You wouldn't think they go together, but in my world, you just never know.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan aka MRI, I has one. Ahem, let me de-LOL myself.
On Saturday I had an MRI scan of my brain as part of the plan with my neurologist to figure out and/or rule out why I've been having an increase in frequency and intensity of migraines over the past few years. The neurologist thinks it's stress related, but I've been dealing with that thanks to therapy. Hell, I've even blogged about Shrinky Poo for the last four years since I started it as treatment for Post-Partum Depression and have continued due to predisposition to clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and OCD. That's sort of the main reason I even started this blog. So yeah, dealing with stress and anxiety is, well, being dealt with. Migraines have always been part of the stress in a background way. If stress and anxiety is major then migraines are bound to follow.
Maybe it's because my diet isn't bad. It's actually pretty decent. My activity levels are fair. Not fabulous, but good. Nothing to complain about, certainly, but they could always be better if you were to ask a gym-junky and I would even bet my diet could be better if you asked a nutritionist. I watch what I eat and avoid migraine triggering foods to the best of my ability, but maybe I'm missing something that could be a trigger.
Maybe I'm ignoring some stress that is manifesting itself as migraines. At first, we blamed the increase on changing my Wellbutrin from twice a day to the long release tabs, which are once a day. They're supposedly known for causing an increase in headaches, especially migraines, for the first eight weeks. I'm past that, though, so Shrinky Poo is convinced that the migraines can no longer be blamed on my depression and anxiety meds.
So right now I'm taking the usual 100 mg Imitrex, or at least the generic of it. The generic doesn't work as well as the original. The problem, of course, is that my insurance won't cover the brand name any more since Imitrex now has a generic. I'm also taking Topamax, or rather the generic "equivalent" of Topamax, and I'm seeing some improvements. There's a decrease in frequency, and if I do feel a migraine coming on, it's more likely to hang in the background than to come on full force. In the month that I've been on the Topamax, I think I've only had to use the Imitrex twice (today included), and only once a day when I've had to take it rather than twice or thrice a week and twice a day when I had to take it.
But I was talking about the MRI. Last year when I was having the problem with my right shoulder after I tore the rotator cuff and it was having trouble healing, I had an MRI at Jefferson Radiology on it. They're wonderful there, very friendly and professional, but I'm claustrophobic. The MRI there was horrible, because I was 35-40 pounds heavier than I am now and the MRI machines are not like they are on House, all roomy and big like a sewer tunnel. They're cramped and tight-fitted. A few months ago I had another MRI at the same place for my right knee for an injury I sustained when Anneliese was small and that has been bothering me lately but that one wasn't as bad because at least my shoulders and head were sticking out of the machine for that one.
This time, the MRI was at St. Francis hospital and the machine's "tunnel" was slightly wider. Either that or my weight loss was more significant than I thought. It was better lit with a friendlier blue light, as opposed to a yellowish light at Jefferson. Honestly, I really do think it was a wider entrance. I still had to keep my eyes closed and wear headphones with music the entire time. In spite of taking my anxiety medication (thank you Klonopin) I was still a bit anxious once I got inside the machine. They gave me a "break" halfway through the test but I honestly wished they had just continued without the break to get it over with. I almost hyperventilated at having to go back in. I dealt with it but it felt tighter the second time in.
The sounds of the machine itself and the sounds of the vibrations came through loud and clear through the music in the headphones, which I expected. What I didn't expect was the feeling of the vibrations in my head. But the vibration or whatever that feeling was wasn't from the vibration sound, if that makes sense. I think it was from the magnetism.
When the test was over and I got out, it wasn't easy to sit up. I was uneasy and shaky, but very anxious to get out of there. I wasn't as jocular going out as I was going in, I'll tell you that. The kids and Mr. His Highness were watching Spongebob Squarepants in the waiting room and giggling away like loons when I came out.
"Hey ladies, I'm done."
"Um, HELLO, I'm done."
"HEY GUYS CAN WE GO HOME? I'M DONE!"
"Oh hi sweetie! We missed you! Let's go buy you lunch!"
"Hi Mommy! We're watching Spuj-bub, he's funny."
We stopped to get Subway for me on the way home, and Mr. His Highness gracefully offered to take the three little princesses down to visit his mother and father for the afternoon. I gratefully accepted, ate my lunch, and then had to lay down. I had the worst case of vertigo I'd had in years. I honestly don't know how I held down my lunch, but I slept from 1:00 that afternoon until they got home around 5:30. I went back to sleep and stayed asleep until 9:30 or so Sunday morning. I can only assume that the MRI had something to do with the vertigo. I just need to pray now that I never need another MRI on my brain ever again. Which means I need to pray that there's nothing unusual in my brain.
I have my follow-up with my neurologist on September 3rd, but obviously if there's anything more serious than "there's nothing to worry about" he'll call me sooner. Let's raise a glass to hoping I won't hear from him until September 3rd.