Personal Views

Inside the oven

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 03 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:319
  1. Helen Rosenthal

    When I was in hospital for removal of an adrenal carcinoma the most unpleasant experience was the magnetic resonance imaging scan. Despite written information and reassurances offered, I was completely unprepared for it. Why was it so traumatic?

    I now understand my distress by setting it within the context of being terminally ill. I knew that the tumour was malignant, that it was large and producing high levels of cortisol and other hormones. It created terrifying rushing sensations. The metyrapone that I was taking to reduce my blood cortisol made me nauseous and dizzy. My legs were weakening. I was terrified that I would not live to see my children again. Any resilience I had ebbed away. I had already been processed through many high tech investigations. I knew that the …

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