May 2009 - Breast MRI and Transvaginal Ultrasound

Breast MRI 
Today, May 16, 2009, I had my first preventative test, a breast MRI, which will be used as my baseline should it come back clean.  A baseline will help determine if future MRIs appear troublesome.

To say it was pleasant would be a lie but the courteous, professional staff made it less foreign feeling and uncomfortable.  The staff at NorCal Imaging out in Walnut Creek were so nice and did a great job of walking me through every step, explaining in detail exactly what was involved with a breast MRI.

I signed in, gave them my insurance card to photocopy, confirmed that I was between the 10-16 days of my cycle and waited for my name to be called.  I went into a private dressing room to change that had a locked cabinet in which to store everything, including all jewelery, and a key for me to wear on my wrist during the procedure.

I had to undress completely under a front-open hospital gown.  I was given an IV of solution that would be injected intermittently throughout the MRI in order to highlight any potential areas of concern in the breasts.  Once the IV was in place, the needle was removed and just the flexible catheter was left in.  Totally painless!  Then, I had to lay face-down on an inclined exam table with my face in one of those awesome circular cushions like on massage tables.  It was padded and warm, like a massage table and my legs were elevated a bit so that my feet wouldn't go numb.  It was actually very comfortable, all things considered!  They put headphones on me so that I could listen to music (they had all kinds I could pick from) as the MRI is a loud succession of bangs and vibrating sounds.  The staff left the room and let me know they'd be interrupting the music from time to time to inform me of what's coming up next so that the change in noise wouldn't startle me as it's crutial to stay completely still during the procedure of it will have to be repeated.  The staff left the room and the exam table slowly moved into the MRI machine (I was face-down and couldn't see a thing!) and the exam began.  It was really nothing at all but noisey.  It was loud but not frightening at all and I found it pretty easy to just lay there for the entire hour.  It was actually the most relaxed I had been in weeks... ah, the small things when you are a stay-at-home mom.  :)  Once it was over, they came over the headphones and let me know, I think they actually woke me up.  The staff came back in, helped me get up, removed the catheter and walked me back to the dressing room to get dressed, letting me know my films would be sent to my Ob/Gyn in about 3 weeks.  Then, I left.

During the procedure, I was concerned that my breathing was causing my chest to rise and fall too noticeably but apparently, it wasn't a problem because after the procedure, the Technician told me the exam went well and they were able to get perfect films.

My Ob/Gyn called me almost 3 weeks later to let me know my films came back "clean".  Yea!

Transvaginal Ultrasound
I had my first Transvaginal ultrasound today, May 20, 2009. 

Same as with my breast MRI, upon arriving I signed in, gave them my insurance card to photocopy, confirmed that I had followed the pre-exam procedures of drinking the 32oz of water, finishing 1 hour before my appointment and that my bladder was indeed still full.  Then, I sat and waited for my name to be called... anxious to get it over with so I could pee!!!

It was really no different that an internal ultrasound and then, an external ultrasound, similar to when I was pregnant with Emily.  I had to undress from the waist down and lay face-up on the exam table.  The Technician explained what she was doing (internally and externally), comparing it to a prenatal ultrasound.  It was quick, about 10 minutes and the procedure itself was painless.  I was; however, in pain because my bladder was fullThe Technician informed me before leaving the room that my films would be delivered to my Ob/Gyn within 2 weeks.

Two and a half weeks later my Ob/Gyn called and told me my films came back clean.  Yea!


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