Life with MS & EDS

March 20, 2009

Two Hours in the Tube

Yesterday I went for my brain and spine MRI on the super-duper powerful MRI machine.  I was there way longer than I expected.  I knew it could take 2 hours in the MRI tube, but didn’t expect things to get started as late as they did.  I also wasn’t expecting to have to stay COMPLETELY still for 2 hours straight.  I thought there’d be chances to move a bit, at least when they gave me the contrast injection.  But, nope, had to stay still.

By about 45 minutes into it, my right hand was asleep.  The last two fingers were so asleep that they really hurt!  I tried to wiggle them, but what I really needed to do was give them a good shaking around.  That wasn’t an option, but I did get to move them enough while she was injecting the contrast that it wasn’t so bad during the second half.  Injecting the contrast seemed to be a bit more challenging than I expected.  I forgot that my arm was still bruised from getting all of that blood taken 2 weeks ago.  Now I have 2 nice bruises in the bend of my left arm.  I would have had her shoot it into my right arm if it was so darn asleep!  It’s a good thing I did pick the left arm because after she did the contrast she said to keep my arm bent for a few minutes.  I was so afraid of moving that I just kept it bent for the whole second half!  Thankfully it didn’t fall asleep like the other arm.

Oh, on a side note while I’m speaking of bruises, I am still black and blue from the last Copaxone thigh shots I did over 2 weeks ago!  I got to meet my new MS nurse this past weekend at a lecture she did.  She was great!  I talked with her afterwards and mentioned the bruising.  I definitely have more of a challenge with bruising than others because of the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  The nurse asked if I tried doing the shots without the AutoJect since the spring action of it may be enough to bruise my fair skin.  Honestly, I’m too chicken to try it without the AutoJect.  I can’t imagine sticking the needle into myself on my own.  For now I’m just going to try to avoid places that are bruising that way, which thankfully means continuing to avoid my thighs.  I’m going to have an appointment with her next month for more shot training and to explore alternative shot areas that may work better for me.  In the meantime she did give me a good tip.  Sit down in a chair with your feet on the floor.  Anywhere you are not sitting on that doesn’t fall within the “bikini” area is fair game for a shot.  So instead of thighs, I’ve added upper tush to my rotation.  The tummy and arm shots are between the hip and tush shots, so I guess I’m spacing it out enough.  I have my shot rotation spots all mapped out so that there are 8 different spots for each tush and hip location.  With the exception of 1 week, all of the spots are quite far from each other, so I should be in good shape.  Also, I learned that I was doing my arm shots in the wrong place.  I was doing them where my arm rubbed against my side, so I need to go out further.  I did that last night and the shot hurt more to do, but hopefully the site reactions won’t be as bad.  Where I was doing them before I had red, very itchy spots for 6 days following the shot.  Benadryl spray only helped for so long.

Back to the MRI… The last time I got to listen to music, which made things go by pretty quickly, but the technician promised me that I’d hate the headphones by the end of the first hour and that it’s better just to take the ear plugs.  She was probably right about that part.

So, I got out of the tube around 5:20.  By then I knew I’d be heading out of the city at peak travel time.  That usually won’t matter, but this was a Thursday night and I’m a Brownie Troop leader.  Our meetings start at 6 p.m.  There was no way I’d make our meeting in time.  I quickly called my cookie manager and completely put her on the spot about taking over for me until I got there.  She was the only other person who had background clearance so that she could stay with the girls.  Thank goodness she was able to jump right in and I was only 30 min. late!  At least it has stopped raining by my drive home.  I really hate driving in the rain, especially when it’s kind of foggy.  It makes the vision out of my good eye look like my optic neuritis eye and that isn’t comforting!

I had hoped to spend my evening looking through MRI images, which sadly I love to do, but less than 200 of the over 1,000 images burned to the CD.  I was disappointed.  I called the hospital and they are going to mail me the CD and the radiology report.  I can’t wait to see what it says!  Hopefully I’ll be able to post more brain pictures and some spine images soon!


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