A very real fact of life for me is that I need annual MRIs. Due to my neuro leaving the practice and starting with a new one, it's been almost 18 months between them. In that time, I managed to block out how nerve wracking the last one really was.

My first few MRIs were fine, I sucked it up and got through. Even though I don't consider myself claustrophobic, something about putting me into a tube where I can't move for 40 minutes is tougher to bear than a root canal. Those, I can handle no problem. However, the last MRI, my arms hit the sides of the tube on the way in, further proving the point that this thing is TINY, and I panicked. If not for a really good technician, I think I would have spent the whole time tachycardic.

Until last week, I'd blocked out what had happened afterwards. I'd forgotten that I was dizzy, nauseous and nursing a moderate headache when I went in and a severe one when I got out. I also forgot that I went to meet a friend in Ybor and tried to find parking and went down an alley, only to find the Ritz had a stage IN the alley when the alley made a 90 degree turn, and I had to back the van out of said alley while dizzy, nauseous and dealing with a pounding head. I think it's a testament to my driving skills that I was able to back up down a very long and narrow alley with nary a tap or a scratch on the van.

That MRI ultimately led to my spinal fusion. Between that and the Chiari, I need to have these done annually.

Tomorrow, I have another MRI. Thanks to all the issues going on, instead of just getting an image of the spinal column, the neurologist wants to see the frontal lobes to determine why I'm getting dizzy and see whether there's something causing the hand problems. Oh, and to see if the cerebullar tonsils are pushing further down the spinal column. I guess it's not surprising that this one is scheduled for 90 minutes.

However, once I remembered that last year's was a rough experience, I called the neurologist's office to ask for medication. ONE Valium. One Valium only, Vasily. (name the movie I just mangled). The receptionist took my information and the nurse called me back a few hours later to tell me 'you have meclizine, take the Meclizine.' Yeah, I have Meclizine for dizziness, last I heard, it isn't a sedative. If I get dizzy after the MRI, I'm supposed to take another Meclizine, the medication that doesn't really work for my dizziness.

At least I can walk back to work if I'm too dizzy to drive anywhere.

I'm thinking the follow up appointment with the neurologist is going to be rather interesting, with me saying, I was worried about anxiety while in the MRI, not the dizziness.


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