Monday, November 17, 2008

TDP - Back to Ann Arbor

Last Friday we were in Ann Arbor for Tom's MRI scan. It's a two hour drive each way, and we decided that since the scan wasn't scheduled until 6:45 pm, we'd just drive both ways rather than stay in a hotel.

We arrived early, and that worked out well since Tom also had to have an orbital xray to determine if there were any metal fragments still in his eye from a metal shop accident 30 years ago. The fragments were taken out at that time, but the MRI staff wanted to be certain, hence the orbital xray. They then gave him the all-clear, as no metal was found, and he was able to get his MRI a few minutes earlier than scheduled.

If you haven't had one, an MRI is "interesting" (rolling eyes). They slide you horizontally into a huge machine, and they make extremely loud pounding noises for 30 to 60 minutes. If you didn't have a headache when you started, you probably will by the end of the scan. They do several scans, taking a few minutes break between, but it's still seems like a very long time listening to that pounding noise, even though they give you earplugs to wear. Tom's was a full body scan, so his MRI would take about 60 minutes,

In Tom's case, there was an additional concern. He's claustrophobic, and they had to take him out of the machine twice because of that. Since he was part-way through the test, he was allowed to slide out of the machine, but had to lay perfectly still. No sitting up, no movement of any kind - otherwise his test wouldn't come through clearly enough for the doctors to read the scan. Movement meant re-taking the MRI, so he was very good about staying perfectly still and recouping from his claustophobia, then finishing the MRI.

Originally, he felt he could do the MRI without medication, but now he knows that doesn't work well for him, and he's decided that next time he'll ask to be sedated.

We have an appointment with the radiation oncologist tomorrow, so tonight we're going into Ann Arbor and will stay over. It's so much less stressful than trying to drive over early in the morning, especially since the weather is turning colder and the roads icier. This morning both expressways near our home were shut down due to accidents involving semi-trucks and black ice. But by this afternoon when we leave for Ann Arbor, the road conditions should be much improved and we'll have a nice easy drive, plus a good dinner at an Ann Arbor Thai restaurant we want to check out (Tom can still eat some soft foods like well-cooked veggies and noodles or rice).

And then there's the Whole Foods Market just down the road from our hotel - since we don't have one within 100 miles of our home, it's a treat to go to WF so we're looking forward to that. Treat-time, here we come!

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