I survived it. My MRI, that is.
You may remember that I had a “dizziness incident” in late March, attributed to stress by my doctor. But, hearing that I had an arachnoid cyst*, she ordered up an MRI. Just to have a baseline, she emphasized. Just so they know.
So, I got up at five-freakin’-thirty this morning and tottered over to the hospital (having only one cup of coffee because of the lack of a bathroom break during this thing). The MRI department is part of the Imaging Department, which includes Xray, ultrasound, CAT scans, and MRI--and probably a couple of others I'm not up on, now that I'm out of the medical world. I was checked in, and then called down to "Room 8," which turned out to be the MRI lab. The technician asked me if I had ever at any time had metal left inside my body (metal plates, joints, dentures; ever been shot with a bullet or BBs? Any gold on my teeth?). Was I possibly pregnant (if I am, it’s a miracle)? Etc. I divested myself of everything containing metal (read: watch, underwire, glasses, jewelry), wrapped up in a gown one size too small, housecoat ditto, and was slid into a plastic tube with a grate over my face (I did get a blanket over my knees, which was appreciated--it was cold in there! For the machine, I suppose). There I lay for twenty minutes, while the machine went “bambambambambambambam” three inches away. I did have earphones with a local radio station playing, but, well, not much can cover up that kind of noise!
The technician kept saying (through the earphones), “Now keep real still,” and of course just then I would get short of breath thinking of how small the tube was, not daring to open my eyes and see just how small it really was, and trying to keep my eyes still, because after all this is a brain scan and they might want to see what my eyes are doing in there…
Anyway, it was eventually over. I re-vested myself with metal and came home. More coffee and a dose of Matt Lauer in Paris later, I am feeling better. If sleepy.
*An arachnoid cyst is a benign collection of fluid in the arachnoid layer of the brain. It is thought to be congenital, and usually causes no problems. The brain forms around it and compensates. Researchers believe more are being diagnosed because more brain MRIs are being done, and therefore the ACs are being noticed (they don’t show up on an Xray).