Saturday, April 09, 2005

Better Living through Chemistry

Thanks to bad genes I get to enjoy the comforts of an MRI tube a couple of times a year. The first time I had one I was ok till the tech clamped this mask over my face (necessary when checking for the presence of a brain) to keep my head still. Forty minutes later I was ready to scream. I never thought I was claustrophic till that day. Several months later I needed to repeat the test so I asked for a open MRI. Much nicer and they gave me a CD with pictures of my brain. That was ok till the report came back and noted some "unusual signals" that could possibly mean about 15 different things - one of which was Multiple Sclerosis. Since I have siblings with MS it raised a few flags with my doctor. So off I went to a neurologist. It was a most interesting appointment: if one was interested in everything but MS. The doctor was 70+ and not in the best of health. He also had a pretty good case of the shakes. One of the things he wanted to do was a spinal tap. Not!

I told my doctor about the specialist and he decided to sent me to a different doctor at Loyola Medical Center. After a three month wait for an appointment the first thing he told me after looking at my latest MRI was I needed a closed one. Head and spine. About 1.5 hours worth. In that tiny little tube. He also gave me a prescription for Valium. Made it bearable. Not pleasant but bearable. And no MS. Well I have one of the signs but no symtoms.

So today was my latest MRI. Valium was again my friend. It kinda wiped me out for the day. Groggy and foggy for several hours afterwards. The wife (a RN with 20+ years of experience) tells me that people take a larger dose than I took every day. Just to function. I'd be asleep on the couch all day.

Hopefully I won't have to repeat this anytime soon.

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