And it took years of strange symptoms to have it done.
MRI is a modern medical tool - invented only in 1971, with the first human scan not performed until 1977.
Today, MRI is the most definitive method used for MS diagnosis. There are no blood tests and no uniform set of symptoms. Neurological abnormalities are often not present on physical examination.
The Evoked Potential test can aid in diagnostics by recording and mapping how electrical signals travel throughout the body. And a spinal tap can help by identifying abnormalities in white blood cells or antibodies that are associated with MS. Despite their usefulness, however, these two tests can have drawbacks. The results they display can be indicative of many diseases (and not just MS) and false positives and negatives can occur.
I am very grateful to have regular access to an MRI machine. I'd probably still be rotating through Neurologists who thought I was "just stressed" otherwise.
I went for another MRI today - brain and spine. Ninety minutes enveloped in a giant clanging beige tunnel, head and neck cages on, Hannibal-Lecter-style. With no swallowing for the neck portion (which psychologically makes me swallow... ugh!).
I always put their headphones on over my ear plugs, in hopes that between the rattles and thuds of the machine I'll be able to hear some music.
The only lyric I could pick out today:
"Back to life, back to reality..."
Thank you, Soul II Soul - your ironically fitting late 80's song took me waaay back and added a few giggles to my day.