Now I know I have a brain because it has been scanned. Last week in fact.
At last! I have been waiting or a Consultant’s appointment since last September!
Anyway, a few weeks ago I finally got to see the Neurologist. He was a pleasant chap from Cyprus, but rather restrained and quiet. Being me, I had got hold of and read his published papers before I went. Its always good to know the line the consultant might take:)
He insisted on taking a full medical history despite my suggestion that we skip that part. Far too depressing. I said it would take up his valuable consultation time for other patients: he smiled and said we would go through it anyway.
Then he did several physical tests. No reflexes in foot, ankles but knees OK.
I think I did alright on putting my fingers together and moving my eyes. And not bad on moving each foot up and down each shin in a straight line.
But then he asked me to stand on one foot at a time. No go with either.
Even before I took the other off the floor, just moving my weight from one to the other made me fall sideways, but he was waiting for this and caught me.
Then walking a straight line, one foot in front of the other.
Again he caught me and I had not been drinking, honest.
He asked if I ever felt pins and needles in either leg and I said no, which seemed good.
Back in his office he ran through several possibilities. Apparently there are quite a few causes for lack of balance. Since both parents and I suffer from auto-immune diseases that was a possibility, either inherited or not. Then a lack of various vitamins can also cause it. Also allergies to some foods. Also gluten sensitivity.
Gosh, the things one never knew.
I felt that he really listened and took on board everything I told him, which is not always the case with consultants!!
He ordered gallons of blood tests, a gluten sensitivity test and the MRI brain scan, as he said, “To see what is going on”. I thanked him but said that, although I wished to cast no aspersions on his specialism, I hoped that he would find nothing that would cause him to need to exercise his skills because, having been ill for all my youth, I intended to have a disgraceful and active old age. Then, for the first time, he really thawed, grinned broadly, and with a laugh said that he was not expecting to find anything “nasty”.
Greatly heartened by that comment, I went for the scan last week.
I was rather intimidated by the machine itself, it is very large, but the hole is small: for a brain scan you are laid on the bed and your head is strapped down, and then you are moved into the machine, head and upper body.
I am rather claustrophobic but took a CD, and kept my eyes shut the whole time so that I would not need to see how enclosed I was. It was very noisy, and for the first of the scans fireworks went off from the ends of my fingers each time the magnets clunked in. That was quite fun! Every seven minutes the radiologist spoke through a speaker and asked if I was OK. I also had a buzzer I could press any time, and a little driving mirror on my chest so that I could see behind me outside the machine. This was a really good thought, since you can have a friend or relative sitting there and look in the mirror and see them.
Talking about MRI scans with my flute teacher who had one herself the week before, I was entertained by her comment that she had been working out the pitch of the various sounds the scanner made. I told her that I had been thinking of her comments as I was scanned.
She replied, “Did you notice the quavers?” :))