Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Official MRI Report

Got this in the mail today. Despite normally being pretty good for a non-science, non-health industry person, there's a number of phrases that just don't parse for me. Good thing I have a followup appointment tomorrow with my internist.

MRI Brain done 3-6-10

Findings: Two punctate foci of abnormal FLAIR signal involves the subcortical right orbital frontal gyrus, unchanged compared with prior examination. There is sparing of the posterior fossa and brainstem. Brain volume, morphology, ventricles, and basal cistern are otherwise normal. No evidence for abnormal gradient echo signal or restricted diffusion. Sagittal midline structures structures appear otherwise normal. Motion artifact is somewhat limiting however on this sequence.

Post contrast sequences demonstrate no evidence for abnormal enhancement.

Impressions: Stable foci of abnormal T2 signal within the right frontal lobe. Differential consderations would include sequelae of migraine headaches, remote trauma, or early microvascular disease changes. These do not have a classic appearance for multiple sclerosis.

MRA Brain

Findings: There are no significant stenoses or vascular malformations. There is a small outpouching inferiorly from the terminal segment of the right internal carotid artery measuring approximately 2mm.

Impression: Possible 2 mm inferiorly projecting aneurysm from the inferior right terminal segment of the internal carotid artery. No other significant stenoses or vascular malformations.

Well, I guess now I understand why my internist had a little trouble on the phone deciphering some parts of the report. :-) Try reading some of the weirder sentences aloud; doesn't it make you wonder how the heck the radiologist was able to spit out those phrases as he dictated it? They're totally tongue twisters!

I'm mostly happy when there's nothing scary in a test result, especially when they're looking at my brain.

But I still feel like the left side of my face, including teeth and part of my tongue have been numbed with novocaine that's only partially worn off. And I'd really love to know why (as long as it comes with a simple treatment plan).

I was watching the TV show Mystery Diagnosis today, and actually felt mildly jealous that those women's mysteries had been solved. (The episode included two different women with different, unrelated medical conditions.)

Not that it worked out so well for them. One woman had to quit her job as a special-ed teacher to keep her condition from flaring and potentially killing her. The other woman had a brain tumor removed, but she still has numbness and prickling on the entire left side of her body due to the nerve damage caused by the tumor.


p1nkg0dess said...

I totally understand about the mystery diagnosis jealousy factor! I feel that way when I read about a blogger who figures it out too. Then I feel guilty and a bit crazy, because usually it's not a great diagnosis. But there's the aspect of having symptoms without any way to label them or predict how things will be tomorrow or next week or next year, which really sucks, and that's what I wish would be resolved. Your post about tests also resounded with me, because I go through phases of wondering if it's worth it to spend the money, time, energy etc going to doctors, only to have each tell me it's something completely different, sometimes on the basis of a false positive test result (which is so easy to have happen when so many tests are run!). At that point, (ironic in light of my previous statements), it's things like the stories of health puzzles being solved that keep me hoping that there is an answer out there.

sarah said...

I can relate to so many things you write about. It's hard for people to understand why in world I want to be told that I have an illness. I try to explain how crazy making it is not to know. For now I have decided to give up trying to find a diagnosis. but that could change tomorrow.