It looks like you are using an older version of Internet Explorer which is not supported. We advise that you update your browser to the latest version of Microsoft Edge, or consider using other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

MRI machine

Self-care is a hot topic these days. Some people enjoy exercising while others relax by watching TV. My friends find it odd that part of my self-care routine includes MRIs. It sounds bizarre, I know! I no longer have MRIs annually but when I do, I look forward to it. 

But then I needed to have an MRI during the pandemic. Days before my appointment, I started to feel anxious. I remembered being brought back almost 20 years ago when I first started having MRIs to test if I had Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Those feels of the unknown and being scared showered over me like a gust of wind during a storm.  

I would often bring someone with me but was told that, due to COVID-19, no one was allowed in the hospital with me. Psychologically, I was nervous to walk into a hospital during the pandemic, but I also didn’t want to reschedule my MRI and potentially wait another year.  

I recognized that I needed to do a mind shift and remind myself having an MRI would allow me to relax and break away from my duties as a mom and entrepreneur. I quickly referred to my tips when getting an MRI to make the experience easier. As I left my car, I stood tall, put on my mask and walked into the hospital with confidence. I couldn’t help but notice the unwavering silence in the hospital. I watched people scamper by, not engaging in ‘small talk’, like we used to before the pandemic. I realized that if I wanted to have a pleasant MRI experience, then the best way was to smile at others. Smiling releases positive neurotransmitters called dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. This is the non-medicinal way for me to be calm.  I thought, ‘but how do I smile if everyone is wearing a mask?’ 

I did a test. As I walked down the hall, I decided to make a point of smiling behind my mask to each person I passed. I nodded and ensured that they could see a smile in my eyes. I said hello to many people and I also placed my hands together in the namaste pose. And people reciprocated!  

By the time I had arrived at the MRI room, I was no longer feeling anxious. In fact, I realized that by smiling, I participated in self-care without even knowing it. Yes, getting an MRI during a pandemic can be daunting but trust in the process, follow the rules and smile.

Curated Tags

Share Your Story

Visit the Living Like You social channels to join the discussion and get the latest updates.