All Clear

Posted: August 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Doctors, My Body, My Temple, Scary Stuff | 3 Comments »

Well the results of my brain MRI are in, and I’m thrilled to report that it revealed no pennies, Polly Pockets purses, or other organic free-range scary kindsa things you don’t want growing in your head.

And although I had a hunch it’d be okay, I’d still like to release a huge, resounding PHEW. Because I don’t know about you, but when I see a police car, even when I know I’m not speeding, I slam on the brakes. I somehow have that inner guilty-until-proven-innocent default setting. (Maybe on accounta my Catholic upbringing?)

At any rate, if you’ve been wondering where that tube of Sephora lip gloss you liked so much has gone, I can tell you with 100% confidence that it’s not in my brain. Check under the seats of your car. Or in your other purse. Or under your kid’s bed, because God knows lots of other stuff that’s gone missing lately is probably there too.

Now that my weird numbness is not accountable to any bad-bad in my brain, the complex migraine diagnosis is the front runner. But “just to be really thorough” my doctor wants to do ANOTHER MRI of my cervical spine. Which is to say, that I will have to go back into that Godforsaken claustrophobic loud clackety-ass machine from hell. And although it may not be apparent, I’m really NOT looking forward to that.

I used nice beachy thoughts to get me through the one last week, but I’m thinking that was a one-off. If there’s any hope of getting me back in there I’m almost certainly going to need drugs.

This, by the way, is nearly identical to my experience with childbirth. Whoever said you forget the pain of childbirth was probably a man. Because by the end of my second pregnancy ALL I could think of was the miserable excruciating world-rocking pain I went through the first time around. That first time I was naively gung-ho to go drug-free (and I did for a loooong while), but by Baby #2 I walked into the hospital bellowing to anyone who would listen for an epidural.

My doctor had given me some kinda Valium-esque pill for my first MRI. But when I read the label (this is a warning to others to NEVER read the label) it said all in big letters “do not drive after taking this medication.”

So like a dope, I didn’t take it. Because I was going to have to drive to work after. And because I’m a rule follower.

But here’s the thing. If you’re not supposed to drive on Valium-like meds, how do you explain the entire city of L.A.? Hmmm??? There’s a reason there’s so much traffic there, people. It’s all the disoriented drug-induced driving. And I really don’t think all those folks are on their way home from getting MRIs.

Anyway, my left-side numbness has taken a turn. And it’s not a political shift to the right (thank God). Now it’s just in my arms and hands—but on both sides. Granted, the OCD in me appreciates the symmetry of it, but I’d have preferred the numbness to just depart my body altogether.

So it turns out the doctor also wants me to have carpal tunnel testing. (Like, maybe I have that, and also had a complex migraine?) She explained the carpal tunnel test involves “a series of needle pricks up and down your arms,” which she confessed “is not terribly comfortable.”


When I went to the front desk to schedule the test, I was informed that it would take 90 minutes. 90 minutes?!? Of NEEDLE pricks?

Twenty minutes doped-up in an MRI machine is starting to looking better all the time.


3 Comments on “All Clear”

  1. 1 Amy W said at 7:37 pm on August 1st, 2011:

    Glad your MRI results were good. I’m going in at 7:30 am for an MRI of my brain & cervical spine. I hope they find the cause of my headaches & it’s easily treatable. The carpal tunnel needle test sounds worse than an MRI. Can you get a Valium for that test too? Also, my MRI is an open MRI machine, created for those of us who panic in confined spaces (maybe you could ask for an open MRI machine for the next one). They said I could bring my iPod & they would play my music for me. Sounds fancy. I’m sure it will cost a bloody fortune. Best wishes!

  2. 2 Mary said at 8:32 am on August 3rd, 2011:

    WTF?? Lord, what a mess. I bet it is all going to go away on it’s own too. So sorry you have to deal with this. I recommend Xanax.

  3. 3 Margot said at 9:44 pm on August 3rd, 2011:

    I’ve actually had the same symptoms, about 5 very memorable/terrible times where my left side went numb starting with my lips. What really threw me was that I also lost the ability to form words. (I was looking at a picture of a flower in a bathroom, for instance, and could not come up with the word. “flow-er.”) Can you imagine Kristen?? For a word person!

    I also had a MRI. Like your doctor, mine diagnosed a migraine, explaining they manifest differently for different people. No words, massive headaches, even overwhelming smells. I’ve found I have them (whatever they are) when I’m doing far too much. Like having a baby! That was the last time I had one of these “numbies.”

    Even without an extreme circumstance, not taking time to breath = not enough oxygen. Our poor lil’ bodies crack. Pare it back!

    So anyway, is it Lyme?????????

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