After yesterday’s great news I realized I didn’t explain much. I got caught up in the moment, and how could you blame me. As for the MRI results, here is what they said.
- Area of signal change involving the right testis that shows contrast enhancement. This favors residuum of sperm aspiration from the testis rather than a tumor. Advise interval follow-up sonography in three months. (I’m not too fond of the last sentence in that one.)
- Small right spermatic cord cyst
- Left sided varicocele is demonstrable. Right side varicocele in non-demonstrable
I’m no doctor, but that sounds like good news to me!! As for moving on, we have moved our next appointment with the doc up to next week. He also moved some blood tests up, and cancelled my scrotal ultrasound for the end of the month. We are going forward with my fertlity issues, and leaving cancer in the dust!!
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!!
I have my follow up MRI scheduled for Wednesday (which is 2 days away). I received a phone call today from the receptionist at my docs office saying insurance denied it, and it is currently in physician review. The insurance company doesn’t want to pay for another MRI of the same thing. The problem is, I came to find out that the last one was done wrong. The imaging center did a MRI of the correct area, but did not focus on the testicles. I remember it clearly written on the script, a pelvic MRI with a diagnosis of a testicular mass. My doc is currently going back and forth with the imaging center to try and get them to do it over at their cost since insurance won’t cover it. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, I wasn’t looking forward to it anyway!!
The picture above is the exact MRI machine that I was put in. The problem is, I was scheduled to be in a closed machine. When I arrived at the radiology place, I signed in at went out into the “atrium”. It was much more comfortable than last time because the temperature was much lower than when I went for the ultrasound. I sat there for for about a half hour before anyone came out to let me know what was going on. The receptionist explained to me that the closed machine was broken and I would be fit into the schedule for the open machine. There were two people in front of me and then it would be my turn. 1 hour and 35 minutes later, they brought me in.
I learned some very important facts during this MRI. #1 – Open MRI’s take twice as long to complete than closed MRI’s. #2 – MRI with contrast means one without contrast, then another one with contrast. #3 – Closed MRI’s take better pictures than open MRI’s. So, 1 hour and 50 minutes, a short accidental nap, and a lot of stiffness later, I was done. You would think with all the technology in the world today, they would make things faster and more comfortable. I do have to say that this was much better than my ultrasound. I hope I never have to do that again!!