So we all know that the last 18 months or so I’ve experienced hip pain. And the fact that I saw Dr. Orthy (hehehe, makes me giggle every time!) to see what the cause of the pain was. Is it my ankylosing spondylitis? A bone spur? A muscle tear? A fracture? WE HAVE NO IDEA! We also know that my x-rays were showing ideal, beautiful hips. So, what was next? The ULTIMATE MRI!!!
The MRI appointment was made quickly and was this last Monday. Never in my life have I had appointments been made so QUICKLY! Oh, and fit within MY SCHEDULE!
The lady at the Imaging front desk told me to fill out the paperwork [again, the paperwork was as thick as an encyclopedia! ;)] and that Dr. Orthy requested we get a CT Scan as well. Oh super!
As I was called for my appointment, I met with the nurse. She went over another procedure that Dr. Orthy requested. He requested that an Arthrogram would be used. An Arthro what?? Its a medical procedure where an injection of a contrast medium is put in directly into your joint, normally done under local anesthetic. The CT Scan is to help place where this injection will go. Well, what’s one more needle, right?
So, we’ll call this doctor, Dr. Ane (for anesthetic). He was super nice, very calm, and knew exactly what he was doing. We talked about how every patient should ask there doctor to wash there hands thoroughly and that gloves are just not enough. I WHOLE HEARTEDLY AGREE WITH THIS. I ask any and all medical professionals to wash there hands before they touch me. Before they get my blood pressure, take my temperature, and or even a pulse. You can keep your nasty germs! Did you know that my Remicade medication depletes my immune system? Ya, that’s right! Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked really hard to get my immune system back up to a healthy persons immune level. IT TOOK 10 YEARS PEOPLE!! There was at one point in my life where I was sick ALL OF THE TIME!! One of the ways I stopped getting sick – asking medical professionals to WASH THERE HANDS!!
Now that I’m done with that rant, he explained to me the procedure in detail. He was VERY THOROUGH! Although I appreciate when the doctors tell me exactly what’s going to happen, and I actually prefer it, its nerve–racking. Words like “this is entirely sterile; risk of infection is possible; you will feel pressure.” aren’t exactly the kindest of words. I prefer words like hugs, butterflies, and rainbows. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t get the same sort of reaction as I do with the warm-fuzzy feeling words as I do with the nerve-racking words, but I’d rather know what to expect. Believe me, you are not coming near me with a needle unless I know how you plan on injecting me, where, consequences, and answer all of my questions until your head wants to explode. I’ve had too many medical issues in my past to just trust you, oh medical professional. I’m sure your a very nice person, but I’ve NEVER MET YOU BEFORE AND YOU WANT TO STICK A NEEDLE IN ME. I will stick with my reservations, thank you very much.
After I’m numb, he injects the contrast medium into my joint and asked how I was feeling. I felt pressure, but based off of our thorough conversation, I knew that was normal. As he kept going, the more I was holding my breath. He looked over and asked I was how feeling again. I told him the pressure intensified dramatically and it hurt really, really bad. Guess what happened next?!?! HE STOPPED!! *GASP* I know, right? Most other doctors would of paused, let me take my breath and moved on. Dr. Ane actually STOPPED! Guess what he said? “You experience pain every day and know your tolerance probably better than most people. Your tolerance, I can imagine, is higher than most folks, so I know that we’ve reached your limit.” AMAZING, right?? Like I said, most doctors would of moved on, thought that I had the attitude of a big baby, told me to get over it, and thought I wasted there time. Not Dr. Ane. NOW, guess what I did? I CRIED!!! I CRIED, and SOBBED, and got all sniffley. All the emotion, all the drama, all the unknown was coming out. The nurse handed me a tissue, rubbed my arm kindly, while he cleaned up the procedure. Dr Ane reassured me that we would still be able to get the images Dr. Orthy would want, but they may not be as in-depth, but they will still show the results of the MRI.
So, once I composed myself, we moved onto the MRI. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever experienced an MRI. Tight spaces, you can’t move, and loud noises. Fun, right? No, not really. Not really at all. However, the location I was at was AMAZING. They strapped me in, put a warm blanket over me (something I’ve never experienced before), and asked what station I wanted to listen to. Wait what? What do you mean station? The nurse said that I can listen to whatever radio station I wanted. That headphones will be placed over my ears, and that I can listen to whatever I want. Pandora. XM Satellite Radio. WHATEVER I WANT! Again, something I’ve never experienced before. Once my selection was picked (Katy Perry!) I was on my way. You are kind of squeezed into this tight space, packed like a sardine and in there for a half-hour or so. So, as I was entering into this confined space, I imagined I was being put into a time capsule for space travel because my final destination was one of the moons on Saturn and it was billions of light-years away. I think I got this idea from a recent Eureka show I watched a few weeks ago. REGARDLESS, it worked!! I was distracted by the radio, I was comfy with my warm blanket, and fresh air was being blown on my face. The only thing left was to relax. After about 10 minutes of MRI scanning, the nurse came back out, pulled me out of my time capsule to inject me with the MRI contrast. A tourniquet was placed around my arm, a small butterfly needle was inserted into the vein and she injected me with the dye. The needle was removed and I was placed back into the MRI machine for the rest of the scan.
The rest of the appointment went well. I didn’t cry, well, anymore. I was just drained, emotionally. I was exhausted!
Now, I wait for the results. I will receive them this morning, so I’m really anxious.
Here’s hoping for at least some results! I’m ready for some answers.
Until next time,