Thursday, June 28, 2007

Final MRI This Morning

I just completed my final MRI prior to surgery. Unlike the functional MRI yesterday, this was just a 'normal' one - the third I've had in the past 3 weeks. For those of you who have never had an MRI, it is a procedure using "Magnetic Resonance" technology to image the brain (or some other internal structure). The instrument used is a body-sized tube with a narrow table that slides into it. You lay on the table, your head cradled in a plastic cage with lots of padding - your head must remain completely still, like during an x-ray. The technician slides the table into the tube. It can feel a bit claustrophobic, especially the first time.

Once inside the tube, they start the scans. The machine has no moving parts and is not invasive. However, the "Resonance" part means that the magnets make a LOT of noise. They give you earplugs, but it's still loud - lots of knocking, whirring, pops, and grinding. Sometimes the whole instrument vibrates - not sure how they keep the imaging clear when that happens.

They do a series of scans. I've had as many as a dozen scans; today, we did only 3. Each scan can last between 2 and 12 minutes. Sometimes, lights flash during the scan. The tube is well-lit, and they often place a mirror on the cage in front of your face, so you can see out the bottom of the tube. I usually just keep my eyes closed.

I've found this process to be an excellent time to relax and pray. This morning, I spent about 20 minutes inside.

So, now - once again - I'm back in 'wait' mode. All the tests have been completed. All systems go. I'm waiting to hear the results of the brain-mapping - to see if the tumor is within 1cm of my Broca's Area (speech center). If it is, Dr. Liau will wake me up during surgery. If she does, it will add about 2 hours to the surgery. Otherwise, I'll probably be in 4-5 hours.

I have to call the hospital tomorrow afternoon to see when I need to check-in. Dr. Liau says she usually schedules surgeries like mine early in the morning.

I learned yesterday that children under 12 are not allowed in the hospital during visiting hours. Obviously, I'm disappointed - I'd like to see my kids during my stay. But, I'm only scheduled for 3 nights, so it shouldn't be that bad - especially considering that I probably won't feel up to visitors on Monday.

Since the 'Blackberry Test' worked so well, yesterday, I'll take my handheld to the hospital (it doubles as my cell phone, too) and - if I'm up to it - will blog from there. Between now and Monday, I'll keep blogging with updates (like the brain-mapping results, when I get them) and other things that are on my mind. Stay tuned.


Unknown said...

i'll be praying for you bob! based on your blog posts, you seem to be taking things well, with a positive attitude. i think that's great!

Unknown said...

Love your posts, Bob. Melody and I are praying for you. We both believe, because we can't KNOW (had to add that!), that you're going to pull through with flying colors!

Keep the logic flowing, I love it!