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May 2011 Appointment at the Evelina

I am actually writing this post in my English lesson (I’ve finished my coursework so thought I’d use my time in a computer room for all you lovely people). I apologise in advance for it being a bit formal, am in English writing mood!

On 10th May 2011 I returned to the hospital to get the results of the MRI and decide what the next step would be. Once again I was very nervous and apprehensive, I also had a lot on my mind – an old friend, Declan, had died two days beforehand and he was my age so obviously I was very upset (I will write a special post about him soon so bear with me). This was my first visit to the Evelina Children’s Hospital and I was pretty impressed – I am a big fan of the themed hospital levels approach to children’s hospitals (it goes from Ocean to Sky so we get a whole spectrum of colour schemes and animal decorations)

ANYWAY, we were sent up to X-ray and had to wait around for a bit before they actually could take the X-rays – the floor was called Arctic if you were wondering. When they were finally done we went back down to Ocean reception and handed in the ‘Back from X-ray’ card. After some MORE waiting, an unfamiliar man came out and called me in. He was one of Dr Lucas’ registrars. We were ushered into the room (I apologise, I’m going all formal!) and he said that the curve was stable and I wouldn’t need surgery. I was so happy!

St Thomas' Hospital May 11

St Thomas’ Hospital May 2011

To celebrate we went to M&S Simply Food in St Thomas’, which was becoming a tradition and sat on the grass by South Bank, opposite parliament. I can’t remember what I ate (probably ready salted crisps, cheese, chocolate mini bites, that sort of thing) but it was a nice day and I took a few photos with my dad’s phone – including a ‘guess where I am’ one in the WHSmith. I’m pretty sure this was the time I was bought a pack of Doctor Who Series 5 Top Trumps. All in all it was a pretty good day in hindsight.

We walked across Westminster Bridge and my euphoria turned bittersweet. Declan was dead and I was happy – it really didn’t sit well with me. However I do love Westminster Bridge, it is featured in the opening episode of Doctor Who series 1 (and now in Series 7 too) and a climactic place in Noel Clarke’s film 4.3.2.1., which I had recently discovered and love (despite the weirdness). I cannot for the life of me remember what we did next but probably got the train home.

The good thing was I could enjoy my summer – there’ll be a couple of random posts after this 🙂

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MRI and seeking alternatives

Hello! I’ve been really bad at updating this, but college has to come first and I’ve still had this massive cold!!

So, I said AGES ago that I’d write about my MRI next so I’ll do that in a minute but first I should fill you in on the alternative treatments we looked at.

1. Chiropractic – a friend recommended the local chiropractor so at about this time two years ago we booked an appointment and went down. I was extremely nervous and the place was very alternative, so the combined scent of incense and an odd video sent me over the edge and I threw up outside on the main road. The people were very good about it, although their solution was to give me rescue remedy mixed with water, which didn’t help me at all. Once I’d calmed down, we actually saw the chiropractor, who looked at me and said that he couldn’t help me. Instead he gave us some information on the Scoliosis SOS clinic, where you have an intensive exercise programme for 4 weeks and continue these exercises for life. At that point, the main reason I was against surgery was missing school, and so this option wasn’t any better. We never returned to the chiropractor, except to give him some X-rays which confirmed that he couldn’t do anything.

2. Alexander Technique – If you haven’t heard of this, look it up. I started this with my mum, and once a week we would spend half an hour (I think, not sure) practising lying down techniques with the expert, and also walking. The main idea was to train our muscles so that we have good, straightish posture. It’s not proven to work but some say they had results

SO, they were the alternatives, but obviously they didn’t work.

On to the MRI. I had my MRI on Friday 8th April 2011, the first day of my Easter holiday. I had been stressed about it for a while, and the night before I was looking it up online and found that some people needed a canula to administer contrast dye – that scared me because I am petrified of needles! So I tried to find my appointment letter to find out if it applied. I didn’t find it but I did find a letter from my doctor about a tetanus jab I didn’t know about – my mum wasn’t planning to tell me until the 19th April, the day of the jab! I shouldn’t have been being nosy I guess, but it had my name on it and I felt I had a right to know.

ANYWAY, on to the MRI day. We got the train up – I was extremely nervous because obviously it’s a new thing, you’re not allowed to move and you’re in an enclosed space. Luckily I had my old toy rabbit (excitingly named ‘French Rabbit’) and a CD to keep me calm. We arrived and found the department (as I was 15 it was done in St Thomas’, which I had never been to before), filled in the forms and I got ready. I planned my clothes meticulously, making sure there was no metal in them (leggings and a T-shirt) meaning that I didn’t have to wear a horrible gown. The other patients also seemed more nervous than me, they were all older and probably a bit more ill too.

Then we went in. I lay down on the bed, probably more like a plank, and they put a thing under my knees to help my blood circulation. They also tried to put a thing over my head to keep it still but I couldn’t  breathe properly so they put something under my head, meaning the restraint wouldn’t fit – much more comfortable! I had headphones and my mum rubbing my foot, a panic button in one hand and rabbit in the other. The operators were very nice and I could listen to my music. I was uncomfortable and daunting at first but it didn’t take too long and afterwards I think we went shopping, which was good. Unfortunately this was two years ago (ALMOST TO THE DAY!) so my memory isn’t great but it really wasn’t as scary as I’d expected.

I have written FAR too much on this post so I will leave you now, if you have any questions please comment below, and I promise to write more soon!!