Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Good news that has taken several weeks to come to fruition! The MRI on my left humerus (upper arm bone) area was finally done today. Apparently, this is a very difficult area in which to obtain an MRI. In order to get the test done, after 3 tries at my neurosurgeon's building, my neurosurgeon sent me to a huge speciality practice that does nothing but orthopedics. This practice has a radiology and physical therapy department that takes up almost the whole first floor of a large building. The diagnostic equipment at this facility was top notch. I was told that getting an MRI of my upper arm would be no problem and they were correct!
The MRI technician explained what she was going to do every step of the way. Then she positioned me in the MRI machine with a coil around my left upper arm. She cautioned me that the test could be painful because you have the upper body tied down to keep it very still. The body position was also a little tricky because the test is done in flat on the back position, but the side of the body not involved in the test has to be angled out of the way. The angled position has to be held in one place for the entire test. I was tied in the angled position and then elevated and moved into a wide tube. The test took about 15 minutes of prep time and the test itself took about 45 minutes to complete. My muscles were screaming in pain by the time the test was done. The vibrations from the MRI machine irritated the nerve endings in my arm, which was like running fingernails down a chalk board, only inside my body.
The technician was shocked that I never complained or asked for a rest time. I was just happy that they could find the equipment and the position that would allow me to have the test. I am relieved that it is over but am aware that my body is exhausted and sore as a result.
My orthopedic doctor is very curious as to the results of the test. The area being tested is a fairly big area so he told me to allow 10 to 15 business days for the radiologists to read the MRI. Once the test has been read, the images and the report from the radiologists will be sent to my orthopedist. His office literally counted off the allotted days and made my follow up appointment at the end of the time period. My follow up appointment is on November 19th.
My doctor feels that the issue with my arm will turn out to be one of three things or possibly a combination of several. First, my issue may be referred pain from my neck. This may indicate that I need further treatment on the cervical spine. No big surprise there, as I have a degenerative disease of the spine. Second, I may have a bubble or several bubbles on the surface of the radial and ulnar nerve coverings in my upper arm. This wouldn't show up on my nerve conduction test (results there were negative) but could cause a very painful condition. I have no idea what the treatment is for this but assume it would require some sort of simple surgery. Last, I may have severe inflammation that was caused when I lost the use of my left arm last year before my spinal surgery. My arm atrophied and I had to undergo rigorous and painful physical therapy to be able to use my arm again. There is a chance that the therapy and subsequent water exercises that I'm currently doing created a big problem because I couldn't use my arm properly for 3 years before I had my spinal surgery.
I am thrilled that the test was done and I'm finished. I hope whatever the doctor finds, can be corrected to alleviate much of the pain that I'm still experiencing in my arm. I'm praying that the issue can be resolved so I can move on with my regular activities. My outlook is good and I'm feeling optimistic about the situation! I will prevail!