I wish I’d discovered this song last time. Or maybe I don’t.
Yes, I was told to go back to the MRI for another scan. Basically, last time I was sent there, they found an itcy bitcy teeny weeny spot on my pituitary. Hmmm that almost works like the yellow Polka dot Bikini song.
Anyway they wanted to see if it had changed.
I am still blown away by the fact that an MRI can see something that’s less than 3 mm in size. Holy crap! I know that it’s sensitive and super duper good, but…that super duper? Wow! They found a spot that was slightly under 3 mm across, and they said it was benign. But they still wanted to check on it because…like dude, that’s someone’s brain here! So a couple of weeks ago, I arrived for my late-night date with the banging grinding chamber of doom. I thought it would be interesting to write about the differences this time around, and mention a few things I forgot to put in the first post.
One thing that has not changed is my veins still suuuuuck! But I thought I was going to be a big ol’ smartypants and prepare. I was going to bring a bottle of water and sip sip sip away while I twiddled my thumbs and whistled in the waiting room. I drank a glass of water before I left, but I thought I’ll just keep drinking and I’ll be nicely hydrated by the time they have to play the game of “Where are Carin’s veins.” I also wore a long coat to keep my arms nice and cozy snuggly warm.
But ah, I had forgotten about the new COVID era. There is no waiting room. When you arrive, they grab you and start everything right up. Even if I could wait, I was nervous about moving my mask so I could drink the water, and whether I would get told to stop. So drinking water while waiting got thrown right out the window, and I ended up drinking as much as I could while changing into the lovely hospital gown. I was chug-a-lugging as much water as I could put in, knowing I would run out of time really soon.
It wasn’t enough. Before they were done with me, they had put bandages on a couple of failed places, and it was looking, once again, like I was going to be sent home without the scan. Eventually they had to settle for the back of my hand right where index finger meets hand. I try not to be an obnoxious wussbag, but once they start searching, I don’t hide my discontent for long. Just like the last time, they told me to schedule my MRI when they could have an IV nurse around. Dude! Do you think I *asked* for a spot at 9:00 on a Sunday night? That’s so totally what everyone wants to do late at night at the end of the weekend. No, that was what they gave me, and even when I told them that I had been told my veins were terrible, the scheduler was not phased. This was what I was getting. At least these folks were as understanding as they could possibly be, and as patient as they could be with my peekaboo veins. The IV was in and off I went.
I forgot to mention in the last post that the sound the machine makes when it’s not grinding and buzzing makes me think of a snuffling beast at rest waiting for a command from its master. I have no idea what gave me that idea, but it still did this time. It kind of made me think of police dogs making that noise they make when they just know they’re going to be told to track or grab or whatever. I’m not even talking about the whimper, just the puff puff puff. It either made me think of that, or that description of the car driven by Stephen King’s “Low men in yellow coats.” I can’t find it exactly, but I remember it described as looking almost like a car, but it was alive and would make snuffling noises while it waited to be told the next move. I think it also ate people. Eek! My imagery brain is way too active.
Another thing I forgot to mention last time was something that rolled through my head after I had changed into the gown and they had packed away my stuff in a locker. They then put the *metal* key to the locker around my neck. Keep in mind this was after they had taken great pains to ask me if I had any metal on or in me. As I walked to the machine, I kept thinking “Either this key isn’t metal, or something bad is about to happen.” Of course, at the last second they took it away. But I remember thinking that was really weird.
Either I’m losing my hearing or the earplugs they give have gotten way better at muffling sound, because I put them in before I lay down and suddenly I couldn’t hear anything they were saying or tell where the exact spot was for my head. Aside: suddenly losing my hearing, which is like vision to a blind guy, is downright terrifying. People would appear out of nowhere adjusting things and I would frigging jump out of my skin!
As I lay there waiting to see what melody my mind would construct out of the grinding, no melody emerged. There was one small part that kind of sounded like someone playing electric guitar badly, but it never really got going.
Then they came to add the contrast dye. No matter how many known side-effects there are, they never tell you about all of them. They always tell me about feeling a cold sensation, or tasting something metallic. Last time, I mentioned having an enormous sneeze, but I didn’t realize it came after the dye. Well, it happened again, and after they added the dye. Of course I never would want to sneeze in there because I might move my head involuntarily, but in these times, I really didn’t want to sneeze. It felt like a cardinal sin! I couldn’t move to cover anything, and I was about to ha-choo who knows what germs inside the teeny tiny tube. When they let me out, I told the nurse about the sneeze and she asked me if it was after the dye. I said yes, and she said “That’s what happens to me too!” I asked her what I could do about it and she said there isn’t anything that you can do. Hmmm I don’t like the idea of potentially needing to have pictures done over again because of a need to unleash a giant sneeze so violently that my head jerked!
One more small thing made me laugh, and made me realize just how long I’ve had a guide dog around me. Once they put you in the tube, they put a little cord thinggy in your hand and you can squeeze the ball if you need them to stop. Because they need to add dye to the IV halfway through, they come and scoop the table out of the big machine and it goes back to making its snuffling low men in yellow coats noises. As soon as they went to do that, I tightened up on the squeezey ball cord as if it were a dog leash and I had to contain Shmans from doing something dumb. Of course it wasn’t Shmans because she couldn’t go anywhere near an MRI machine, but that didn’t stop me from tightening my grip on the cord like Shmans might move suddenly or smooch someone. Thankfully I wasn’t holding precisely on the squeezey ball when I did it, but I had to laugh that the first thing I did was grip the thing in my hand like it were a dog leash.
So I survived another MRI. The results have come back and if anything, the little spot has gotten smaller, but we’re all confused because there’s some lack of clarity in the pictures, hopefully not at the spot where I sneezed. I even asked if the pictures were clear because of said sneeze and they said yes. I hope they don’t change their mind any time soon. As much as getting an MRI isn’t totally horrible, I don’t relish being sent back there!