Friday, August 10, 2007

Brain MRI - Check!

I had my brain MRI today at a different facility than the first one. This time it was an Open MRI which means that instead of sticking me in the tube the size of a tanning bed, they sort of sandwiched my head like a hamburger or something. The machine didn't actually touch my head, but it was just a few small inches away from my nose.

The nice part is that if I looked out of the corner of my eye to the right I could see out a window. The bad part is that doing that made my head hurt and it was quite warm in the room.

After the test started, I was laying there listening to the MRI noise when I closed my eyes and felt like I was spinning. (This has happened a few times when I've laid on my back before but I'm not sure if there is a connection.) I opened my eyes and started taking deep breaths, careful not to move my head. I resisted the urge to wave my hand to alert the technician that I was having a panic attack/about to pass out. It was scary, but it passed. The MRI lasted an hour. About half way through they shot me up with some contrast dye. Very uneventful.

I was a bit surprised when I got to go pick up the MRI images virtually immediately from the hospital. Keep in mind that at St. Jude they wouldn't let me pick up the order for the MRI without seeing the doctor and at Pomona Valley I could see inside my head right away. Very cool! I'm just not sure what it's supposed to look like. I guess I'll find out on the 20th!

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This is just my story of my experience with Chiari. Until I was diagnosed, I'd never heard of it, and I just want more people to be aware of it. I'm not a doctor, so don't quote me on any of this stuff - k? If you are looking for information about Chiari Malformation, a lot of the more informative posts are the older ones.