anyone has had a direct arthrogram and have any tips, please let me know what it was like, how you dealt with it etc. I am desperate for some reassurance that this won’t be the trial I am setting it up as in my mind.