May 13 2009

MRI Take Two

After no word from anyone, Jess called this morning to find out if the MRI was still on.  To the receptionists surprise, no one had called us yet to inform us whether or not this was a go.  Unfortunately for me, it was a go.  They had me come in a half hour earlier than scheduled, which I found out later was because the doctor/radiologist who owns the center was going to be doing the MRI for me. 

This test was positively the worst one I have had to go through.  First, I got in a butt showing gown and laid on the cold table.  The doc came in and began to cut and place foam under and around the jewels.  This turned into a large foam wedge shoved into my crotch to elevate the jewels above the level of my legs.  After he was done jamming foam in my crotch, he placed some kind of heavy sand bags around my pelvis to hold things in place.  A couple straps then entered the scenario which again were place (tightly I might add) under and around the jewels.  I felt like it was something out of a medieval torture book.  The doc then explained what he did and why.  He also stated that they would be doing the scan without contrast, and if there was evidence of a mass then they would do the second with contrast.  The machine they put me in this time was a closed MRI.  This didn’t bother me at all.  What bothered me was when they completed the first scan, they pulled me out and said they were only able to get an image of the right side, and that we needed to adjust the padding and straps to get the left one in place.    Arrrrggghhhhh!!!

So after the second attempt of the MRI, they pulled me out again and stated they were going to do the scan with contrast.  The only thing I could think of was what he said earlier.  That they were only going to do the contrast if they found something on the initial.  This feeling quickly disappeared when I began to get a burning sensation in my arm by the contrast injection site.  I also immediately noticed the nurse starting to panic and the doctor come over to assist.  At the time I had no clue what was going on, and chalked it up her not being able to find a vein.  As soon as they had fixed whatever the problem was, and injected the contrast, they slid me back in the machine to finish the test.   I immediately began feeling uncomfortable, and the burning sensation began to travel up and down my arm.  It got so bad I had to stop the test to find out whether or not it was normal, and If I was going to die.  I felt like someone was holding a blowtorch from fingertips to my neck!!  The Doc said I was fine and just told me to put moist heat on it when I got home.

When I got into my car to leave, the burning was still there but much much better.  I called Jess and she had never heard of it, so I jumped on the net when I got home and googled it up.  It turns out when they were injecting the contrast, they missed my vein and accidentally injected some of it under my skin.  This is called extravasation (intravenous), and it is not pleasant!!  In some cases it can make you really sick.  Fortunately for me, I was injected with gadolinium which is much more tolerable and less toxic.  Anyway’s, this has completely trumped the ultrasound experience and goes to the top of my list for the worst experience/procedure I have had.  I would have another PESA done anyday instead of this mess.  My arm still hurts right now, and it has been 12 hours since!!

2 Responses to “MRI Take Two”

  • Tracee Says:

    I found your post while googling gadolinium. My name is Tracee and I am 30. I had an MRI this morning and had the same experience as you with them missing or collapsing my vein while injecting the chemical. The pain was terrible!! It was like someone shoving a HOT POKER into my skin. My arm is extremely sore still and it has been over 12 hours. How long did your pain last and have you had any complications since? Thank you for your time. Tracee

    Kenny Reply:

    It lasted a little over a day. I haven’t had any complications at all. From what I read, the only people who have had comlications from it, are people who are allergic to it. I would say if it’s not better by tommorow, definitely go see your doc. Allergies to gadolinium are no joke. Make sure you take care of yourself, and I wish you the best. Let me know how you make out.

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