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MRI take two

when i went to the doctor yesterday she decided that i needed to get another MRI done to see if anything's changed in my back since the first MRI i had done about a year and a half ago. This time around i got the procedure done at a place called DIS as opposed to Tulane's Medical center, and the experience was similar in some ways but very different in others.

First of all, while Tulane's MRI setup is where you would expect a machine like that to be inside the clinic, this MRI machine was in a mobile unit. I went to the center, filled out paperwork, waited, and when i was called back i was rather surprised that i was led outside. I went out what looked like an emergency exit, and the guy, whose name was Brian, put me onto a very short lift, opened up a huge garage-door like thing of a storage container, and there it was, inside the storage container. Mobile MRI.

Second, i didn't have to take my clothes off and put on a gown, instead he just put a towel around my groin are and told me to drop my pants down to my thighs. He also gave me a panic button to stop the procedure if for some reason i started to flip out, which was not an option when i did it the first time.

Brian the technician liked me a lot because i asked him something that i don't think he's ever heard before: "is it possible for me to get an audio recording of the procedure?" He asked me why i wanted it, i said that it was fascinating to me and i wanted to see if i could use it for some music based thing. It turns out that he's a drummer. I don't know what sort of stuff he does, but after the whole procedure was done, we had a quick chat about the idea of trying to put a microphone just inside the door and maybe it would be far enough away from the machine that the electronics wouldn't get ruined by the magnetic field. It seems like a difficult thing to test - i'd have to be willing to give up a microphone or a handheld device if the magnetic field did affect it in the same room. But it was neat that he was so open to the idea and told me to drop him a line if i ever want to try to do it.

The actual procedure was similar but different in nature. There wasn't the same degree of microtonal shifts and colors that i got out of the first one that so enraptured me, but the clicks and the rhythms were still there. I remember feeling more tingling with this MRI machine, certain clicks or tones would cause my legs to tingle or my arms to tingle or whatever, so whatever was being done i guess was stronger than the other machine or did it in a different way.

the last part of the procedure i had to do twice. I guess i must have coughed or moved around or something and it mucked up the resultant image, so he came over the intercom and said, "we're going to do that last part one more time." it was fine. i almost fell asleep in there because it's already been an exhausting week.

What happens now is that the MRI results goes back to my doctor and she's going to forward it to a spine specialist and he'll figure out what to do. She speculates he might give me an injection, but we won't know that for sure until we know what exactly is going on with the extruded disc. The physical therapist i went to is also curious about it, so i'm probably going to burn a copy of the disc or image it or something and push it his way too because he's interested.

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lifeofmendel
Sep. 6th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
that'd be really weird for me if i got an MRI done and it was quiet. :)
xtingu
Sep. 6th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
I used to work as the main IT chick for a radiology company back in the late 90s, and I got to help set up their first super-fancy high-res MRI machine. It's incredible what they could do with those images back then; I can only imagine what they can do with them now that the technology is 12-15 years more mature.

I love getting my body imaged (though I'm not usually happy for the reasons I need the imaging done, I suppose). I could look through CTs and MRIs of my innards all day. It's so cool!

as an aside: One of our imaging centers had the MRI in a room with lead doors, and the PCs that ran the MRI machine on the other side of the door had a totally screwed up monitor because of the magnetic field of doom from when the door opened. There was another lead-lined room outside that control room where doctors had to leave their pagers (dating myself) and other gadgetry so they wouldn't get totally b0rked.
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