I got a letter in the post explaining that I would need to prepare myself by drinking two litres of water one hour before the scan and a description of what would happen at part of the scan - a small 'wand', called a transducer, is placed a couple of inches inside your vagina to get a better picture of your insides. The procedure is painless and lasts around five minutes.
During my journey to my diagnosis of acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR), I was called in for a fundus fluorescein angiography (which is easier if we just call it an FFA!) and an indocyanine green angiography (ICG) and it was one of my stranger appointments, but definitely not the worst.
It is absolutely impossible to focus your eyes for 30 seconds and to not blink. I don't know anyone who can hold their eyes open and focus on some images for half a minute at a time!
I was officially diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia by a neurologist, but I already knew I had TN the day after I experienced my worst symptoms. My first point of call was my dentist, as my pain seemed to be coming from my mouth, and within an hour of me seeing him, he said he was very sure I had neuralgia and to make a GP appointment ASAP. When I told my GP what my dentist had said, she sent a referral through for a neurology appointment. Sometimes your dentist really does know best.
I have never been ashamed to admit that I've needed counselling before. To be honest, I'd think it was pretty strange if someone was diagnosed with incurable chronic pain and didn't feel depressed, or scared, or something along those lines.
I'm aware that everyone's circumstances are different and all scans will be different, but I've complied a small list of top tips to maybe give anyone a bit of help preparing for a brain MRI..
When my GP first suggested I attend my local pain clinic, I wasn't sure what to expect, so I went scouring the Internet and couldn't find much information there either. I hate the unknown, so I thought I'd write a little about my experiences, so if you're reading this and you don't know what to expect from visiting a pain clinic, hopefully a little information from me will comfort you.