Friday, 14 May 2010

13th May - MRI Scan for a man called Dan

13th May - MRI Scan for a man called Dan

The hospital didn't hang around too long before getting me booked in for an MRI scan - which is just as well because I'm an impatient SoaB. Appointment time - 8am.

If the doctor is right, they will find an adenoma .. or more accurately a prolactinoma. This will explain the chemistry issues that have caused extreem tiredness, lethargy, general apathy toward everything that isn't a life or death matter. A small part of me feels grateful that they've found 'something' because I was beginning to think that I was becoming what we here in England call 'a lazy arse'. The only other explanation being that my couch had formed a gravity well with a fixation for my backside!

With any luck something will be found (otherwise it's a witch hunt to find the cause of the issues) and it will be an ickle bump on the pituitary that we can flatten with a barrage of pills. I've trawled the net and found lots of people with tumours around the 5mm mark that have caused these kinds of issues - and that is my best hope at the moment. Worst case, there will be something egg sized, in which case this blog will lose the comedy element and I will be looking for volunteers to undertake a 'Fantastic Voyage' like adventure around my insides and zap it with a ray gun. Steady shooter only need apply.

When I turn up at the Great Western Hospital at 8am sharp, I'm asked to complete and verify a questionnaire to basically confirm that I'm not over 33 stone and carrying any metal items! Fat? because there is only so much weight the MRI trolley can handle I guess. And metal? Because you don't want loose metal object hanging about next to the magnetic forces that the MRI scanner will generate. They were even worried about previous metal splinters I may once have had!

After being taken in to the MRI unit and putting everything in the locker, I had to sit for a few minutes and listen to the scan operator bollock the cleaner for mopping the room unattended. I'm sure it was for his own good but I don't think the cleaner really understood the risks and I half expected him to react by inserting the mop (you can fill in the blanks here).

There's not a huge amount you can say about the MRi experience though. I was put on the trolley and given a set of 1970's cans to cover my ears. In my left hand was a panic alarm that looked like a sex toy from the same era. The trolley is loaded in to the scanner and I go in head first. "Don't move for the next ten minutes" says the operator as he legs it out of the scanner room.


*Click click click*



Blimey .. it went on for double the length of time and the only way I can describe it is that it was like having my head strapped to a Vespa whilst being forced to listen to Blake's 7 at an incredibly loud volume. The hardest part is not moving. There is no gradient between silence and megaton magneto buzzing episodes and, quite frankly, it's bloody hard not to jump out of your skin. Towards the end the ear defenders are literally jumping up and down on my ears - I'm assuming in response to the magnetic fields.

Eventually it stops which is just as well because the novelty has worn off and all I really want is a cup of tea and then to be on my merry way.

Outside the scanner and the first thing the operator says to me is 'do you have a follow up appointment booked?' Hmm did I detect any urgency in that question - or am I just naturally being quite paranoid. Probably the latter.

I can see pictures of a brain in all it's MRI glory but they won't let me let close enough to see the pictures in detail. Apparently this is because I may accidently see another patients data - in which case they will have to kill me! Honestly - I ask you! I know where my pituitary is - and all I want to do is see how badly out of shape it is. This is far from the theme park experience I was expecting. Like Alton Towers - I thought I would get a framed snapshot of my face, twisted in horror, during the ride .. errr I mean scan. A T-Shirt and mug with a photo transfer cross section on my brain on it ... a CD with the MRI scan so that I could upload my brain to you tube and share the fun with my friends. But no! I will have to talk to my GP and pay some money to get a copy of the scan. that was all he would say.

About this point it occurs to me that I don't have a clue what happens next. Eventually I call the surgery who tell me to visit them in 10 days to discuss the results with my GP. Arghhh waiting! I want to know now! In fact .. I don't want to know now truth be told because I imagine no news is good news in matters like this.

Just for the record (captains log .. stardate etc etc) I've been feeling extra tired this week. I've also had a cloudy dull headache for the last three days. I'm assuming this is a psychosomatic episode brought on because of what they're testing me for.

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