I was seriously considering giving up, at least for awhile, the search for a diagnosis (and treatment!) for my mystery illness.
But then my internist sent my MRA images and report over to the neurosurgeon that I've consulted in the past about my unrelated back problems. I didn't hear anything for over a week, and I figured that meant he thought it was no big deal. Apparently, I was wrong about that.
On Monday afternoon, I got a call from the neurosurgeon's assistant saying that he wanted me to have a cerebral angiogram and that she had already cleared it with my insurance company and sent the order to the nearby hospital where the procedure would be done. (Note: the link above is from a different local hospital, not where I'm having mine done. But I thought it was very well explained.)
I bumped into my neighbor, Joan, and told her I was feeling a bit panicky about it. Because, y'know, that's my brain we're talking about. They're going to stick something in my femoral artery in my groin and somehow push it all the way up to my brain.
She then listed off all the people she knows whose mothers died of aneurysms, and we both agreed that we did not want to risk adding Ellie to that list.
An hour or so later, I got a call from the hospital scheduler and got fit into somebody's schedule on Friday morning.
Early morning. Day after tomorrow.
I have to be there at 6 a.m., and the procedure is scheduled for 8 a.m. It should only take about an hour, but then I'll have to lie perfectly flat for six to eight hours before I can go home. I'm figuring that after having gotten up so early to be there, I'll probably snooze my way through those hours of lying flat. :-)
I spoke to my internist about this, and my nervousness, last night. While she was a little surprised that the neurosurgeon decided to the angiogram without doing a second MRA first to confirm the existence of the aneurysm, she said she thought I should go ahead and do it because he wouldn't have ordered it without thinking it was necessary.
So if I understand things correctly, and that's a pretty big if, it's pretty much just a look-see on Friday. But if they think the aneurysm is a problem, they can either put a stent in or do a surgical procedure that's more invasive. I'm pretty sure that neither would be done on Friday unless things went horribly awry. (And I've already promised Scott that nothing will go awry.)
I will try to post late Friday or sometime Saturday just to let y'all know everything went fine. But I wouldn't mind folks keeping me in their thoughts and prayers that everything goes as it should.