The girl has a brain!

Today I plumb near vibrated the fillings out of my teeth.  Well, technically I was not the one doing the vibrating, but since I was stuck in the middle of an MRI tunnel and IT vibrated, I jiggled along for the ride.

When my brother, who is deaf and wears hearing aids, told me that HE could hear the noise of an MRI when he last had one, I knew the sucker had to be extremely loud.  I also knew it would be a tight fit.  What I didn’t reckon on was the intense vibration.  Or the itch I got on my arm that I couldn’t scratch.  Or the tingling fingers of my left hand from being stuck in one position for so long. Or the hot flash that made me want to kick off the blanket. Or the strange sensation of my innards being shaken to the core.

Naturally, being an anxious person, I had some trepidation about this test even though my husband assured me it was just as easy as taking a nap (he was right, except that I don’t see how any person could sleep through all that racket!).  I brought along some anti-anxiey meds but didn’t take them.  I’m riding an adrenaline high this afternoon because I MADE IT.  I did feel a few tremors of terror the first time I opened my eyes and saw how close my head was to the top of the tube, but I kept going mentally to my safe place (a mental place created during one of my counseling sessions). I saw my gorgeous meadow in the midst of all that racket…complete with tall green grass waving in the breeze, several butterflies, brightly colored birds, and Jesus. I sat at His feet and looked up at the clouds.

I also sang (in my head) the entire “Fifty Nifty United States” song in an attempt to prevent my panic from taking over, and I looked for patterns in the various buzzing noises.  Five grumbles on the left side, then five clicks on the right.  That one sounds like a very loud lawnmower…and oh my goodness.  It sounds like a jackhammer is right near my left ear!  Those clicking sounds remind me of a dot matrix printer (remember those?)?  It’s interesting how the brain tries to categorize unfamiliar sounds.  It would have helped me, I think, to have known exactly what each noise represented.  That way I could tell myself when I heard a click, “Oh, that’s just the thingamajig bouncing radio waves off the spine.”

So why, you are wondering, did I spend an hour and a half of my afternoon subjecting myself to such distress?

The answer is: an abundance of caution.

Awhile back I began seeing a fabulous chiropractor who is the first doctor I’ve ever had who has tried to fit all the pieces of my puzzle together. I have been dealing with a variety of bizarre symptoms that impact my quality of sleep and my quality of life, and his exams in the office showed that I have some problems with my central nervous system. My reflexes are too reactive. My sense of touch is diminished in some places and exacerbated in others. I have tingling and numbness in some places.  I get muscle contractions in my legs that curl my feet up without my permission. My vision gets blurry from time to time. While these symptoms could be many things, such as a vitamin deficiency or toxins building up in my tissues, they also could be indications of a problem with the nerves in my brain and spinal cord in the form of multiple sclerosis.

So, the doctor ordered MRIs of my brain, my neck, and my upper back to check for the presence of lesions on my nerves.  These lesions, if they exist, would be indications that my body is attacking the protective covering of my nerves.  If there are no lesions, like the photo on the left, then it is likely that my symptoms are due to another cause. If there are lesions, like the photo on the right, then….I don’t know.  I’ll keep on keeping on.  Drink water and keep marching.  Reach out in faith that the God who made me is also the God who heals me, no matter what diagnosis ends up coloring my chart.  I’m still me, and I’m very much alive and kicking.

The doctor should have results in the next couple of days, and I’ll learn if I have those white blotches or not.  Either way it will be kind of interesting to look at a picture and know that it is really a rendering of my brain….assuming there’s still one in there, of course!

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