Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Am Are I

If you want to do the MRI, you have to be prepared to wait.
Because if your case is not urgent, read: if your head is not going to explode or something, then you would have to wait till after everyone who has made an appointment before you or whose head was going to explode to go through the test before it gets to your turn.
The doctor requested for my MRI at around noon, and my turn only came almost 7 hours later. Good thing I was admitted into a room, so at least I could lie down and watch Amazing Race while I wait.

The attendant wheeled me down to the Imaging room and I was interviewed first. The nurse asked me if I knew what an MRI is, and I said I've seen it on TV ;) I was asked if I was claustrophobic and if I have had any kind of implants, did I work with metal grinders etc. Basically they just wanted to know if I had anything metal in my body that would affect the magnetic resonance. I had taken out anything metal on my body, including the pin that was holding my headscarf. Good thing I was wearing a lycra Selendang Saudah, so it was easy to wrap it around my head and keep it in place without a pin. I was told to change into the gown provided and to remove everything else except my underwear.

Okay, here I would like to digress a bit and complain.
Why is it that someone does not design a muslimah-friendly hospital gown? The one I had to wear had short sleeves and it reached only a little below the knee. I had to ask for a blanket to wear like a sarong to hide my legs. And what's with the ties? How in the world was I supposed to tie it anyways? I think there are things called 'velcro' nowadays.

So after I have figured out how to wear my gown, I went into the Imaging room to face this behemoth of a machine. It looked like a really huge pencil sharpener. I was asked to lie down and the imaging guy explained to me how I shouldnt move, how long it'd take and gave me a button to push in case I wanted the test to stop for any reason. I prayed to god I would not need to use it, coz wouldn't that mean I'd have to repeat the test again? He gave me ear plugs to dull the noise, told me to lie down, wedged sponges on the side of my head to reduce movement and closed this star wars-like visor over my face.

I closed my eyes and imagined just that - that I was going on a trip to the outerspace. I tried not to think about the enclosed space and put pictures of wide open sky in my head instead. It also helped that the first sound I heard after I had stopped moving inside was like a single note from a electric bass guitar. Just like the sound the spaceship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind made. It helped feed my planetary trip fantasy I had going on. That single note was repeated for a few minutes before it stopped and changed rythm.

After what felt like quite a while, I realized that I was breathing very shallowly. Maybe I had forgotten how to breathe!? I tried hard to not panic and concentrate on my breathing. I almost wanted to press the button, but the thought of having to do the test over kept me from doing so. If I back out now, who knows whether I'd have the courage to do it again? So I braved myself and recited all the surahs that I memorized. Unfortunately it didn't take too long to go through all of them (*hangs head in shame*). Alhamdulillah, though, after several rounds of surahs and Robbi Yasser walatu asser (God is the Great Giver of Ease and will make it easy) I calmed down and decided to just enjoy the rock show.

Coz it was just like a rock show! There wasn't much variety in the notes, but the rythm was there. Some bits sounded like drum beats, some sounded like feedback, some sounded like the "paa paa paa" of an electric guitar. Towards the end of the test was quite entertaining, coz it went "tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap" then "paa paa paa paa paa paa paa paa", over and over. I almost tapped my feet. I even got the courage to open my eyes a bit to take a peek at the inside of the pencil sharpener. All I could see was the frames of my visor and white, white, white. I closed my eyes and didn't think much about it anymore coz my nose was starting to itch.

So there I was. stuck in this hole and my nose was itching and I really really really wanted to scratch it but was too scared that I'd move too much and would have to do everything all over again and as much as I had enjoyed the 'rock concert', I don't think I could stand another 30 minutes of it. With the grace of God, everything stopped and they took me out and I was told the test was done! Alhamdulillah, I could now scratch my nose! lol

So I changed and went back to my room. The whole thing took about 45minutes. About 2 hours later the doctor came to tell me my MRI looks clear, so there's really nothing to worry about. Next time I have a headache I should just take a panadol and sleep it off. Next time I have a cold, just take it easy and don't work too hard (heh. Easier said than done). She suggested a blood test to rule out anything else.

I was glad they didn't find anything in the MRI. I was prepared for all possibilities, but I was glad it was all clear, just so that I didn't have to go through the pencil sharpener again. ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What went down on Sunday?


For the past few years I have been getting headaches that coincides with the crimson tide. So last Saturday was no different, except that towards the evening I also developed a cold. So I took Claratyne, and closer to my bedtime I took a panadol, with hopes that the next morning I'd have slept it all off.
Woke up, still with a headache and a runny nose, teary eyes and all. After taking a shower did not alleviate the pain, I knew that breakfast was gonna be a little slow today. So I ate an apple before starting on the sausages, beans and eggs. Ilham and Ihsan came home from their sleepover at nenek's asking whether they could go with MakLong to KL, I said no. Still nursing my headache, I got the boys to help me out with breakfast. Ihsan was cooking sausages while I was peeling some shallots and garlic for the baked beans. One minute I was rinsing the knife, next minute it was like the end of a silent movie, where the bright circle in the middle of the dark screen got smaller and smaller until everything was black. Next thing I knew, Taufik was repeatingly calling out my name and I was lying on the floor.

Taufik then brought me to the hospital with Anis, leaving the older boys at home to watch over Izani and his cousins (who came for a sleepover the night before). Riding up and down the elevator made me so woozy that by the time we got to the emergency room and Taufik got me registered, I had puked out bits of apple all over the floor.
I felt awful, but it was actually a blessing, coz I caught the nurse's attention and they admitted me into the Resus room straight away. (tee hee)

So the doctor came to see me, asked me what happened, I told him. He called the Neurologist and she asked me the same questions, did some tests just like I saw on ER/Grey's/House (follow my finger, touch my finger, touch your nose etc etc). She checked my head for bumps, but there weren't any. I think I fell bum first coz it hurt a bit. (Shows you which part of my body is heaviest... ha ha). She calls my headaches 'migraines' but I am kinda reluctant to call it that, coz I've seen friends with migraines, and I don't think mine are *that* bad. She thinks it's nothing, I fainted most probably coz I was trying to do too much after taking anti-histamines that usually requires resting coz it knocks you out. But if we want to be sure, we can either do a CAT scan or an MRI, the latter being more accurate but it requires me being admitted into the hospital because the test and its results take a while. We decided we might as well do the MRI since we're already there.

While waiting for my room to be ready, I managed to take a nap in the ER and woke up feeling a bit better, even though it still felt like there were rocks in my head.

Of course when you get admitted into the hospital, things sound more serious than it actually is. The whole family stopped by to visit and all. I hope they were not too dissapointed that I wasn't as sick as they thought I was. ha ha ha.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about my MRI experience. It was quite interesting ;)