Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Magnetic Resonance Imaging and RA

Medical technology is fascinating, not to mention a blessing to my existance.  X-rays, blood tests, all my various and varied medicines, and, last but not least, MRIs all make diagnosing, treating, tracking and managing my disease possible and relatively easy.  I am fully aware how lucky I am to live in the times we live in, as opposed to even 30 years ago.  That said:


Whew.  I feel better now, at least a bit.  Last Friday, the day after Bryan and I got back from Costa Rica, I had my appointment for my yearly MRI scan.  This year we scanned both my right and left hands up past the wrists, but not my elbow.  I figure we left out the elbow because we already know it needs surgery and until I actually give in and take care of that, it's only going to stay damaged.  Anyway, back to my wrists.

This year, unlike last, I kept an eye on the MRI computer screen so that I could see what my wrists look like.  My fingers and such all looked fairly normal as far as I could tell, as did my left wrist.  My right wrist, however, looked pretty craptacular--I don't think that normal wrists have that many gaps inbetween the metacarpals, but I'm not trained to read MRI scans, and that wrist already had some preexisting damage as evident from last year's MRI.  Or so I tried to reassure myself, with a very limited degree of success.

Today my feeble attempts at NOT worrying about the damage having progressed were more or less blown out of the water.  (I realize that sentence sounds all doom-and-gloom and really, its not all THAT bad.  I'm just frustrated and a bit worried).  Basically, the MRI technician from Dr. C's office called and there was significant "increased damage" in my right wrist.  Dr. C will "discuss it with" me at my next appointment, April 15th.

Bryan was very sweet and reassuring when I got home.  And he's right about one thing--I did expect some increase in damage in that wrist.  After all, the whole reason I'm on Remicade NOW is that my Enbrel stopped working and it took some time to transfer drugs AND get Remicade up to a successful dose.  And really, the "discussion" will probably be about changing/adjusting my medication.  Hopefully it's not like my elbow--I really don't want to even contemplate having surgery on my right (my dominant) hand.  Especially not at 25.

All that said, I'll do what I have to do...or like my elbow, put it off as long as possible!!!  Lol.  And I know everything will be fine, regardless.  At the worst, I'll just have to readjust things a bit...not the end of the world.  And after all, Rheumatoid Arthritis is a progressive chronic disease, which means that the odds of damage increasing over time are pretty good.  The medicines are to help control the disease and (as much as possible) prevent damage, and Remicade has been doing wonderfully for me so far--this damage quite probably predates us finding the correct dose.  So, I'll just keep reminding myself of all these things--and the fact that I'm a pretty tough, stubborn individual where all this is concerned--and keep on living life to my fullest ability!  After all, this is all just part of my journey with RA.

PS:  I'm putting my return to my workout routine off til next week.  I'm pretty achy with all this weather, so I don't think I'll push it just yet--and that way my new tennis shoes get broken in!

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your thoughts about my posts, so please leave a comment!
I'll either respond here or come comment back on your blog, promise! ;-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails