When I was diagnosed with MS in 1995, one of the means by which the diagnoses was confirmed was the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI has been shown to be effective in detecting MS plaques so the MRI imaging is included in diagnostic criteria.
As I’ve told you before, when I was diagnosed with MS, I didn’t believe it. Even with my first MRI results showing plaques, I was still in denial. I never even looked online to read the available information about MS. Now I tell others to look at places like Web MD.com where we can read the information that we need.
I didn’t understand that the MRI is simply a test that takes very clear pictures of the human body (for MS the Central Nervous System) without the use of X-rays. It uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to produce these images.
I didn’t even know why I needed to get an MRI.
Web MD teaches that the MRI is considered the best test to help diagnose MS. Even though 5% of people with MS don’t show ‘white spots’ or plaques on the central nervous system (CNS) according to the MRI results so a “negative” scan does not completely rule out MS. In addition, there are other situations that may look like MS on a MRI.
I was waiting for symptoms to prove I had MS and I didn’t know that symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg. There was activity going on in my brain; my immune system was attacking my CNS for five years before the symptoms were undeniable. It was then that I returned to the neurologist for medication.
I would have been able to have regular MRI reports to see if there was activity or what they call “clinically silent MS plaques” being formed.
Is the MRI Exam Safe?
Yes. The MRI exam is no threat to the average person. There are some safety guidelines to be followed.
At my appointment, I had to sign a consent form containing the conditions that may make having a MRI a bad idea.
I thank WebMd for for reminding me what was on the list:
• Cerebral aneurysm clip (metal clip on a blood vessel in the brain)
• Heart pacemaker
• Metal in the eye or eye socket
• Implanted insulin pump (for treatment of diabetes), narcotics pump (for pain medication), or implanted nerve stimulators (“TENS”) for back pain
• Implanted spine stabilization rods
• Cochlear (ear) implant for hearing impairment
• Weigh more than 300 pounds
• Severe lung disease (such as tracheomalacia or bronchopulmonary dysplasia)
• Gastroesophageal reflux (a common disease that causes heartburn)
• Not able to lie on back for 30 to 60 minutes
• Claustrophobia (fear of closed or narrow spaces)
Many people who have had heart surgery and people with the following medical devices can be safely examined with MRI:
• Artificial joints
• Brain shunt tubes for hydrocephalus
• Disconnected medication pumps
• Many cardiac valve replacements (check with your doctor)
• Vena cava filters
Because I didn’t have any of these concerns, I could obtain the MRI scan without complications.
No one knows, but I wonder if I would have had yearly MRIs to prove the activity of the MS if I would have gotten on the pharmaceuticals earlier and avoided the damage that was done.
Why is it that MS is no longer active in my CNS? Is it the MS drugs that are keeping it in remission or is it my healthy living? I don’t know but I’m not going to give up any of it! I feel great and I want to keep it this way!
Now on to learning about Mylien Repair, I want to get back all that I lost, will it be possible?!