Mandatory Rest Period: MOVED!

2004-11-29

MRI Chatter

I wanted to write today about my MRI experiences as I think most who are diagnosed with MS go through them. Oh how lovely they are :)

First Scan: My Neuro Opth doctor ordered my first scan of just my brain. This was prior to my MS diagnosis and was to see if MS was a factor in my Sixth Nerve stuff. He didn't tell me that this was why he was ordering the scan. St. Pauls hospital phoned me and told me it was in 8 weeks! I was not okay with this. I was off work, no diagnosis as to what the heck was wrong with me and I was being told I would have to wait 8 weeks to have the scan and 2 weeks to get the results. No thanks. So I researched out 4 facilities in BC that are private. Big struggle here though... we don't "pay" for medical services in Canada, its our right to have health care equally and I felt strongly about staying with the public system. However, when I found out that I could have the scan done in 2 days and have the results within the week, I had to do it. So, I paid 750.00 and was on my way to Fraser Valley MRI. I called them on Friday morning and faxed them the requisition form. Friday early afternoon they called and said come in on Tuesday morning! Fast!

They were really great there. Super nice people, nice facility. They took me into a little room and gave me the key to it. I changed into the horrible pants and top outfit, lock my room up and then they take me to the MRI. First the tech gives me a full tour of the machine and what will happen. She gives me the ear plugs and has me lie down. She velcro's my head to the table and puts these comfy weight bags on either side of my arms and down the length of my body. They kinda hold you in place nice and tight so you can't move. She said it's more to remind you not to move but it was quite cozy comfy! She puts a blanket on me and puts these warm slippers on too then slides me inside the tube. Right above me is a little mirror contraption that allows me to look down and outside the tube. I can see the tech sitting at my feet perfectly. Kinda neat. Then, she walks me through the whole process and talks to me in the tube a lot to let me know what's going on. And before I know it after all the loud knocking and banging and buzzing its done. I slide out, hop off the table and go get dressed. Completely painless. Not so bad.

Scan Two: This was ordered by my neurologist that I went to see for a second opinion. He figured the MS clinic might have faster access to get me the MRI, but if not then this request would at least get the ball rolling. He ordered a scan of two sections of my spine; thorcsic and cervical. This time I decided to just wait for the public system to pay for it as I was about to the see the MS clinic and the critical brain scan was already done. The expection for this scan was that they would find lesions and confirm that I was a multiple sclerosis patient and not just a one sclerosis patient (brain scan only). So, my neurologists office phoned me to tell me the scan was Dec. 29th, but that if I phoend them and told them I could come at anytime and that I was off work they would get me in earlier!!! HUH!? Wish I would have known this prior to paying for my last one! So, I did and ended up getting that scan done in 4 days. Sigh. Lesson learned about medical apointments... always put yourself on the waiting lists and push for them to take you sooner if at all possible!!

St. Pauls hospital scan sucked. The foam under my head on the table was too thin so the back of my head started to hurt from having to lie on it so still! There wasen't a mirror thingy to look out and the tech didn't talk to me the ENTIRE time I was in the tube!! So, I never knew how far along the scan was, when it was going to move, no warm blanket or slippers or anything! It sucked. And it was a longer scan, about 40 mins in the tube. Blech. That time I started to feel just slightly uneasy in the tube. The first scan I didn't at all. The more you pay, the better the product I suppose?

And the findings? Brain scan showed 2 lesions. Spine scan showed 3 lesions and one disc bulging. No wonder my neck hurts!

4 Comments:

  • The neck thing, put your chin to your chest and you get a disturbing sensation. Its call L'Hermittes sign.

    By Blogger mdmhvonpa, at 5:36 p.m.  

  • Mmmm, MRI. Fun times. My first tipoff that something might be wrong was when my internist told me I needed an MRI and he got me in for one the NEXT day. Stuff like that just doesn't happen for healthy people. ;) Be glad you're Canadian--my MRI, AFTER my insurance payment, was $750. Can't wait to fork that over every year, in addition to the $250/month for meds. Oy vay.

    By Blogger Becca, at 6:53 p.m.  

  • L'Hermittes - I have been asked to drop my head to my chest by every doctor I've seen and I don't get that sensation. I was however hit by a drunk driver many years ago and I swear I still have lots of repercussions from that.

    By Blogger Kim, at 8:40 p.m.  

  • Becca - Perhaps I should shut my complaining trap about the MRI! Crazy. I don't know a whole lot about the US medical system but I didn't think it would still cost that much after insurance. Thats awful!

    By Blogger Kim, at 8:44 p.m.  

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