The subtitle of this little tale is “Stretched to the limit.” In my bid for sympathy yesterday, I bowed out of struggling with Sonya and my left hand, because of a couple of MRI’s that had to be done on my trusty rusty, fighting writing, sad bad right arm. I have been having steadily increasing difficulties with pain followed by numbness on the ulnar side of my arm and hand whenever I extend my arm fully. I visited my boy-neurologist (he’s so adorable, I want to pat him on the head) last week for an EMG (a nerve conduction study), and as he found some puzzling deficits in that test, he asked for the MRI’s of my elbow and the entire brachial plexus (the upper arm and shoulder) be done.
I am not especially claustrophobic. and MRI’s have never been a problem for me. The MRI Techs called me in advance and said these particular tests, taken together, would be about two hours, and was I sure I wanted to do both on the same day? I’m one of those people who would much rather get it over all at once, so I said, “Sure! No problem! I’ll have them both done.”
The fact that I ended up being in one position for almost three hours was not the difficulty for me. It was the aftermath of holding the position in which I was placed, and had to hold – without moving – for those three hours that made it very difficult for me to post Thursday, and had me call on Hubs for his wonderful rescue of my “Post-a-Day 2011 Challenge.”
The two tests were done both with contrast medium, and without. I was on a lightly padded table, lying on my right side, and then had to extend above my head my right arm, completely (remember, this position is what has been giving me so much pain. That’s the “To infinity and beyond, stretched to the limit” part.) In order to make certain that it remained absolutely still, my elbow was clamped into place by a rather large looking apparatus, and then sand bags were piled on my upper and lower arm in an attempt to hold them still. At the same time, my head had to be completely tucked, chin to chest. I was doing OK for about twenty minutes, then they stopped the machine and came in to tell me that there was some movement going on in my arm. It was not voluntary, I assure you, but the position my arm was in, in light of the problems in it, caused it to twitch. The solution was more sand bags over my arm.
The test was then restarted and finished about two hours later. The muscles under my right arm got very sore. As the rest of my arm and hand went completely numb after the first ten minutes, that meant the pain was not nearly as bad as it could have been! I take blessings wherever I can find them! 😀
After all that, I was turned over onto my back, my arms crossed over my chest. My head was locked into a brace/mask, and a 1/2 hour series was done of my right neck and shoulder. During that time, I noticed that there was some sort of small knob or something (it felt like a spike) pressing into the back of my head. It hurt. They slid the table out in order to inject the dye for the next series, so I took the opportunity to ask for a small pillow to be placed under that part of my head. She apologized, but said that they could not because it would have changed my head position, which had already been set and filmed. So I endured another half hour of a spike in my head. And then it was over.
When I sat up to leave, my entire right arm and hand were still completely numb and useless. As of Thursday morning, they still were, although I am beginning to get a bit of tingling in my hand, which means they must be on their way back to their usual annoying state. This is a one-hand/arm post – I didn’t feel like fiddling with Sonya.
So, you can see, you have not avoided my organ recital, but it is still a briefer post from me than usual, so you are at least saved a whole lot more. . .
That “brewing poem” I promised yesterday should be steeped enough and poured out for you tomorrow. Until then, this lefty-not-by-choice has done enough. . .