I had hoped to update everyone on my MRI results, but as I write this, I still do not have any definitive answers. The “After Visit Summary” for the MRI results gave a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia (TN), but I have not heard from my neurologist yet. I will send a message this morning asking when I will hear something. My neurologist and my doctor had not believed it was TN, which is a rare neurological condition. I suspect that my neurologist will also look at the MRI scans before she makes a definitive diagnosis. I am not going to say that it is TN at this time, but it seems like it might be more of a possibility than my doctors initially thought.

One thing I do know for sure is that I hope I never have to have another MRI. They told me that the table was uncomfortable, but this was more than just a little discomfort. The table was hard and flat, which caused lower back pain throughout the procedure. Furthermore, the tube I was in was very tight, and the way they had my head strapped in caused severe pain in my neck and shoulders. It was also hot inside the machine. They turned on a fan, but it did not do much, and I was sweating profusely. It finally got to the point that I had to ask to be taken out. The tech told me that if she let me move, they would have to stop the procedure and reschedule when they could give me some Advil for the pain. Knowing that Advil does little to relieve pain for me, I just said to continue. Thankfully, she turned the fan on high, and once I cooled down, the pain at least became bearable. 

When I was brought out to put in the contrast, I found out a new tech was there. She was much nicer and talked me through the procedure, and helped calm me down. Each time before the MRI started back up, she told me how long it would last, which the previous tech had not done. Knowing how much longer I would be in the machine helped. It just gave me a sense that it would eventually end sooner rather than later. I was so stiff when it was over from being in such an uncomfortable and painful position that the tech had to help lift me off the table so I could sit up. For me, this MRI was a nightmare and a bit torturous. It was not because I was claustrophobic; that did not bother me as much as the heat and painful position. I was so glad to get out of there and head back home.

If I hear more today, which I hope I will, I will give an update of the diagnosis as soon as I can. I appreciate all of the prayer and loving energy you have been sending my way. Thank you. It means so much to me.


Because I was so stiff and sore from being in the MRI machine, I spent most of yesterday like the guy in the above picture. I mostly just laid on the couch and watched TV. I’m glad I had already planned to take yesterday off before I had the MRI. I took the day off because I knew it would be late when I got in Tuesday night.



I received a message from my neurologist this morning, and my brain MRI results are “reassuring and normal.” She is prescribing indomethacin as it can be very effective for the type of head pain I am having. She wants to try me on this medicine to see if we can get the pain under control. I pray that this works. The good news is that it does not actually appear to be TN as the initial diagnosis from the radiologist reported, and since the results were “reassuring and normal,” there are no signs of a tumor or multiple sclerosis. My neurologist believes it is more likely hemicrania continue (HC), which responds well to indomethacin.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

4 responses to “The MRI

  • Beau

    For two months, I experienced pain running down the entire left side of my face and leading to a headache in late morning and early afternoon every day. I was diagnosed by my physician with trigeminal neuralgia . She told me that to contact her if it did not go away in a month. I was near a month and was considering making an appointment with her because nothing had changed. That night, I was changing my son’s diaper and he whacked his head against my jaw as I picked him up. It smarted a lot. The next day I woke up for the first time in two or three months without pain and haven’t experienced anything ever since. If your situation is similar, then you might want to explore chiropractic care for a pinched nerve or something like that. I hope that it is something minor that can be treated easily.

    • Joe

      From what she told me of the results this morning, this is not trigeminal neuralgia but hemicrania continua, and she prescribed some medicine that she hopes will help. I have been considering either seeing my physical therapist or a chiropractor if this new medicine provides no relief. Thank you for your advice.

  • Steve Davis

    I’m so glad that your MRI procedure is over. I’ll be thinking of you as you await definitive results. I’ve had that done a couple of times and it’s definitely no picnic. I know you’ll be grateful to have an answer, even if it simply eliminating what it is not. “The practice of medicine” is so frustrating.

    • Joe

      Yes, it is frustrating, but hopefully the diagnosis of my brain being normal this morning and a new prescription will help this pain. My neurologist believes it will be effective. I’ll see her on 3/8 for my next Botox injections, and I’ll discuss it with her more then.

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