I know I didn’t formally update (I hid it in the comments), but my MRI/MRV got moved from when it was scheduled on Wednesday to today. According to the guy who called me, it had to be moved because there wasn’t a radiologist on site to administer the contrast on Wednesday. So they moved it to today and it worked out alright because I was already going to be in the general vicinity. Frankly, as long as it was done before my insurance year started over again on Monday, I was okay with the change.
So I arrived and waited in the waiting room until it was my turn, then disrobed and gowned up to make sure I didn’t die from the zipper on my shorts.
When I got into the MRI room they went ahead and put an IV in for the contrast, which isn’t unheard of, but normally they just pull me out and inject the contrast in the middle of the scan without actually doing the whole IV thing. And then they hooked up the IV to this huge machine with two big fluid containers, and I my curiosity got the best of me.
Me: “What’s that?
Radiologist: “The Auto Injector 2000.”
Me: “Oh. Okay. How is that different from what you guys normally use?”
Radiologist: “From the Auto Injector 1000?”
Me: “Um, no. From a needle in my arm and you pushing the plunger.”
Radiologist: “Oh. Well, this is an MRV so we’re going to give you a lot more contrast quickly with a bolus of fluid and it needs to be timed with the scans.”
Me: “Oh. That sounds unpleasant.”
So that’s what happened. They sucked me into the tube and about 20 minutes in I got a warning that the first contrast injection was about to go in. It wasn’t too bad, definitely not worse than usual. A little cool going in my arm and I got the nasty gadolinium taste, but totally tolerable. When that scan ended, they did nothing for a while. Which was disconcerting.
After a 5ish minute break, they did a few more short scans, then they informed me they’d be injecting more contrast. And let me just say, holy crap. This was like a metric fuckton of contrast. I wanted to rip the IV out because it hurt A LOT going in. It wasn’t just cold, it was cold and stinging and really freaking unpleasant. And besides that, I not only got the nasty taste in my mouth, but also the all over flushing, feeling like I peed my pants and my tongue tingled for a solid minute. It took everything in my power not to scream to be pulled out because I was convinced I was going to die of something gadolinium related, but I didn’t. I knew that they needed those scans right then to time it with the contrast, so I managed.
Now I need to back up for a minute and clarify something- the reason they decided to do the MRV in addition to a standard MRI was in large part to make sure that I hadn’t developed any clots in the veins in my brain which can happen when you have low pressure for an extended period of time. Clearly clots are not something to be messed around with and until I got ready for the scan, I really wasn’t all that worried.
So in light of that, you can imagine my absolute freak out when the radiologist came to let me out of the tube and goes, “So, uh, have they started you on anticoagulants?”
I was told my doctor would get the results in 2 days, so I’ll start calling Monday, but in the meantime I totally plan to spend my time freaking the hell out about potential clots in my brain. Because I was totally out of things to worry about. Whew, that was close. I almost got a mental break on my summer vacation.