First, thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes. I'll eventually get back into the swing of things and will be answering everyone individually, but for now I just want you to all know I read every comment and appreciate each and every one of you.
In other news, I had my MRI yesterday. How many of you have had them? Raise your hands… A few, it appears. I've had a couple of them before in past years, but never remembered them being so painful before. It must just be where the problem is in my neck, but when they had me lay down flat on my back with no neck support, I thought I was going to scream. I was supposed to have 20 minutes of intermittant pictures, then they were injecting dye into me and taking another 20 minutes worth. I was not to swallow or cough or move… (let alone cry) when the machine was making noise, but could swallow, cough, etc., when it was quiet.
Have I mentioned I now have Hubs' cold? You know, the kind with the tickley cough? You know what hell you go through when someone says "not" to do something? Yeah. Try it sometime. Tell someone NOT to think of a white elephant. Exactly.
At any rate, I grit my teeth against the pain and held very still for 40, not 20 minutes while they took the first set of films. The whole closely encapsulated thing never bothers me, and if I wouldn't have had the pain and the fighting-the-cough thing, I probably could have gone to sleep. I always close my eyes anyway. (Yes, I know, if I wasn't having the pain I wouldn't have needed the MRI in the first place… work with me here…) Finally, without coughing once I was slid out of the machine so they could inject the dye. Oh, more fun! She torked my arm in ways it didn't want to go. (HEY LADY! I'M HERE BECAUSE I CAN'T DO THAT WITHOUT SCREAMING WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I CAN DO IT FOR YOU?) Finding no useable vein, she proceeded to tork the other arm, then having still no luck, went back to the first arm where she finally found a place in my hand. Thank God.
Sliding back into the machine, I wondered if I would make it another round. I braced myself as best I could and made it through one and a half cycles before it happened. The uncontrollable cough. I yelled out "sorry!" and tried to lay still for the rest of the time, but they slid me out right after that, so don't know if they quit because they decided I was done or because they figured I was going to mess up the rest. I didn't care. It was over.
Thinking I would go back to work in the afternoon, I hadn't planned on the pain and migraine that developed after the test, so took my aching body home to ice up and try and relax.
The orthopedic doctor called me first thing this morning to give me the results. When he looked at the x-rays a couple of days ago he thought the problem was all in the disc below where I had my previous surgery. He was half right. He said the MRI showed I have a herniated disc right above where the surgery was, as well as arthritis below. Oh, yay. I'm still scheduled for the neurosurgeon on the 8th. We'll see what the next step is from there. I'm looking forward to being pain-free again in the worst way. (As is my family, I'm sure! I'm not pleasant to be around when I'm whiney…)
One last note. I apologize profusely to all of you who are getting cards. You won't get them until after Christmas. I know this, because I've not sent them out and I'm not going to kill myself to get them sent out before Christmas. Know that I am thinking of each and every one of you (even those of you who are not sending or receiving cards) and I'm hoping you all have warm, safe, and wonderful holidays…