Random Thoughts


 ... Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) -  you can't move

by Bob Ross

Ever had a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)?? NO? - Me either... All I knew was that they lay you on a table and roll you into this big tube. Saw it done on Discover Channel and looked simple enough.

MRI is a unique procedure that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to look inside the human body. It is a painless procedure and provides computerized images of the human body without harmful x-ray.

Well, my eye doctor wanted me to get one to find out why my vision was changing so often. I got new glasses two or three times a year, and by the time I got them, things were still blurry and changed.  

The last pair I got he said it would take a couple of weeks to get use to them as they were much stronger. Suited me, all I wanted to be able to see things clearly.

If I looked at the moon, or any light, I saw three images. The moon, a shadow to the left below it and one big one surrounding both. Try reading a PC screen with all that in front of you.

I got the new glasses, put them on and nearly fell over. Everything rushed up at me: I staggered, held the chair and sat down. Closed my eyes and opened them, looking around. Actually got dizzy for a few seconds. Sat still, looked around the room and the dizziness left and I could see pretty good. Stood up, holding the chair, and went outside. Nearly fell down the steps. Held the banister and looked down at the steps, slowly going down. Walked up and down the drive a couple of times, still having trouble keeping my balance. Went inside, called the doctor, told him what happened.

He laughed, reminded me it would take a week or so to get use to them. Be patient; just wear them for short periods until you feel comfortable wearing them. I did as he told me for a week. Things did not get better. Called the doctor. He told me to try for another week and if I could not adjust to them, give him a call. I really tried to wear them but finally gave up and asked when he could see me. Was told to come in at 9:30 am next day.

He examined me again, wrote a new prescription. Not much improvement, and told him they were no better than the old ones I still wore.

This is when he suggested my getting a MRI. He could not find anything wrong and wanted to see if I might have a growth or something that was causing the vision change. Suited me - I wanted to see again.

The assistant took over, ask me all kind of questions, kinda explained what would be done and made the appointment with CHEM CENTER MRI in Stoneham. On a Sunday no less, which suited me.

Arrived at 11:30am, signed the forms, and was told what to expect. Asked me the same questions, making sure I had no metal implants. The scan would take just over half an hour. Only thing that bothered me, I was told once inside the tube, I could not move. If I did, I would have to start over.

The photo on left is machine used. Gave me earplugs, put me on the table, a cushion under my neck and two pillows beside my head. Reminded me not to move my head. She pushed the button and I moved into the tube. She questioned me, making sure I heard her, and asks if I was ready. I was. Dont worry about all the noise the machine makes, this one will be for two minutes, she said and suddenly a loud noise came and I lay there counting. Not bad.

There was a short break as she adjusted the table, said this one for five minutes. It started and I suddenly got the urge to turn my head ... remembered what she said, it was really hard not moving and I started counting and taking deep breaths to help me relax and take my mind off moving. It worked and although I thought about it on the five minute runs I didnt move. They seemed like much longer than five minutes though.  

All I could think about was moving my head. I did pull my arm up a little but stopped. It was really hard not moving. I don't know how many times the machine came on, but I had a few one and two minutes and a couple of five minute runs and finally she said it was over. It really was hard not moving my head.

She said I did fine. I told her I really wanted to move my head and she laughed. Some people have to do it two or three times, she told me. I spent just over an hour. The results would be sent to my doctor in about a week.

The doctor advised me that the results were negative. That made me feel better, but does not improve my vision. He reminded me that I had had Glaucoma and Cataract Surgery on both eyes, and there had been a lot of damage done. He also reminded me I was over 80 years old, and he would do the best he could to improve my vision.

Have an appointment with The Air Force doctor at Hanscom Field coming up and maybe he will tell me what my problem is.

September 3, 2004

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