6/18/13

Pod Person X 2

UPDATE:
Rotator cuff tear with muscle impingement, a cyst AND fluid on the joint. 

This is totally BIZZARO considering that other than slight pain upon making certain movements AND tingly nerve pain along with some numbness, I have full range of motion with this shoulder. Orthopedic appointment on Friday for the next step in the saga.
 
An MRI machine is much like being in one of those eggs from The Matrix movie . . . without the gick. Or a cryotube from Futurama, Star Trek, or any other science fiction movie.
 
I could totally see someone freaking out in one of these . . . or getting stuck.
 
I'm not a large person and when the bed slid in and out of the machine my arms were touching the sides. Once inside I had a couple of inches of clearance above my face, but that's it.
 
I will say there are two good things about getting an MRI:

  • ear plugs
  • warm blanket
Yep, that's about it.
 
Okay, so it isn't that bad unless you forget to urinate or have an indescribable urge to scratch some part of your body . . . make that ANY part of your body. I just closed my eyes and tried to think about my picture book story. . .
 
The problem is that the clangs, clunks, trills, machine shaking, etc. are all very distracting. Though the MRI scan might take 30 minutes, it's actually broken down into a variety of different scans lasting from 2.5-5.5 minutes each.
 
Well, at least this shoulder one was.
 
Okay, I guess I should start at the beginning.
 
I arrive at the imaging center at about 8 AM. The place was already packed--they do more than MRI's here. And I fill out two long forms. I had the foresight to write down my medications--only three--and then promptly forgot the list at home. Two are asthma meds and one is the recent prescription of pain meds the doctor just ordered.
 
So I guessed at the spelling.
 
Then I had to remember my surgeries, luckily I only had three of them, too! I can't imagine how hard it would be for some of these patients who have numerous surgeries over a couple of years. I wouldn't be able to keep them straight. The main thing they were worried about was if any metal was inserted during the surgeries.
 
That would be considered A BAD THING if you went into the MRI machine and thought "Ooops!Don't I have a metal rod in my back?"
 
It really wasn't that bad.
 
There was a nice changing room with a locker. I could keep my shorts on since only my upper half was being MRI'ed, but I had to leave my phone, Kindle, earrings, and watch along with my clothes. I took the key into the room and the tech left it on the window sill.
 
To tell you the truth, I wasn't paying very much attention to the room or machine at this time. Probably due to nerves, though I did notice a room with a huge window that the tech was in during the scans.
 
Anyhoo, I lay on this narrow bed that slides into the machine. The tech puts this uncomfortable rubbery 'thing' over my left shoulder, my arm is fixed in a foam sleeve with my thumb facing up, earplugs are inserted, and I'm given a rubber "O. M. G. I'm FREAKING in here." pump to squeeze if I need to come out quickly.
 
Oh, yeah, and the blankie . . . those wonderful warm blankies. That's the best part.

As I mentioned the individual scans didn't take too long and I was home by 9:15. . . just enough time to backwash the pool and start piddling around outside.

Then I get a call. "Can you come back?"

"Ruh-roh, Scooby-Doo!" I thought. But I didn't have anything planned other than picking up the kidlet's glasses, which happens to be across the street from the Imaging Center.

The second time I become a pod person, I have an IV in my arm for some contrast media to be injected into the port. The media, as I was told, will brighten some areas to help the radiologist differentiate the problem area.

The same routine happens, except this time the kidlet is in the waiting room. They take a couple of scans to set up a baseline, and then they inject me with contrast media.

Think about how rubbing alcohol smells.

Got it?

Now, think about how it tastes and invades your sinuses.

Yeah, that's what it's like.

And it isn't even very fun when you pee it out. I wanted it to be fluorescent green or some other fun color so I could freak the kid out, but alas, it wasn't any fun. :-(

So they take another series of scans with the contrast media, yank the IV out and send me on my way.

It's weird but this was the one time I didn't bother to pre-diagnose myself, probably because I suspected the numbness stemmed from my previous neck surgery. Well, I call hubs and then we both start playing on the Internet.

Remember, this is pure speculation:
  • I could have a paralabral cyst that is pressing on my nerve, or many other types of cysts
  • or a neuroma, or other tumors
They each have their issues and treatments, but sometimes just having a name to pin to a situation is comforting--even if there is nothing you can do about fixing the problem.

All I can do wait until I hear from my doctor.

Speculating at this time re: treatment would drive me insane as there is NOTHING I can do except worry about various scenarios.

Why put myself through the worry? All it does is increase the stress, which makes my fingers more tingly and numb.

So I think it's time to take my morning walk. I'll post an update on this blog when I know something.

Later, Peeps!

 

4 comments:

Cynthia D'Alba said...

I had an MRI for headaches years ago. I fell asleep in the machine, knocks be damned.

Margaret Golla said...

Too funny, Cyndi! Did they find the reason for the headaches?

Marilyn said...

LOL about having a name to pin on your ailment being a good thing.

Back in college, I injured both knees. Went to various doctors, who looked at me -- clearly not the athletic type -- and poked on my knees a bit, then dismissed me with no advice beyond taking it easy.

When Bob went back on active duty, he became friendly with the chief of orthopedics at the Naval hospital, who agreed to see me. He did a full exam, X-rays, everything, referred me to physical therapy, gave me anti-inflammatories (which were prescription at the time) and followed up with me.

I went home from that first appointment, called my mom and excitedly said, "I have osteoarthritis in both knees!" It was great news because for five years, doctors had been brushing me off as if nothing was wrong.

Of course, eventually I realized, oh, crap, I have osteo! But finally getting a diagnosis was A Good Thing.

Margaret Golla said...

Having a name leads to understanding, doesn't it, Marilyn?

That was the way I felt many years ago when I finally found out that I had mono. Eight weeks of feeling horrible prior to that diagnosis, but once I realized what it was and there was nothing to be done for it except rest, then it was amazing how quickly I bounced back to normal!