Saturday, August 15, 2009

My first MRI.

I wrote this last weekend for my other blog, but at the moment it seems pertinent. Except now it gets an addendum. I was having an MRI because we though I had a bulging disc in my cervical spine...

* * *

It's sort of like being in the middle of an air raid siren. No, I mean inside of the actual siren - the thing that makes all that noise. What else could explain that level of sound and vibration? It's actually comforting that the quality of the sound changes every couple of minutes - from a honking kind of alarm to a jackhammering kind of noise, and so forth.

It's also a bit like being stuck inside of a Squarepusher album, which itself is stuck on one of the more noisy bits.

Honestly, though, it wasn't so bad. I was only doing the cervical spine, so my test only lasted for fifteen minutes. My tech was really nice, and saw that I was clearly anxious. So he let Jonathan come to the back with me, and then had him fill out a few forms so that he could come right on into the test with me.

Laying down on that plank, I sure did want to start crying (again). But they put a nice blanket over me, and a foam wedge under my knees so that it would be more comfortable to lay still. They gave me ear plugs of course. The "camera" for my neck was attached to a crazy contraption that fit sort of over my head and face, and made me feel a bit like those poor kids with headgear that you see in awful 80's teen movies. Before they slid me in, they handed me a sort of ball attached to a cord, and told me that if I needed to stop and come out, all I needed to do was squeeze that ball. It's the kind of shape that's just reassuring to hold in the hand. And of course, knowing you have a killswitch is comforting in and of itself. Then, in I went, into the tube.

And then they pulled me back out. It was a little disconcerting. But they did it to give me a mirror, one that fit onto the thing that straddled my head, so that I would not only feel Jonathan touching my legs, but would also see him. I think it made all the difference.

It was definitely a test of endurance. I am very, very sensitive to sound. It is also terribly hard for me to stay in one position for more than about two minutes, let alone fifteen. But I did a lot of slow conscious breathing - knowledge left over from my yoga days - and for the last five minutes I was counting down. I have a pretty good sense of the length of a second, because of a habit I had as a kid of literally watching clocks.

When it was over I was quite relieved - and quite stiff. My neck hurt for the rest of the day, just because I'd made it stay still for so long. But more importantly, it was over. Now, hopefully, by Tuesday I'll know what is and is not wrong with my neck.

As one of my attorneys (that I work for - I'm not suing anyone) said, let's hope it's just effed up enough to get me some physical therapy.

* * *

Well, there is no bulging disc, which I'm being urged to think of as a good thing. And yes, it's always good when there's no actual tissue damage. Problem being that what I do have is a pinched nerve due to "normal arthritic changes" in the discs. There is little to be done about this. The docs tell me really helpful things like "get a lot of rest". Which I'm trying to do. I'll elaborate on this later. Even my chiropractor doesn't have much input; all she can say is to keep on coming. Which I will.

And naturally, the insurance company won't cover any therapy. They're so, so not into chronic problems. I gotta get me a sports injury; they're all over those things.

I'm seeing my mom's neurologist this coming Wednesday while I'm in New Orleans, and I'm holding onto hope that he may have some insight that my docs here don't. Of course, he might say something really brilliant - something like, "well, you should get a lot of rest."

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