MRI Mack Truck

mack-truck-vintageOkay, I know MRIs are just magnetic. You’re not getting zapped with a bunch of radiation, like with X-rays and PET scans. It’s just high-powered magnets flying around you.

But after two MRIs in the space of three days, I feel like crap.

The MRI place called me back, because the doctor ordered another type of image, so back I went, yesterday afternoon, through Friday afternoon traffic. Apparently, everyone was fleeing work early, because the traffic was terrible. And the MRI place is off in West Bumblef*ck, so it took a while to get there. This cut into time I really needed to spend on a couple of my projects at work, which I wanted to get done before the day was up. I ended up waiting around for nearly an hour, before they finally got me in (I’d thought if I got there earlier in the day, they’d finish up with me early – ’twas not to be.)

Anyway, they just needed to get a couple of images, which took all of15 minutes, tops. So, that wasn’t bad. I was able to hold still, and they said the images looked good. That was a relief. I tend to twitch and have tremors, which can screw things up. They put foam wedges in beside my head, so it would be propped in place, so I don’t think I moved at all.

Compared to the waiting, the MRI was the easy part. And the wait was easy, compared to my drive home.

I had a 90-minute trip through evening rush hour traffic, and it was interminable. I did manage to find some music to keep me going, but it was pretty rough. And I started to feel pretty sick after about 20 minutes in the car. I was aching all over, feeling hot and fevered, and my stomach was hurting me. I’ve gotten sick after MRIs before, but I assumed it was the gadolinium – the contrast agent. Yesterday, though, I was feeling pretty rough. I made it home safely, and promptly took a shower and went to bed.

I took my temperature a couple of times — 99.3, 99.4, 100.4 before my nap. After I woke up, I checked again, and it was 99.4, which was a 1 degree improvement. Then I lay in bed and surfed the web on my tablet for a while. I try to avoid doing that as much as possible. It’s bad sleep hygiene to look at devices in bed, and it totally messes up my sleeping schedule after a while, but I just couldn’t get up. I felt like I’d been run over — completely wiped out.

After another hour, I checked my temperature again, and it was normal – 98.6. I still wasn’t feeling great, but I went out and picked up some take-out food, so I didn’t have to cook. I got in bed before 11:00, and when I checked my temperature, it was 96.5, which is normal for me.

Today, my fever is gone, but every cell in my body hurts. I feel like I have the flu – without the chills and fever. My head is throbbing in a different way than normal. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like a low-level pulsing all through it. Usually, my headaches are localized to the front of my skull, but this is an all-over headache.

And my body is just in pain. Everything hurts. When I move. When I hold still. When I sit. When I stand. And it hurts all through.

My stomach is upset, and I’m having gastrointestinal distress. This time, I had no contrast agent, so I’m not sure why my system is acting up, but it is. I felt pretty good after the first MRI – no noticeable side-effects, that I could tell. But today, I’m really feeling it.

I supposed it might have helped, if I’d waited longer between the scans. Even though it’s just magnets, it’s still sending something through your body – waves or whatever.  And if MRI were 100% benign, there wouldn’t be all those warning signs around the center. They have different zones, I assume to indicate different levels of exposure to whatever is in the airwaves, so there must be something about it that urges caution.

Now what do I do? I wasn’t able to sleep past 4 a.m.  I just lay in bed and listened to the owls hooting in the woods behind my house. I got up about 5 and did a little exercise, got my breakfast, and started my day as I normally do. I just need to get my body back on schedule, get it normalized, and make sure I get plenty of rest this weekend.

It’s light outside, now, so I’ll go for a walk in the woods. That’s always good for what ails me. And if I don’t feel great, I’ll just come home and go back to bed. I just need to get back to normal, and get my body feeling human again.

I just hope they find something useful. Because if they don’t, that’s two days lost — no, three, counting today.

I hope it will be worth it, and I’ll get some DTI results back that show something that my doctors can use. Here’s hoping.

Now, about that walk…

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

6 thoughts on “MRI Mack Truck”

  1. Hi,

    Do you use a blue light filter on your surfing/screen devices? Especially at night it helps because it can adjust your screen’s light output to be more like twilight instead of the full spectrum light LEDs emit. It doesn’t fix everything about the visual stimulation of web surfing but at least it now won’t be light sticking 10 a.m. light in your face before trying to sleep. There are free apps that automatically adjust it based on the time of day like f.lux or Lux Dash.

    By the way, a guest at my rehab place mentioned you and your blog in one of her sessions.


  2. Thanks for the tip – I had not heard about those filters. I will check it out. I still need to be careful about reading on devices when I’m in bed, since it “trains” me to be thinking instead of resting when I am in bed.

    Ah, thanks for letting me know about the mention – that’s great! 🙂


  3. I did not have contrast, which is what surprised me. I had a reaction to the first MRI, where I did have contrast — and I thought that was the reason. But this time, no contrast, but still a bad reaction. Must be the MRI itself, I’m thinking…


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