DTI went well – now I need to figure out how to look at it

dti-mri-greenI took the afternoon off yesterday to go get my DTI MRI. It went pretty well. I had time in advance to sit and read and hang out… and also rally, because I was incredibly tired.

The test went well – I had imaging in two separate machines, but I didn’t have to get a contrast injection, so that was good. I get sick from the gadolinium, plus it’s nasty radioactive stuff, and I can do without that.

I’m now looking at the images on my computer – and I’m trying to find a DTI viewer that shows the fiber networks that DTI is all about.

That’s the reason this whole thing is happening, and I really need to find some software that will let me do that before the doctors meet with me, just so I have some familiarity with the situation and I’m prepared for whatever they tell me.

Supposedly the viewer that comes with the CD can show it, but I haven’t been able to figure that out. I’ll have to take another crack at it. There must be something there. Or I would think they wouldn’t provide a viewer.

One of the problems is that I have a really old computer. It’s taking forever to just load the images – I left it on overnight and when I got up, it still wasn’t done, so there’s something wrong with that picture. I need a new computer, anyway — one that isn’t Windows XP, which is no longer supported (by pretty much everyone). And now I can find a Windows 7 computer for very low cost. So, that’s my next project. I really need to tool up properly all across the board — and not only for viewing MRI images. For everything.


Keeping it fresh

PET-imageI’m up early today, with my head spinning about so many different ideas. It’s good – but it has its drawbacks. I could have used a few more hours of sleep, but I’d rather just get up and take advantage of the time while I can. Having an extra hour at the start of the day gives me a lot more room to move and breathe.

I’m taking a break from my daily workouts, to let my body rest. I’ve had a lot of tightness in my back, shoulders, and hips, thanks to my muscles getting a good workout (and how my posture while I’m driving makes my left leg tighter than the right).  I was supposed to get a massage last night, but my appointment got moved, so I’ll need to figure out another way to loosen things up in the meantime. The pain is pretty intense, at times.

It’s important to break things up and keep things fresh, so that my system doesn’t acclimate to doing things the same way, every single day. I love my routine… but if I never break things up, eventually it doesn’t love me.

I think I’ll go out for a walk in the woods. It’s getting light earlier and earlier, and I have plenty of time for a leisurely hike before I go into the office. It will help me clear my mind and get things straightened out in my thinking. With so much going on in my head, it’s easy to lose track of what’s what. I have a list of all the stuff I need to do… but sometimes it’s easier to just back off and clear my head… then dive back in with a fresh eye.

I’ve got my MRI later today. I’m taking the afternoon off, so I have plenty of time to get there. I often take a wrong turn at the very last minute, making myself late, when I was so, so close… and I’ve given myself enough time to find my way back on track. I’ve studied the map a bunch of different ways, and I’ve calculated the time it will take me to get there.

I’m nervous, because I want it to go right. I want to make sure I don’t twitch and move, like I did on my last MRI, which screwed up one of the main images. That was really disappointing and frustrating, so I need to make sure they know I tend to do that. Ideally, they’d strap my head in place so it can’t move, but I’m not sure they can do that, so… here’s hoping it goes okay. I’ll just keep myself calm, do my deep breathing, and rest.

And all the while, keep myself fresh throughout the day, so I’m not too tired, when I get to the imaging place later this afternoon. I have a lot of miles to cover to get there, and I need to be safe.

Safe. And fresh. And incredibly grateful for this opportunity in front of me.

It’s turning out to be a lovely day. Time for a walk.


YES. My DTI MRI is scheduled for next week

dti-mri-yellowAnd here I thought they’d forgotten about me…

But this afternoon, I got a call from the MRI place to schedule my DTI MRI. They can see me next Wednesday afternoon, which is pretty awesome.

DTI MRI shows white matter connections in the brain — all the “cables” that communicate between the different sections, showing how everything is “talking to each other”.

Tomorrow, I have my EEG and autonomic function testing first thing in the morning. I’m not sure what I was thinking, scheduling it for 9:30 a.m. on a workday, when I have to deal with metro area traffic.

But there it is. I’ve got my appointments for tomorrow. And I’m looking forward to actually getting some data about my situation, instead of personal accounts and impressions. I need measurements. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

And after that, I have my neuropsych appointment at noon. There are only four more sessions with them, and it seems strange that after eight years, they’re going away.

But this happens all the time. And after being all torn up over it last weekend, I’m dealing.

Just get on with it.

So, that’s the news. I’m really excited to be getting all this done. It’s going to cost me some more money, but that’s what my flexible spending account is for at work. To offset this cost. So, it will.