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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MRI - A Different Experience

So, I called Hadassa Ein Kerem on Sunday, and the person I needed to speak with was not there. To my pleasant surprise, the secretary (not someone I spoke with before) gently asked if, perhaps, she could help me.

She seemed so nice, I calmly explained the situation to her. Unfortunately, she could only put me on the waiting. I was not satisfied with this, but she very kindly explained that I would get an earlier appointment, she just did not know when yet; someone would call me. At the same time, she encouraged me to call often, as that might speed things up.

In the end, I received a call later that evening, with an appointment for 10:30 pm, the following night!

So, Monday night, after our final aseifat horim, we went straight to Hadassah EK. At night, parking is a lot easier, as was everything else. We had to register at the Emergency Room reception. It was quiet there and I just waited a few minutes before a very sweet young woman filed my forms. Then I went to the MRI department.

The secretaries do not work there at night. So, I waited for one of the technicians to come and take my forms.

In the meanwhile, there was a heated discussion going on between the five other people waiting about whether a Rav (Rabbi) can choose who to service or whether he is a shaliyah tzibbur (emmisary of the people) and has to attend to the needs of anyone who turns to him. There were two hareidi (ultra-Orthodox) couples arguing with a woman who might have been secular, (her clothes were modest and loose-fitting, but she was wearing pants and no head covering), but who I suspect was either traditional or modern religious. She certainly was not anti-religious. It was a good natured, but heated discussion. I joined right in (אילה מה - what did you expect?). I "look" religious (I always cover my hair and I was wearing a skirt), so the couples assumed I would agree with them, but I actually agreed with the woman. They were talking about a very well-know Rabbi who had refused to read a letter that was sent to him from a woman. I actually found it quite offensive that the Rabbi dismissed the letter, but the tone of the discussion was quite friendly, so I did not pursue that point.

After a short time, a young woman was wheeled out (in a wheelchair) from the MRI rooms. It turns out, she is someone I know from Beit Natan. A few years ago, she had breast cancer. Now, here she is, still so young, and she just had surgery to remove a tumor from her brain. I was shocked, though I tried not to show how worried I was for her. She found the tumor because had been suffering from headaches. How many women do I know who were just diagnosed with brainmets? I think this makes 6? My doctor's words echoed in my head "with symptomatic brain tumors... 2 years would be considered a long time."

When I was called in, I started feeling anxious. I mentioned to the attending physicians that the last time I had an MRI, they burst a vein and it was very painful.

Dr. Michael, the male Russian doctor who put in the needle for the contrast, did not seem particularly gentle. He chose a location, in my upper arm, that scared me. I expected it to be very painful, despite his reassurances. I closed my eyes, and focussed on my breathing to try and stay relaxed and calm. I felt a small prick and that was it! I was amazed! He might be my new favorite!

The technician, Andre, also Russian, was constantly smiling and was so nice. I recognized him from the last time. There was also an American woman working there who I recognized, who is also nice and helpful. She checked in with me several times during the radiation, to make sure I was ok.

I was worried when they injected the contrast, but besides the cool sensation I did not feel anything. I was able to relax after that and actually slept through the rest of the MRI.

When we left, I realized that this visit, with the empty corridors and the quiet calm, left me feeling much more relaxed. I almost felt bad about my rant a few days ago...

I might even write a letter about how wonderful Dr. Michael is...



Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

14 comments:

muse said...

G-d willing
Refuah Shleimah!
I remember when my son was in ein kerem that the did the CAT scan until midnight.

A Soldier's Mother said...

Ok - I clicked Post a Comment so you know I was here and wanted to read and see how you were doing...and I have nothing to say. I hate when that happens. Well, I could ramble, but that would be dumb...and hey, it's your blog not mine so if anyone should ramble, it should be you. So - got it - ready. You looked really good at the Jbloggers conference...can you teach me how to tie a scarf? There's a reason I don't wear them...I can't tie them right! Love from me! (see, I was here)

Risa said...

Good to hear you had a חויה מתקנת at Ein Kerem! Hope it's a sign for the new year!

Baila said...

A friend of mine had an MRI schedule for 2:30 am. Not sure where.

I'm glad it was better--wish it didn't have to be in the middle of the night...

Anonymous said...

I'm not clear on something...
Was your brain mets symptomatic?

ABH

Anonymous said...

hi sweety,im glad it went so smoothly,may the results be just as smooth,wishing you and your family a year of very good health,and besorot tovot yeshuot venechamot,

RivkA with a capital A said...

MUSE -- CAT scans and MRI scans are in different departments. I don't know about the CT dept, but the MRI dept runs all night (or at least until late at night/early in the morning).

A Soldier's Mother -- You R SOOOO CUTE!!! Come over any time for Scarf Tying 101.

Risa -- me 2!

Baila -- 10:30, by me, is NOT the middle of the night. The timing was actually perfect. 2:30? Now that is the middle of the night!

ABH - my brain mets is not symptomatic. as my oncologist says "we stumbled on it by accident"

Anon -- thanks! (not sure who you are...)

Anonymous said...

Wishing you a shanah tovah, with good health and only good things.

QuietusLeo said...

Go ahead, make his day. Write that letter about how wonderful Dr. Michael is. Believe me, he will appreciate being appreciated.
So, am I still cryptic?

RivkA with a capital A said...

anon -- thanks!

QuietusLeo -- you are coming through, loud and clear.

It was nice meeting you.

oh, and I planned on writing that letter, even before your encouragment. :-)

Shoshana Hurwitz said...

Do you happen to know why the MRI's are scheduled at such weird times? I have to go for one (also at EK) in a couple of weeks and the only reason I wasn't surprised when they gave me a time slot of 1 AM was because I had read your post recently!...

I love your blog -- keep writing and hope the new year brings health and happiness for us all!

Marc said...

With regard to the MRI times. The machines are expensive, the Hadassah ones are the only ones in Jerusalem. Typically, they take patients who are hospitalized in the middle of the night, but if you push to get in, then they will take you very late at night.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Shoshana -- It is my understanding that they often have MRIs scheduled all night long.

You can ask them to change your time, but then you might have to wait for another appointment...

Look at it this way, 1:00 am is better than 3:00 am!!

Shoshana Hurwitz said...

I think the 1 AM appointment time was the easiest part of the whole ordeal, unfortunately! We got lost running around EK because nobody working there could give us the right directions to the MRI department, made us pay a fortune due to typical bureaucracy so now we have to fight with Maccabi to get reimbursed, and to top it off they gave us someone else's results instead of our own! Argh. So, two days later we are still left wondering if everything is OK...my doctor is on vacation for the whole chag with no backup :( Hope your experiences weren't THAT bad!