Since I was 3, I randomly experience joint pains to the point that I can’t move nor walk because of the pain. I wasn’t able to enjoy my childhood nor was I allowed to do strenuous activities in school. Last 2009, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. My medicines are expensive but the pain still recurs once in awhile.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
Because of the recurring pain, I had my MRI a few weeks ago. I was supposed to do this procedure last year; but for many reasons, I decided to delay it. I have 2 rheumatologists and they asked me to have a lot of blood tests. Bloody in price and quantity. 🙀
Last month, my rheumatologist asked me to do a knee and elbow x-ray. I thought it would be something scary but I was able to enjoy it. It was like the x-ray machine technician was the photographer who was asking me to make a lot of poses that will showcase my elbow and knee. 😅 I just had to find the silver lining and I did! 😊
Unfortunately, the rainbow didn’t stay for a long time. After a week, I got the result : Consider calcific tendinitis versus loose body, RIGHT ELBOW.
Uh oh! Red flag! 🚩I knew right then that it’s time to do the MRI. As what I mentioned earlier, I had reasons for not doing the MRI test and one of which is being claustrophobic. I’m so scared of closed spaces. Especially when I had to stay for a long time. I need to have an MRI for my right elbow and knee. Both tests need me to stay and not move for at least 45 min per test so that is 1 hr 30min of not moving and having the same position in a closed space. Sounds like fun? Yes if you can bring your cellphone or listen to music. But noooooo! I had to stay still and be quiet for 90 minutes.
What is MRI?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which is a very safe, noninvasive medical imaging procedure that has been performed millions of times to date. MRI is different from X-ray, computerized tomography (CT), and positron emissions tomography (PET) because it does not use ionizing radiation to take pictures of the body. Instead, MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio frequencies (RF), similar to the radio frequencies used by your cordless/cell phone, car radio and garage door opener. The images from MRI scans are much more detailed than what can be obtained from traditional X-rays or CT scans.
I still remember how hard it is to schedule an MRI test. The only schedule left is Sunday, 8 pm. We went to church then went to the mall to make a blog review for Dolcelatte (read here). This is what I was wearing. 😀 (click this to see my OOTD post)
Around 7 pm, I received a text from one of the hospital’s staff informing me that they had to cancel my MRI test because of the bad weather. I made a thought bubble saying, “Maybe I’m not meant to have an MRI after all.” After a few minutes, one of the hospital’s staff texted me again to inform me that I can still do my test but for a latter time which is 8:30 pm. I said, “Yes I’ll be there.” and silently sighed. 😧
When we came to the hospital, I got nervous because of the few people I see in the Radiology Department. Since there’s a typhoon, most of the patients cancelled their MRI appointment.
There is a TV inside the room so I stayed calm while holding my husband’s hands. My children were with me the whole time. Then the doctor called me to check on my blood pressure, temperature, height, and weight. He also interviewed me and told me what to expect while having the MRI. They said that if I move and the machine missed some parts of the scan, they need to repeat either a whole cycle or the particular minutes lost. Thanks for the additional stress doc! 😅
Alas! The MRI operator called me! She (yehey! a lady) asked me to remove my clothes and change to their hospital gown and slippers. I asked if my hanky can stay with me inside the machine. She allowed me; but she still took it from me and put it under my bed. She also gave me keys for my locker where I can put my things. They were also under my bed/table. 😅
Before my husband left, I asked him to take a photo of where I’ll have my MRI test. We are not allowed to put our cellphone inside the room because it can get broken because of too much magnetic field. This is where I stayed for 90 minutes.
These are the parts of the machine :
1. Table – This is a specially designed table for the participant to lie on. After the participant is comfortable (we have numerous pads, pillows and blankets available), the table slides into the MRI machine, which has a round opening that encloses the table.
2. Head Coil -This is the part of the machine that actually takes the pictures. It looks like a basket and is placed at the end of the table closest to the machine. The head coil slides over the participant’s head and remains there for the entire MRI scan.
3. Headphones & Earplugs -The MRI scan is very loud. To protect the participant’s hearing, earplugs and headphones are provided. There is also a microphone inside of the MRI ‘tube’. The examiner can communicate with the participant via this microphone/headphone system. A system of mirrors allows the participant to see the examiner through a window in the control room
Before starting, she also introduced me to the call button that I need to press whenever I’m not feeling well or comfortable. It wasn’t a challenge to use it because I was outside the tube the whole time.
The MRI for my right knee was easy. I just closed my eyes and tried to rest. It wasn’t a challenge to not move my knees. Also, my head was on the outer part of the machine so I didn’t get scared at all. I was able to finish the test in 45 minutes straight. Woohoo! 😆
After the easy part, the elbow MRI is next. They had to wrap my elbow tightly before I go inside the machine. When I was already inside, they asked me to move to the left side of the machine. So basically, my whole body was on the left side of the machine while my right elbow lies comfortably in the middle area. 😕 It was a bit painful but I had to behave inside because my children were still waiting outside. 😢
There were times that I get scared of the loud sounds that the machine is making. It’s like someone is bombing inside my head. I was also thinking, “If there’s a ghost inside the tube, will I be able to get out of this?” 😅
This photo shows how hard it is to fit me, the call button, and my covered elbow inside the machine. Take note that I also have a thick blanket with me inside. It’s hard to be still in times that I want to sneeze, get cold and get scared of the sounds that the machine makes once in awhile. Unfortunately, I had to stay and repeat the test for at least 10 min because I moved a couple of times.
After the test, the dismay was to see a guy technician. When the table was pulled out of the machine, my gown was almost removed because of the pressure and the bad position I had while having the elbow MRI. I had to cover myself with their thick blankets so I can wear my gown back. I just wish that since the patient is a woman, they should’ve considered giving me a lady technician as well. It’s just awkward and surprising to see a guy inside the room. Well, I’m just glad that the test is finally done and the hard part is over.
Now let’s fast forward in reading the result : Negative for ligamentous or meniscal tear.
Now that deserves all praises and glory to God! 🙌 Thank You Father! It’s now confirmed that all the pain I’m experiencing is because of the stress and emotional trauma I experienced way back 1987. The diagnosis is still FIBROMYALGIA.
It’s my turn to pray for you. Yes you! Probably you searched for MRI or any sickness you are in now. I want to pray for you :
Lord, I pray for this reader. I know that it’s not an accident that he is reading this now. Father, I pray for complete healing. God, please provide all the needed money and favor that he can receive so that he will have all the necessary tests done as soon as possible. I pray that You give him peace, strength and comfort until he is completely healed. Use other people to bless him and be with him while he is on this journey. Nothing is too impossible with You Lord. This we ask in Jesus’ name we pray amen.
Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”