MRI & X-Rays on Left Knee

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January 18, 2005 at 1:30 pm

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It’s Justin’s 34th birthday today, and what am I doing? Getting a MRI done, along with two x-rays of my knee (one image from the top; one with me lying on my left side).

I don’t have any information on the results – they will be sent, along with a report, within 48 hours.

They’ll be sent to the general practitioner I saw on , since as of this morning I still hadn’t obtained an appointment with the orthopedic specialist Mom recommended (Thanks, Mom!)

As of this afternoon, though, I now have an appointment scheduled with the specialist for this coming Monday afternoon. That should give my MRI and x-ray results time to propagate to the G.P. I saw, and hopefully time for him to send them on to the specialist.

Funny how medical matters get complicated fast. All this for my little ol’ knee?

The MRI was an interesting experience. One, it’s loud. Louder than even I imagined. And it vibrates. The bed you’re on vibrates, and I’d swear at the highest scan resolutions you vibrate, too.

I was warm and toasty, however. The techs gave me a luxuriously warm blanket and let me stay partially clad, so the only thing that froze during the 15+ minute procedure were my feet… which of course I couldn’t move for fear of ruining the scan!

I don’t know if it’s due to my knee pain, the MRI vibrations, or just thinking too hard about not moving a muscle, but it was a challenge to remain perfectly still – every now and then a muscle group in my left leg or knee would flex during the MRI. Apparently it wasn’t excessive, though, and the techs reported getting a good scan.

As I laid on the MRI table, with my eyes closed and my earplugs in (you need them!), there were a few moments I imagined floating down into a deep hole — a

— probably due to excessive Star Trek: DS9 viewing on DVD lately.

I was frustrated because, as a geek, all I really wanted to do was get out of my body and join the techs in the computer room to observe the MRI scans as they came in.

There were 5 of 6 folks back there, and I felt kind of jilted not getting to see a single image.

Not even of my x-rays. Of course, I didn’t ask. It was cold, and I’d been there for over an hour already by the time everything was completed.

Unfortunately, I still know just as much as I did going into this — nada! At least I will know more soon…

Added Later, from my handwritten journal:

I arrived at the MRI imaging center at 8 AM — a full thirty minutes early, much to their happiness. After I filled out all the paperwork, including a detailed description of my injury and the pain, they took me in immediately. I changed into the provided dressing gown, which I mercifully got to wear over my lightweight long-sleeved knit top to stay warm. I locked my jeans, purse, glasses and cellular phone in a little cubby outside the MRI room, and padded out into the hallway in my stocking feet. Then, I see it — this huge MRI machine takes up the better portion of the room, and it looks like a “PC case gray” version of the

!

And it’s already clicking rhythmically… I’d read that MRI’s are noisy. Neophyte that I am, I immediately think, “Hell, this thing isn’t loud!”

Turns out, it was just at idle!

As I climbed on to the gurney that feeds into the MRI unit, the tech explained the process and gingerly positioned my injured left knee, bracing it with foam in the MRI cuff to help prevent movement.

After tucking me in under a luxuriously warm blanket to keep my upper body warm, the tech handed me a little squeeze bulb — the “panic button” in case I needed the scan stopped for any reason. With that, we were good to go!

The only thing that wasn’t comfortable at all was keeping my left leg perfectly extended/flat for over fifteen minutes, without movement of any kind. My injured knee prefers a gentle bend right now, like a pillow provides, not flat, full extension with my heel touching. I fought muscle spasms and knee pain throughout the entire scan — it had me biting my lip at one point.

The MRI unit makes all sorts of sounds — some oscillate regularly/predicably, others speed up in cycles, and my least favorite come in bursts, like gunfire.

There’s even a mode that sounds identical to consumer-grade scanners, making you feel like you’re partially inside the medical equivalent of a flatbed scanner!

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