Yesterday I had my first MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) since my brain surgeries this summer. I have both looked forward to and dreaded this day. Sunday night I had a case of the "Flashbacks" from my MRIs back in April, when we first found the tumor. The feelings of that day can never be forgotten, the fear, pain, grief and "unknown" was so strong it nearly took us over. Thankfully, by the time I went to the hospital on Monday, I was feeling at peace.
The MRIs proved to be more challenging this time around than any of my other times. Now, of course, I have metal in my head, and gold in my eyelid. These things can be potentially dangerous when the magnets start going. So, after 30 minutes waiting to hear the "go" or "no go" from the radiologist, I climbed into the claustrophobia-causing machine. The technician told me that if I started to feel pain or heat from the gold in my eye, that I should press the emergency panic button and she would stop the procedure. However, I was relieved to find my eye was ok for the first round of scans.
The second MRI was to be conducted with dye in my veins so any mass in my brain could be more easily detected and differentiated from normal brain tissue. This also proved to be a challenge. It turns out that my "IV arm" is full of scar tissue from all my previous pokes and prods. :) She was able to get the IV started so the dye was successfully in my system for the 2nd scan.
I am not normally claustrophobic, nor am I prone to panic attacks or anything of that nature, but being stuck in an MRI machine for 40-50 minutes is enough to make anyone go nearly crazy. The noises are loud and disconcerting. The "shaking" of the machine makes you feel like you are riding up a hill in a rollercoaster and the 3-6 inch space around my body felt like it was caving in on me. All I wanted to do was jump out and MOVE my body. You simply can't hold perfectly still for that long. Ugh. The thought of it now gives me the chills.
By the end of my time, I noticed my eye was indeed heating up. However, not wanting to ruin the last several images, I stayed put and didn't notify the tech until the MRI was through. She said that next time, we will cover my eye in cold compresses in hopes of keeping the "heat factor" down. Weird, huh?
When I emerged from the medical imaging coffin, I was surprised to see "Kim", the technician who performed the MRI on the day I was diagnosed. She was so wonderful to me on that difficult day. So, I told her how grateful I was and gave her an update on my "status". She gave me a hug and we cried tears of joy, together.
Now, it is time to wait for the results. This process takes a while because the radiologist will have to write a report, then have the report and the disc of my images sent to Dr. Couldwell. So, I don't anticipate I will hear anything for at least a few days. I won't see Dr. Couldwell again until January, so at least the first "news" will likely come by phone sometime in the next week.
Throughout the day, despite the little bumps and challenges, I couldn't help but feel peaceful and calm. My Dad asked me if I had any feelings as to the results of the MRI. Well, those feelings of peace were enough for me. Regardless of what they say, I know things will be OK. I felt it. :)
Today is the first day of December and I am officially excited for Christmas. I have to get over this cold I am coming down with, but still I plan to enjoy every moment of this beautiful, amazing time, and focus all my efforts on the TRUE meaning of the season. I continue to be grateful for my Savior, my family and all my blessings. Are you counting your blessings yet? :)