This morning I had my MRA, magnetic resonance angiogram. An MRA is a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of blood vessels inside the body. (Thank you Google.) It started on an X-ray table with the radiologist injecting dye directly into my hip. He cleaned my hip three times with iodine, covered it with a sterile dressing, and then used a GIANT needle directly into the hip. First he started with a numbing agent, injecting it and then advancing it further and further into the hip, the whole time using the x-ray to make sure everything was going in the correct area. Then he injected the dye directly into the joint between the hip and the femur. The more dye he injected the more it burned and hurt. I found myself moaning and apologizing and giggling all at the same time. After the dye was injected they took two x-ray pictures. This is when I noticed how badly my hip hurt and was heavy and swollen. The doctor wanted me to take only a few steps, which they escorted me to the bathroom so I cut my scrubs back on. This was SO painful! I could barely lift the leg and it was crazy hard to walk. I even had to have the tech put my shoes on for me and she was so sweet she even offered to help me dress.
After the angiogram procedure and getting my scrubs back on, they wheeled me to the MRI. The medical center where I had this done was beautiful but unfortunately a little bit under construction, so the MRI was actually done in a mobile unit out back. It was hilarious to be wheeled to a tractor trailer, put on an industrial lift, and escorted inside a truck. So funny! The MRI took 35 minutes and was uncomfortable. The tunnel felt tight, and even with ear plugs it was loud. It's so hard to lay flat on your back, not moving, and feel comfortable. I tried to close my eyes and relax. I was in pain, though, and it was not fun.
Finally it was over and they wheeled me back to the changing room. My hip was still extremely painful, swollen, and tight which made getting in my clothes and hobbling out to my car almost humorous. I wish I had valeted my car or brought somewhat with me, but you've got to do what you've got to do. It's just great that Dave took a half day off to watch the baby and allow me to get this done so quickly. The pain in my hip persisted for a few hours. It was so bad when I got home that I had Dave meet me in the garage with my crutches. But by lunch I was able to hobble around on my own and now, at 5:00pm, I am able to walk just fine (minus the pain of tripping over the dog yesterday and re-aggravating it).
Thursday I have my follow up with my regular doctor. I'll find out the results then. I must say, I don't have my hopes set very high, but you never know. Wish me luck!