Last week I had a brain MRI and a CT scan to assess the effect of Tagrisso on my Stage 4 NSCLC. I have a 4.8cm tumour in the left upper lobe and also a smaller un-biopsied tumour. There is a 9mm ground glass opacity in the upper left lobe and I have a confirmed pleural effusion. The PET scan did not identify any other mets, but the oncologist wants the brain MRI to ensure that this is clear. Possible lymph node involvement by the bronchus but not confirmed. I have been on Tagrisso for just 6 1/2 weeks and because I have a rare EGFR mutation which has no viable study on the outcomes, the oncologists wants to assess the efficacy of the treatment asap in case I have to change treatment. So these scans were scary as they are going to determine the rest of my life.
I have a hearing disability and wear hearing aids some of the time. The CT scan was perfect - I was able to wear the hearing aids and it was a very quick contrast scan. The I had to wait for nearly an hour for the MRI. I didn't mind the waiting too much as I had a good book to distract me. However, as you all probably know I had to remove the hearing aids. This meant I could not hear; but the radiographer promised to speak up and clearly. As I had not had a brain MRI before I asked why I had something over my face, to which the masked radiologist replied something I could not hear. So I asked again and she was exasperated.
During the MRI I could not hear any of the instructions whatsoever. Besides it is noisy. I was terrified; I didn't know of how long the particular images were going to take; and I was scared because of the reason for the MRI and became very lonely and tearful. When the radiographer stopped the scan to give me the injection for the next stage of the MRI I told her I was unable to hear her. She advised she spoke as loud as she could and couldn't do anything else and asked if I wanted her to continue giving me instructions to which I replied yes. Of course I didn't hear anything else.
I thought this member of staff treated me with disrespect and disregarded my disability. She made me feel another number in the usual day's clinic, whereas other members of staff at this hospital have never made me feel so insignificant; and have gone out of their way to make sure I understand for example during the lung biopsy and the insertion of a chest drain under the scanner. Does anyone else have hearing disabilities that affect their hearing during procedures?