Thursday, February 17, 2011
THE MRI EXPERIENCE
My husband has been having trouble with his hearing. He has tinnitus. It is really bad. It is interfering with his daily routine. He can’t concentrate because of all the noise he’s experiencing in his ears (actually in his head), so he decided to do something about it. After seeing two specialists, he thought the next logical step was a hearing aid of some kind. But instead, the doctor ordered an MRI scan of his brain. The purpose of this was to rule out a tumor. My husband took this revelation in stride, but it worried me. In his case, this procedure was scheduled to be given with and without contrast (dye), so the doctor would have a comprehensive, complete picture of what was going on inside his head. My hubby’s a tough guy. He likes to face these things alone. He doesn’t like anyone holding his hand while he‘s getting tests. So he was reluctant to let me go with him while he had this done. But I insisted, and he finally relented. It was agreed I should be there. So off we went to the hospital, early in the morning, to get this out of the way. The paperwork had all been filled out ahead of time, so my husband was whisked into the imaging center almost as soon as we arrived. He should be done in about an hour. I took out my Droid and began reading one of my Kindle books. Time melted away. Too much time. My gut told me something was wrong. I was right. Seems things didn’t go as planned. This first scans without the dye went fine. But when the nurse tried to inject the contrast dye for the second scans, it infiltrated, then collapsed my husband’s veins. He was in excruciating pain. The nurse panicked. She told my husband she had only been doing this job, for a year, and had never seen this happen before. She then called her supervisor. This woman had thirty years of experience under her belt and would know how to handle it. Calmly, the new nurse put an IV in my husband’s other arm and began to add the contrast. Same thing happened. It infiltrated and veins collapsed. More contrast (dye) leaked into my husband’s body. And more excruciating pain. They called a doctor to come take a look. He assured everyone these things happen and not to worry. They inserted another IV in my husband’s hand and tried again. This time… most of, but not all of the contrast, went in before the pattern repeated itself. My husband told them to just run the scan anyway, even though only 70% of the stuff got in. They said the results wouldn’t be accurate. My husband said he didn’t care, he had been poked and prodded enough. What an ordeal? When I finally saw him he looked disheveled and was white as a ghost. He said his back and neck were killing him from laying flat on that table, with his head in a cage for all those hours. Not to mention, both his arms and hand being in discomfort. I felt so sorry for him. His routine test, wasn’t so routine, after all. Can you imagine?