New-HI All-My story (long).

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Postby whatnext on September 24th, 2004, 7:05 am

Mike,

Here's my experience with the mri thing. My neuro PA put had written "parasthesias and weakness, MS protocol with contrast" on the mri order and it suddenly hit me that I was REALLY going to be checked for MS! That in itself caused me some anxiety. I showed up right on schedule and they took me right away to the imaging room. One of the techs asked me some general questions like "Where is the weakness you noticed?" and "Are you claustrophobic?". I told them I was very afraid, having never done an mri before. They reassured me that everything would be fine. They put me on a sliding table and gave me some ear plugs (the mri is rather noisy) and covered me with a blanket (lots of moving air inside the imager) and rolled a small towel up and placed it over my eyes, at my request, to keep me from getting claustrophobic. The actual imaging took way less than an hour (I exited the hospital in slightly less than an hour after my arrival). About halfway through, they injected a contrast into my left arm. The contrast is to help the telltale signs of MS show up in the images. I was warned beforehand by the neuro PA that since I have a history of migraine, signs of that would likely show up on the mri and while they're similar to signs of MS, the neuro CAN tell the difference. So, I won't be overly concerned if they tell me they saw some plaques consistent with migraine. Be aware that even though the techs are in a different room while imaging, they CAN HEAR EVERY WORD YOU SAY AND ARE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES! They said that if I started having a panic attack to just wiggle my feet (which are in full view to the techs) and holler "get me out of here!". I was indeed nervous, but took the opportunity to do my breathing exercises and got along just fine. Oh, before going into the imaging room, I had to remove all metals from my person, including my ring. I also had to take out my wallet since the magnet could zap my credit cards. In summary, no worries! As a physics instructor, it was actually interesting.

I've not gotten the results yet, but I will when I go back to the neuro. I feel very sure that if something bad had shown up I'd have been notified by now. Don't forget that the neuro PA administered a neuro exam to me and said it was normal. She also left the option of further testing (mri and emg) UP TO ME and she wouldn't have done that had she suspected something evil going on.

As for the zoloft, I can sympathize with the sleeplessness. For the past few nights I've woken up at like 4 am and had some trouble getting back to sleep. This happened the first week I was on zoloft and then subsided for about a week. I'm not overly concerned because it's getting to be less of a problem and it's a known side effect that I'm told will eventually subside. I have a "zoloft check" appointment with my GP this afternoon and I'll mention it to him. Zoloft is really helping me deal with bouts of anxiety though. Just last night I had an episode of "jelly legs" with some slight buzzing and would normally have freaked out. But this time, I was able to say "Okay I'm having some anxiety right now but I just don't have time to be anxious. Go away and I'll be anxious later." and I finished sweeping the garage and made dinner. Without the zoloft, I couldn't have done that! I also had some hand/wrist twitching last night and was kind of anxious about that, but once again I was in a good frame of mind thanks to the zoloft and I was able to get my work done. I was able to reason that I'd just done some weight lifting and some pushups and that's what triggered the twitches. This morning, I'm just fine.

One Sunday morning about a month ago, I had a really scary tingling experience. I tingled EVERYWHERE on my left side, from cheek to big toe. It lasted about 30 minutes and I really freaked out, but I didn't go to the ER. I tried to use what I'd learned in therapy about talking myself through the anxiety and it seemed to work. I'm convinced it was an anxiety attack. Yes, I considered the posibility of stroke but there were no other such symptoms and the tingling was confined to my skin as opposed to "deep inside" if that makes any sense. Remember that anxiety can cause all manner of physical symptoms to come and go.

Hang in there! You're not alone!!!!!
I will ultimately and completely crush, defeat, anihilate, and eradicate my anxiety so it cannot and will not do the same to me.
whatnext
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Postby mike3456 on September 24th, 2004, 8:50 am

Thanks for all the info and encouraging words. I just had the MRI. I filled out a form about my symptoms, but the tech didn't ask. He asked if I was clausterphobic. I said "somewhat", but had already taken 1/2 a valium. When I got into the MRI room, I saw that there was like a plastic cage-like thing they put your head in (to help keep it still I think, plus there was a mirror on it so you could see out of the tube while get scanned), so I took the other half of my valium. :wink:

As you said he explained the loud noises the machine makes and put earplugs in my ears. I kept my eyes closed most the time and I felt a bit of unease when the first slid me in, but I just relaxed all my muscles and pretended I was going to go to sleep. As you said he talked through a speaker during the exam. It took about 40 min. and I was almost asleep by the time it was done.

He said my doctor would have the results in 24 hrs. Of course I was trying to read his mannerisms to see if the tech "saw something", but couldn't really tell. As we said goodbye he said "good luck". I wish he would've said "have a good day or something" geeez. but I'm probably just obsessing here.

Now that you mention the contrast and the fact that my order didn't exactly say MS, I wonder why they didn't use contrast? I assumed "ruling out demylating disease" would include MS, but I don't know why he didn't do contrast. Oh well.

So, I'm at work now under full influence of a valium and a 3rd day of Zoloft. Should keep me grounded for the day. I have to get through the wait now.

Thanks again for listening.
-Mike
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Postby Stephanie on September 24th, 2004, 1:51 pm

Mine was w/out contrast. I had several lesions "consistant w/a demyelinating process". My 3 neuros all said It's nothing, probably from migraines, if everyone had an mri 1/2 would show benign lesions that they had no idea they had. Don't get worried. Even abnormalities sometimes are meaningless.
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Postby whatnext on September 24th, 2004, 2:25 pm

mike3456 wrote:When I got into the MRI room, I saw that there was like a plastic cage-like thing they put your head in (to help keep it still I think, plus there was a mirror on it so you could see out of the tube while get scanned), so I took the other half of my valium.


With me, they called that a "space helmet"! :)
I will ultimately and completely crush, defeat, anihilate, and eradicate my anxiety so it cannot and will not do the same to me.
whatnext
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Posts: 177
Joined: September 6th, 2004, 11:16 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby mike3456 on September 24th, 2004, 11:01 pm

Stephanie, thanks for info. Just as long as they can tell benign lesion from bad ones! Otherwise, I'd almost rather not know I've got benign ones in there! :?

yeah whatnext, I read the "helmet" is actually a coil also...guess it focuses the magnetic fields to the area they are imaging or something like that.
-Mike
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