January 3, 2001

Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone. The holidays went by much too quickly. I will cherish the memories of Christmas 2000.

I received a call just before Christmas from Squirt’s office informing me that I was booked for a MRI on January 2, 2001. I found this very strange since Squirt had told me on November 21, 2000 that I did not need a MRI of the brain. I have no idea what on earth made him change his mind. But then who am I to question the decisions made by medical professionals.

My husband and I drove into the city on January 2, 2000. I arrived at the hospital and was ushered into a waiting room. After waiting about 30 minutes I was taken into the MRI chamber. At this point I asked the radiologist if they were going to inject me with dye for the MRI. The radiologist informed me that it wasn’t necessary. I should have walked out at this point because I knew that if they did not use the dye that provides a contrast, nothing would show up on that MRI. However, I have been well trained to follow the orders of medical personnel. I go like a sheep to the slaughter.

I had been warned about the loud, grinding noise the MRI machine makes. I could barely hear the instructions of the radiologist. Could it be that I am the first patient with a hearing problem to under go an MRI at this particular hospital?

When the MRI was over, I again approached the radiologist and asked him why they used dye in some situations. He told me that in my case the dye was not important. I then insisted on knowing exactly when, where and why dye was used. The radiologist looked at me in frustration and realized I was planning to stick to him like glue until he answered my question. He finally said “Well if you use dye you get a more detailed image and you can see things better.” I looked at the man in disbelief and said, “My point exactly and I just went through a totally useless exercise!”

I received an email from the Hormone Doctor today. He wrote, “Sorry to hear about your difficulties.” He informed me that he had not yet received any of the results from the tests I had done at the country hospital at the end of November, 2000. He asked me how he could facilitate my workup. He then wrote, “The MRI should have been a pituitary MRI (not brain) with gadolinium (atypoe of contrast).” My gut feeling about the MRI yesterday was right. What a waste of time and energy!

Some of my symptoms have worsened in the New Year. The pain in the bones of my feet and hips is worse. The muscle weakness in my legs is much worse. It is now a struggle to get up from a sitting position. God forbid I should ever have to get down on the floor for any reason. I would need to pack a lunch since I would have to stay on the floor all day until someone came home to help me up! Basement stairs are a nightmare!

Just before Christmas I took my grandson to a Christmas celebration at the museum. We of course had to go on the sleigh ride that ended up being quite an embarrassment for me. It took me forever to crawl up on the sleigh even though a step had been provided. Getting off that sleigh was even worse. After a few minutes of struggling I realized that I had two choices – I could take a flying leap into the snow bank beside the sleigh or I could wait until someone realized I needed help. Finally a kind soul realized that I would be spending the rest of the day on that sleigh if he didn’t help me. Just two years ago I would have been able to jump on and off of that sleigh without help.

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