Sunday, April 13, 2008

Surfing the Magnetic Tube

Which of these tubes do you like?

Monday morning I will be "surfing the magnetic tube" to get some pretty gray-scale pictures of my goofy brain. It has been 15 months since my last trip through the noisy ping-zap-thumpthumpthump-beeepbeeep-ping-zap-thumpthumpthump machine. The reason for locking my head in the oh-so flattering face cage is to take a little looksee for glowing runway lights or christmas tree bulbs.

My inner Yoda - "find changes, the magnets will. Ah, yessss."

Recovery from this recent relapse has been disappointing so far. I was so excited to be able to stand from a seated position without pulling on the coffee table or pushing off into a tucked skiers' position before straightening into an upright position. However during the past 10 days or so, the standing struggle has crept back into my legs and I'm starting to lean to the right again.

Yesterday at the solo festival event, I had to walk from one end of the school to the other several times over. It was rather exhausting and I crashed as soon as I got home. Later in the evening as I went upstairs to get something, it was as though I was climbing the Great Wall of China. Seriously, I had to lay down for quite awhile until I felt strong enough to go back downstairs to enjoy watching some TV during the rest of the evening.

I hate feeling weak!!!

I inherited these sturdy English/German thighs which should belong to someone who is athletically talented (which I'm not.) But I've always been able to depend upon these thighs, and the rest of the leg team, to be strong. Heck, in college the band marched in parades which were 3-4 miles in length and that didn't kill me. Thinking back, after such a parade I would experience tingling, numbness, and a feeling of coldness in my legs which I just figured was the sensation of muscles regaining cirulation. I didn't give much thought to it.

"Hmmm. Early MS symptoms, maybe these were."

Anyway, I'll share with you what the magnets show, especially if my brain or neck lights up and the neurologist wants to have a disease progression talk. We'll see what happens.


  1. I'm always surprised to read on blogs how OFTEN people have MRIs these days...I really don't get it.
    The pictures will be constantly changing...something...must ponder this.

  2. My neurologist says the same thing. The MRI image can change from day to day and symptoms do not necessarily correlate to new lesions and vice versa.

    He only considers using MRIs (after diagnosis) when something significant occurs. I think perhaps to determine if the DMDs are being effective and to see how much damage might be occuring. For me, the last MRI series I had 15 months ago was about 1.5 years after diagnosis and just to have a point of reference for any changes. At that time, there were no new symptoms and things were going pretty well.

    This time it is because stuff is going on. And I think the fact that the MRI center now has a more powerful machine which was not available previously. The images are supposed to be of highly quality and more detailed. I'm curious to see if things are any different, knowing that lesions come and go.

  3. No! Not the dreaded disease progression talk...let's hope instead, it's the "Wow, you look fabulously wonderful" talk. But then again, when have ANY of us ever had that talk with our doctors???

    Here's hoping what you search for, you find...

    Linda D. in Seattle

  4. I both giggled and frowned when I read about your strong thighs and feeling weak, tired, etc. My legs give me a lot of trouble actually, so I am right there with ya. I understand too, why they want to have a peek at your brain, as it can provide useful information when used in context with clinical findings and symptoms. I hope your legs get back to to "normal" as soon as they can. I will keep you in my thoughts.

    I personally I dread the MRI's myself, preferring to not have them if I do not HAVE to. I find them painful to get through, laying down that long is hard on my back. (I have had 2 back surgeries.)
    My former Neurologist Dr Kachuck from USCs MS Center recently explained to me in an email:

    "MRI is our gold standard for lesions that can be visualized non-invasively, but it certainly is not anywhere near to even good at it. You can have problems and never see the lesion on the conventional MRI accessions."

    Well said. It is absolutely true and baffling!


  5. Hi! Lisa

    I was just curious: Does the machine your hospital uses have a mirror inside so you can see the technician? Music ?

    My first MRI had those things and I found it way easier to deal with. Then my second one was at a different hospital and it was awful,like a white coffin .I had a panic attack, but I was determined to get through it, mainly because my son was in the waiting room and I didn't want him to think I was a wimp.
    Good Luck !

  6. I don't really mind having the MRIs done. I prop my knees on a wedge to make it more comfortable (but then again I haven't had any previous back surgeries.)

    The machine does have that little mirror, but it doesn't make much difference to me. Without my glasses or contacts, I can only makeout the life-lines on my palm if I bring my hand to about 3 inches from my face. So the mirror is useless.

  7. The usual MRI machine I go in has no radio. Just a mirror....and like you, Lisa, I can't see without my glasses. but the MRI machine I was in at the children's hospital last summer (for a study-used during off hours)had a DVD player hooked up. the first thing they asked me was what movie did I want to see? I watched Wallace and Grommit - the wererabbit one and tried not to laugh as that would move my head and body.

    In 10 years I think I've had as many MRIs. Never bothered me.

    Good Luck!!


  8. I've pretty much called it quits for now on the MRI's. I feel great so who cares what it says...