Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The land of the new

I've experienced a few new things lately. Unfortunately, they haven't been good new things, but rather kinda not-so-great new things.

I had an MRI yesterday for the first time. I was quite nervous about this, since I'm a wee bit claustrophobic, but everyone I spoke with who's had one said it's not a big deal. Jamie had one on his knee, and he got to wear headphones and listen to his choice of music. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Well, I had to have a brain MRI, and it was not exactly a pleasant experience. My ENT sent me to the Open MRI place, so I thought that would likely be a good sign. However, when I checked in and the secretary asked if I was claustrophobic, that was a bad sign. I was already nervous about the fact that they would be scanning my brain, and what if they found something in there???? Something that's NOT supposed to be in there, that is (of course I want something to be in there...)?? For those of you who've had an MRI done, I certainly hope your experience was better than mine...I tend to think that I am the exception because I don't really like stuff like this.. However, I was okay laying down on the thing (she gave me a panic button). I was cool with the earplugs instead of headphones since I had already figured out that wouldn't be an option for me. I had decided I would do a little guided imagery to get me through it. The nurse put some kind of cushion-type things beside my ears to hold my head still, then she moved a cage-like thing around my head. Yeeks. Then she rolled me back into the coffin. That's what it felt like. I immediately began to take deep breaths and was able to calm myself down fairly well. I could even handle the loud sounds of the machine. This all lasted about 20 minutes I think. Then she rolled me out and said she had to give me a shot. A shot!!! What?!?! I don't like needles. The first thing I thought was that since it's for my head and all, she had to give me a shot in my head. I know I sounded panicky when I asked her for more details...where, why, how, etc. Once I found out it was just a simple shot in my arm, I settled down a little, but then she had a hard time finding a vein, and then when she injected the shot, it blew out the small vein she had found. If I had still been holding the panic button, I would have hit it. So she moves to the other arm and I inform her that I really am just a big baby with needles. Fortunately that shot took and she rolled me back into the coffin for more imaging. However, I was truly so shaken after the whole shot thing that I swear I was unable to keep my head still. All of my guided imagery was out the window (if there had been one). I just really hope I never, ever have to do that again. Even writing it now I can see what a baby I was, but what it comes down to is that I'm not a fan of the unexpected.

Last week I had another type of test called an eCog. It stands for a long word I can't remember, write, or pronounce. Basically, the technician hooks you up with an electrode on the forehead, puts wires in your ears and you have to lay completely still with eyes shut for 30 minutes while the wires transmit loud, hammering sounds into your ears. It wasn't horrible, since I did get to just lay there somewhat peacefully for half and hour, and there were NO shots involved. It was just different.

I'm being tested for Meniere's Disease. You can read more about it on the link, but I've been having symptoms for a while, and my grandfather has it. I currently have hearing loss in my right ear, and it will progressively get worse if I do have Meniere's. I go back to the ENT today to get my results from both tests and for a definite diagnosis. The good news is that, although it is incurable, usually a low-salt diet is great for symptom management. So, if I do have it, I will likely be starting a new diet soon. Yum.

Anyway, I really respect those in the medical community, not only for being so educated in what they do, but also for putting up with those people like me who don't make their jobs any easier by being pitiful. :) My hats off to all of the doctors and nurses out there!


Hillary Dunham said...

Oh my goodness, Jenny! That's not babyish! That sounds like torture! Remind me to tell you about the brain scan we had to have done on Owen when I was 9 months pregnant- it's up there with this story. The idea of blowing is vein is crazy! I didn't even know something like that could happen! Ugh! I'm glad you survived and I hope that the tests are helpful- either way. And please keep me updated about the Meniere's. I had no idea. I'm glad you're being aggressive about it. I will be praying for you and the docs. Love ya'!

Steph said...

So I guess the MRI results put it to rest... all those years when we were kids growing up and I kept insisting that there was SOMETHING wrong with you--- well, now we know for sure I was wrong and you're not brain damaged after all. :-) All joking aside, I'm very glad things turned out ok. I had my fingers and toes and legs and eyes crossed for ya! And lots of prayers thrown in for good measure ('cause you know crossing body parts doesn't really accomplish anything except give you cramps in unusual places).