Yesterday’s MRI

I had xanax yesterday and was having a case of the fuck-its, so that’s why I didn’t write last night.

Anyhoo, the MRI went as smoothly as it possibly could go. This time I went to a different clinic. The first clinic I went to where I got the MRI on my brain wasn’t very professional. I lovingly refer to it as “Radiology R Us.” But the new clinic I went to was outstanding. The technician was pleasant and had a nice sense of humor, which I love in a person, especially when I’m doing some medical shit. It just makes it so much easier to deal with.

I waited in the waiting room for a relatively short time compared to what I’m used to, even though it was bustling with people. The waiting room was beautifully decorated with deep wallpaper and black and white photography, and hardwood floors. I didn’t really mind waiting in it. I took some xanax while I was sitting there just so I could feel relaxed. I’m not claustrophobic, but I have this problem where sitting absolutely still for long periods makes me have anxiety. They called me, and took me to a separate office that is across the way from the main office where their MRI machine is kept. I changed into a hospital gown since I was wearing some clothes that had metal fasteners. I locked my things in the locker in the dressing room, and sat in another pretty waiting room. The technician was finishing up another MRI, “8 minutes to go”, he told me. I sat with him for a short time to tell him my medical history and why I was having the MRI done. I was there to have an MRI on my cervical and thoracic spine, to check for a syrinx (fluid filled cyst), that is often caused by Chiari Malformation.

My turn came up, and he gave me ear plugs, and positioned some cushions on the table. I layed down, he strapped my head in, and in I went. MRIs are very loud. The earplugs protect your ears, but that’s it. You can still here everything. It’s a lot of beeps and pounding sounds that are very repetitive. My mom followed me in the room, and wore earplugs too. We were laughing about the sounds it makes on the way home.

Rather than stare at the ceiling which was 2-3 inches from my nose, I decided to close my eyes and let my mind wander. It’s really the best way to deal with getting an MRI. The technician talked to me over the intercom, to let me know how long each increment would be, and to ask me how I was doing. They were probably between 4-10 minutes. He didn’t let me know the time of the longer increments. It’s easier to get through if you don’t know how long it will be.

It’s pretty common for the area being scanned to feel warm. I certainly did. It wasn’t unbearable. It was kinda like the warm feeling of a fever. By the end of the scan my scalp felt really warm for some reason. It got really annoying after a while.

When about 80% of the scan was done, it was time for the technician to come in and inject the contrast. He used a really small needle, and it was the most painless injection I have received to date. It makes you have a weird metallic taste in your mouth. I went back inside the machine for about 15 minutes.

The whole process probably took an hour and a half. I really had no sense of time while I was in there, and I lost track on purpose so it wouldn’t feel like an eternity.

After I was out and I had gotten dressed, my mom noticed I had a rash all over my neck and chest. It could have just been a weird blood flow rash from laying on my back for so long (my skin turns red easily from stuff like that), or a Lupus rash, but my mom alerted the head doctor because it could also have been an allergic reaction to the contrast. It wasn’t itchy. I didn’t even know it was there, to be honest. We talked with the doctor in the waiting room, and he instructed me to take benedryl if it became itchy and started to drive me nuts. It was good to talk to him, just in case. You never know with this stuff.

My mom drove me home, and we took the highway along the coast. It was nice to be in such an open breezy area after being in a tube. We stopped to get McDonalds, something we NEVER do. But we were both in the mood for something salty and bad-for-you for some reason. We parked alongside the beach and ate. I must say, McDonalds food sucks now. Maybe it was just that particular restaurant, but the food was really dry and didn’t taste like much of anything.

When I got home I had delayed anxiety. Once I wind down from that kind of day, it attacks me for some reason. It’s probably because I have Adrenal Disease.

So that’s it for now. I won’t know whether or not I have a Syrinx until I see my Neurologist again in October. I have a lot of pain, and a lot of the symptoms, so I would be more surprised to find out if I don’t have one than if I do have one.



  1. Thank you for sharing your chiari story. Have you got your MRI results back yet and what was the outcome, do you have chiari and syringmyelia? I was diagnosed last fall with cervical tarlov cysts and thoracic syringohydromyelia…just wondering how your are doing and whether or not your symptoms have worsened 😦

    • This post is a few years old, Chiari has been very confusing for me because of my other health problems (Lupus, RA, and Addison’s Disease) I’ve had a few conflicting opinions from doctors (whether or not it even is chiari at all) and I have decided not to pursue it for now. A lot of my headache/migraine symptoms were actually caused by brain vasculitis that was caused by the lupus, and I have since been treated with a chemo called Rituxan to eliminate the antibodies that were causing the inflammation in my blood vessels. I do feel better since having this treatment, except I get vertigo when I look down that I am pretty sure is related to the position of my neck and not my ears. My brain is herniated about 6mm, most doctors just seem to call it “low lying tonsils”. There was a blip on my spine MRI that looked like a syrinx but one dr said kids have that when they are growing and that mine was leftover from that. I’m sorry you’re dealing with such a major diagnosis. I hope your doctors can sort it out for you.

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