Because I was totally out of things to worry about

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.”
Radiologist: “…”

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?”

Gah.

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.

12 Responses to “Because I was totally out of things to worry about”

  • as you well know, waiting for results is THE WORST. seriously.
    here’s to a speedy, low stress weekend!

    [Reply]

  • I have been there and so, although I know this won’t help much, it seems like the doctors (or techs, or what-have-you) always seem to say SOMETHING after a big test like that to terrify you. I just took Nolan in for an CT scan to check for hydrocephalus and then told me that they would have a doctor call me later the next day. *blink*blink*

    So that’s unusual and I was FLIPPING OUT. When no one called by 5pm the next day I started calling, and yelling, and having panic attacks and FINALLY ended up with MULTIPLE doctors calling me back…thinking that they were breaking the news to me that he has something that we already knew that he had. Not hydrocephalus.

    Anyhow, try not to worry too much. Remember, if it was something really scary they would have called you already. ((hugs))

    [Reply]

  • Pgoodness:

    First, having to wait for results is maddening. Fingers crossed for you.

    Second, the whole feeling like you’ve pissed your pants thing? What is up with that?!

    [Reply]

  • My other major health issue besides the Chiari I is a clotting disorder.

    In the interim, call your doctor and ask if you should be taking one aspirin a day until they see you. It’s the low level anticoagulant therapy given to those who have ‘issues.’ I’m on it now, even though I should have been moved to heparin a while ago. (Coumadin and I are not on good terms)

    The other thing you should know is that Vitamin K is a natural coagulant. Here’s a list of things that have it in higher concentrations: http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000104000000000000000-3.html

    And I agree with Mrslala, sometimes the techs seem to take a perverse pleasure in freaking the hell out of a patient, especially one who has been injected with a shit-ton of contrast. It’s bad enough being in that stupid tube already without subjecting you to the rest of that crap.

    If there is a clot, it didn’t develop overnight, and it’s not going to wreak havoc in two days. You’ll have answers on Monday.

    [Reply]

  • mo:

    Would have been nice if the asshole would have told you that the IV shit would really hurt. I would have peed in my pants (and all over their table) if that happened to me.

    Fingers crossed!
    mo

    [Reply]

  • I hate that feeling! Ugh. No matter how many times I do it, I have to check EVERY time because I’m always sure that THIS time I actually pissed myself.
    I also hate that the techs can’t tell you anything. I’ve had several give me cryptic comments that left me freaking-one actually hugged me and told me everything would “..be okay in the long run.”
    Turned out to be nothing. I think she was just screwing with me.

    [Reply]

  • Sue G:

    I always try to be rational in what is supposed to be a fairly rational environment (the medical business), and here is my rational thought. IF the radiologist saw clots, I don’t think he would have let you get up off that table without telling you that you need to contract your doctor immediately or go to an ER. The open door to litigation alone would have made me suggest that to you had I been the radiologist.

    That said, I will be praying for you, honey. My prayer will be that you are clot-free and that if there are any suspicious areas God will use His anti-coagulating powers as the Great Physician to dissolve them safely and effectively. I will also pray that you get through to your doctor without incident, that the news will be positive, and that there will be a definitive diagnosis so a plan can be formulated. I will pray that God will cover you with His divine healing powers, that He will keep you safe from harm, that He will cradle you in His arms to give you the peace that surpasses all understanding, and that you will be covered in joy and hopeful expectation.

    Okay, guess I already prayed, huh?

    [Reply]

    purplebreath Reply:

    @Sue G, AMEN!

    [Reply]

  • kellye:

    Maybe he asked if you’d started blood thinners already because your brain looked so good, and it’d be hard to believe your brain could look so good after such a short time on the meds? As in, your brain looks great and there’s no need for you to even start such meds? Just a thought.
    Besides, if he was being professional, he can’t discuss anything about the scan with you anyway – positive or negative – right? Doesn’t that have to be left to your neuro? I know it’s impossible not to, but try not to think about his comments one way or the other… stress and freaking out will only make things worse!
    Hope you hear something by Tues AM.. if it takes 2 days for your dr to get them, that’d be Fri and Mon… making results available Tues?
    Try to enjoy your weekend. Take care, you’re in my thoughts.

    [Reply]

  • VDog:

    Well shit, honey.

    And for good measure, FUBAR.

    Hugs!

    [Reply]

  • Oh no, not more pills. *sigh* Thinking of you.

    [Reply]

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Welcome!
I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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