Our wedding anniversary!
Don’t have a present as I spent almost all weekend in hospital. Driven to the office first, but unable to do anything remotely productive.
At 10 AM, the expected call from the hospital; a scheduled visit to nucleoradiology (try saying that with your mouth full) to have my head examined in the MRI scanner. Milena driving me again and keeping me company.
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. These MRI scanners are complex machines, costing upwards of 1 Million Euros.
Thanks to the vast body of knowledge that is Wikipedia, here’s a short lay explanation how these scanners work:
When a person is in the scanner, the hydrogen nuclei (i.e., protons) found in abundance in the human body in water molecules, align with the strong magnetic field. A radio wave at just the right frequency for the protons to absorb energy pushes some of the protons out of alignment. The protons then snap back to alignment, producing a detectable rotating magnetic field as they do so. Since protons in different tissues of the body (e.g., fat v. muscle) realign at different speeds, the different structures of the body can be revealed.
To make the different protons stand out even more, I got some contrast fluid injected in my veins. I was also equipped with some earplugs and was then shoved into the cylinder. After being subjected to about one hour of loud clanging noise (like you’re inside a metal tube and someone’s banging on it with a hammer so earplugs are a sterling idea), I was pulled out again. Over 400 scans were taken!
This is what these scans look like, the whitish blob left of center appears to be the culprit. So far, no senior doctor at the hospital has reviewed these scans and ventured a diagnosis, however, the young and inexperienced assistant was adamant: “You’ll have to operate this!”
We both cried a bit and then went home for a sombre dinner.