I always request a copy of my scans for my own viewing pleasure...I've become fairly skilled at reading the pictures of my OWN brain (probably not YOUR brain, but I know what mine is supposed to look like) and came home yesterday to pop the disk in my computer. I scrolled through the various "cuts" and brought out my last MRI from April of this year for comparison...just like a *trained* radiologist (LOL).
After careful arm chair neurologist/radiologist scrutiny, I declared, "Nothing new", and sent an email to Dr. SWWNBN with my educated findings. She later emailed me back to report my *findings* were correct...unchanged...nothing new...same old brain with Multiple Sclerosis.
Now, I know what I'm about to type is going to sound strange to some of you...and a few, it may even piss you off! And still a few more of you will mumble behind your computer screens, perhaps even firing off an email or two to MS friends, telling them to go "read the blog of the nutcase over at BrainCheese"...whatever. Think what you will. And still a few more of you will leave comments telling me to "count my blessings" and what not in an effort to "cheer" me. That's OK, too.
But...has ANYONE ELSE ever experienced the let down of having a "normal" or unchanged MRI scan when in the throws of feeling like MS crap?!? I mean seriously...it's not like I was WISHING for a big ol' brain tumor to suddenly appear on my MRI...or PML, or Herpes Zoster in my brain (which is what Dr. SWWNBN may have ALSO been looking to rule out). Quite the contrary, actually. I was HOPING nothing had changed inside my skull...WISHING even the MS lesions might have disappeared and I could proclaim a misdiagnosis.
Somehow however, deep in my twisted thinking, I was rather counting on the MRI to shed some light...give some explanation to...my recent relapse symptoms/shingle debacle/increased fatigue situation. Certainly not a brain cancer, but "something" visual to say, "Here it is. This is the problem. It's not ALL just in your head. There really IS a reason you feel like crap"...some little blip on the MRI screen I could point my finger at and proclaim, "There! I told you I was sick!"
"Unchanged" is supposed to be a good thing...no new lesions...just the same OLD ones interfering with my neurological functioning. Status quo. No surprises. Nothing remarkable on exam. Just my brain on MS.
And still, I struggle with the feeling I need to JUSTIFY my recent condition with a pictorial portfolio of NEW enhancing lesions and black holes in my brain to show the rest of the world a visual demonstration of why I feel so badly. I need to have some OUTWARD symbol or "sign" that tells the world I have PERMISSION to complain...to feel like crap...to worry...to feel vulnerable...to explain the grief of this illness...to need to rest...to feel frightened or unsettled...
OK...go ahead and fire off your emails and comments now...I'm suffering from the LET DOWN OF AN UNCHANGED MRI. Go ahead and remind me of my "blessings" and starving children in China and somebody you knew who had MS and was in a wheel chair by age 21...I'm sure that will lighten my mood. LOL
Or, on the RARE chance you, too, have ever experienced this phenomenon and will ADMIT IT, leave me a comment about that as well...