Thursday, July 17, 2014

M(R)I Tinnitus

Okay, weak title, but I wanted something better than What Happened During My MRI To Investigate My Tinnitus.  See, M(R)I > MI > My Tinnitus.  Ain't I clever?  Don't answer that.

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So I had my MRI yesterday.  They did a close check around the left ear because I've been hearing my pulse in that ear for a very long time now (a Tinnitus), and they also did the every decade check for aneurysms, my third one now, which the smart guys at Stanfurd said I should do since they went tinkering in my fathers brain so many years ago.

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Results we good.  Kinda.

No aneurysm issues.  Woohoo!

No evidence regarding the source of my Tinnitus, which is comforting in that there will be not cutting into my head, but also disconcerting as the pulse I hear is kinda driving batshit crazy sometimes.

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Among the results,

"Paranasal Sinuses and Oto-mastoids: Small mucous tension cysts
of nodular mucosal thickening in the right sphenoid sinus."

This I have no idea what it means (not like I get what's next, either, of course), but since it may be relevent to being out of balance, I'm noting it, and

"AICA vascular loops appear to contact the seventh and eighth
nerve complexes near the ostium of the IACs, the contact surface
appears greater on the right compared to the left. This is of
unknown clinical significance. Recommend clinical correlation. "

Again, no idea, and unless the contact area is inversely proportional to a sound transfer, which I doubt, this doesn't seem to be related to my LEFT ear hearing my pulse.  Again, though, may be related to the out of balance aspect of things.

But here is the fun . . . The MRI itself.

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I was not looking forward to this.  My hypermobility was going to make it difficult, and I knew it going in.

I can't stay still.  It hurts.  If I relax, my limbs slowly let gravity sublux them, partially taking them out of their sockets.

So, the idea of staying still for 40-60 minutes was almost laughable.  I figured if I got lucky and found the right position, I'd be able to use all my meditation techniques and get through it, possibly even without needing to stop and redo anything.

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When I first sat on the table, I announced, "This isn't going to work."

The portion you lay upon was thin, thinner than the width of my chest.  Both shoulder were over the edge, and were difficult to keep in place with full concentration.

The nurse said, "We can put pillows under both of your arms."  This I thought could work, so we got started.

So I was slide into the MRI.  Right off, I realized the machine itself, like a jigsaw puzzle, has a level equal to the sliding table, and as such I could rest my arms upon it, at least with a chance of success.

The pillow strategy abandoned (and it would have been the opposite (too high and too much pressure, anyways), the MRI started.

Not 3 minutes into it, the sliding portion of the table slid slightly, just enough to adjust the imaging system's aim at my head, I imagine.  Unfortunately, my arms resting on the non-sliding portion of the machine stayed in place while the rest of me moved.

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Let me be clear.  I have a horrible time riding in a car.  If I relax at all, the slightest shift partially dislocates at least one limb.

When at home watching TV, if my daughter gently puts any weight on me and I am not ready for it, I partially dislocate somewhere.

If I am tensed, I can maintain a position.  Relaxed, and the slightest of bumps pulls me apart.  This, too, is why I am too fearful to share a swim lane at the pool.  One bump from a direction I am unprepared for, and I am in trouble.

So, when the MRI slid no more than a quarter of an inch, it did so just when I had managed to maintain a position in a semi-relaxed state.  It dislocated both shoulders.

I had 40 more minutes to maintain the position, and the machine shifted several more times.

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I understand that I have a high pain tolerance, at least in some respects, and that my meditation can greatly elevate those levels I can deal with, but this was something new to me.  I almost lost it a few times, ready to grab the panic trigger and end the test, but I kept going.  Once, it was a Led Zeppelin song in the headphones that helped to calm me down.

Anyways, the results were good, for the most part.

Ten more years and I get to do it again.

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