Sunday, October 3, 2010

My First MRI Experience

The MRI was finally done on my head on Thursday morning (9/30/10) . My ENT doctor ordered it due to this: Dizziness Diagnosis. I went to the radiology office, filled out the necessary forms and was soon escorted to the torture chamber, I mean the MRI machine room. The technician asked me to empty my pockets of everything and remove my watch, gave me a pair of earplugs, then positioned me on the machine. The wearing of a backside-revealing hospital gown was not even required. Elevator music was piped in through some headphones to mute the noise, and I had never appreciated elevator music until then because it helped reduce my anxiety level. The tech guy placed a push button device on my hand and he said it was a “get me out of here! button”, in case I couldn’t handle being inside the machine. The test was supposed to be with and without contrast, meaning, the first half was just a regular scan while during the second half, I was injected with a lightly radioactive material called galadium (?). I made sure I didn’t have any plans to enter or be near the port of Long Beach in the next couple of days because their gates have radioactive scanners. So anyway, the MRI machine made varied sounds like the whirring of an electric power tool, and a jackhammer, and the thump of a muted bass drum, all of which overcame the elevator music. All I could do was try to daydream and think good thoughts in the half hour it took to finish. Kinda hard when your head is caught in a vise. But I survived being restrained to the bed without feeling claustrophobic (I had my eyes closed the whole time), and other than a slightly shrunken head and being radioactive, I feel good. The results should be out in a couple of days.
Update: I visited the ENT doctor the next day (which was in itself a surprise because this doctor is usually booked for weeks) and he told me that he had some good news and some bad news. The good news was that the MRI didn’t find anything wrong with my brain other than it was missing (j/k), and the bad news was that there was nothing that could be done with my condition other than prevent myself from falling due to dizziness. It was the same thing he said when he first diagnosed labyrinthitis several months ago. No wonder I had been feeling lightheaded. Approximately 3 pounds of matter was missing from my skull! And no, the magnets did not suck the metal plate out of my left ankle.

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