Did you ever say you wanted to do something stupid and was told to have your head examined.? Well for me, not my head but my brain,to be precise by an MRI, not once but twice as I have small tumor , the second time with a contrast dye injected in my arm that highlights my acoustic neuroma. An acoustic neuroma simply put is a benign tumor on the hearing nerve . It's also called a vestibular schwannoma, but if I tell someone I have one of those,they look at me like I have two heads, and believe me I don't want 4 MRIs
An acoustic neuroma is usually a very slow growing tumor which can affect balance and hearing, cause tinnitus, or put pressure on the brain stem if it gets very large. Fortunately, for me,being diagnosed with a very small one,it has not grown since being monitored almost 10 years ago. It's a rare tumor that affects about one in 75,000 people. I always knew I was special but I'd prefer not to be in this special group.
Anyway. last week I had my brain MRI after my previous one being two years ago. .While in the waiting room, I perused through magazines of no interest to me like muscle building, golf, and home fashions. No"People or "Time" or"New York" Magazine"to accompany my nervous waiting period. One of the questions I had to answer on the usual paperwork while waiting was "any possibility you are pregnant?" Since only yes or no answers had to be circled, I wrote in.."If I am, I'm at the wrong doctor." The receptionist didn't say anything to me when she looked over the forms.
The MRI itself is mostly a non event. I have to sit as still as I can sitting in this tight tube wearing a football helmet type apparatus while watching TV, in this case, a Long Island News channel with subtitles. I sat for about two twenty minute periods with the contrast dye injected during the short break of the rat-a-tat and thumping sounds I heard. I needed to readjust my pants telling the technician I had a wedgie before the second period. Yeah. These things happen.
When I was done,I knew the neurosurgeon would be meeting me shortly in another room to discuss my MRI results and comparing it with the one I had 2 years ago. I always get nervous with the possibility the tumor grew or the MRI might show another problem. After a few agonizing minutes, the neurosurgeon walked into the room and I cringed waiting to hear what he saw regarding my brain. He said. " I see nothing." !!!!
"Nothing " I blurted out. Could this be true? What? No brain? What am I? a scarecrow? Am I in Oz? But what the neurosurgeon meant was that the tumor was still very small and since it hadn't changed all this time, he felt I could wait 3 years before my next MRI. "You're the doctor", I said. I was relieved and hopefully correct in putting my trust in his expertise.
I drove back home on the Long Island Expressway knowing I still had a brain and while I was not in Kansas. I was also not over the rainbow . Oh My.