Long story short, the wife had her MRI this afternoon at 2 pm and, spoiler alert, does not have a pituitary tumor nor any other kind of tumor in her head. It's an enormous relief to us, as not having to go through brain surgery is always welcome news. I don't think it yet explains her visual field defect, nor cures it, but her Opthalmologist may have more ideas after she gives him the good news.
Here's how it went down:
I met the wife at
the hospital at 1:30p so we could get paperwork filled out and any
insurance hassles out of the way. (Our insurance, though MEGA Life And
Health, is one such hassle and it sucks above and beyond the call of
duty considering the amount of money we pay into it. However, it's pretty
standard issue med-student insurance. This being the case, our insurance
company is going to pay for as little of this test and the angiogram
from a few days ago as they can get away with, which is to say quite a
After paperwork, we sat around in the waiting
room for a while until one of our friends from church, Sandra, arrived
to keep us company. She'd heard last night about the wife's test getting
moved up and wanted to come and lend us some comfort. She's spent quite a
bit of time in hospital waiting rooms over the past year and a half as
her grandson had leukemia, (though now he is thankfully in remission).
We talked to her until they called our name and I went back to the MRI
lab with my wife.
Of course, the wife had to take off all
metal objects so I got to play keeper of the wedding set, while they
ushered her in, had her lay on the sliding platform and told her to be
I can say for certain that sitting
around an MRI waiting room while that giant GE magnet makes horrible
loud farting noises as it tries to change your wife's polarity in the next room
is not the least nerve-wracking experience I've gone through. After
about ten minutes of nervousness, prayer, and reading and rereading the
big warning signs that say "STOP! NO METAL TANKS" and a big warning
carpet that read "MAGNET IS ALWAYS ON," I calmed down a bit and started
flipping through a Time magazine. I decided that worrying about something I
have no control over and which might not turn out to be bad news at all
is pointless. I've decided that about 20 times in the past few days. It
only helps until my brain kicks back in.
while, I calmed enough to start reading the Cerebus phone book I'd
brought. Still, bad thoughts kept bubbling up. When we'd filled out the
paperwork earlier, I had kept thinking, "Will this be the moment I'll
remember as That Time We Were Filling Out Paperwork Just Before We Found Out My Wife had a Brain Tumor?" And as I read my comic, I kept wondering if I would forever associate Cerebus as That Comic I Was Reading When We Found Out My Wife had a Brain Tumor. Even
prayer seemed weird to me, as I didn't know what to pray for. I mean,
healing is always a good prayer and I've been witness to that working in
the past with my grandmother, but I didn't really think aiming for a
miracle was what I needed to do. So I just prayed that she would be
calm and that the technicians would do their jobs as skillfully as they
could and that the machine would be in good working order.
knew that as much as I was nervous and worried, the wife was having no great
time within the machine itself. She told me later that she was
absolutely certain she was going to completely wig out in there due to
the enclosed-in-a-big-tight-noisy-tube nature of it all. Those horrible
farting noises I could hear through the wall were ten times worse in the
room itself and she had to wear earplugs. However, she did calm down
too after she decided she would just close her eyes and pretend that she
was just lying on a padded table in an open noisy room, singing a song
within her own head while trying not to move her eyes around.
the MRI was over, one of the technicians told us we were free to go and
that they would likely have results for us in the morning. This was what
I had feared--having to wait more. I really wanted someone to have a
look at the results immediately so that I would be among the first to
know what was going on and wouldn't have to sit around waiting for a
dreaded phone call the next day.
Instead of leaving,
though, the wife asked if she could take a peek at the MRI films. She's no
radiologist, but has been trained to look at X-Rays. That's when the
tech said that Dr. Mack, one of the actual radiologists, would probably
be willing to go over them with her right then. Hallelujah!
tech lead us through the maze of hospital corridors until we at last
found Dr. Mack's office and Dr. Mack within it. Dr. Mack seemed cool
with going over the MRI charts with us. As he did, he asked her what
symptoms she had and why she was having the MRI done in the first place.
He said her pituitary looked quite normal and actually had some extra
space around it, (I presume, should she ever wish to develop a tumor
there later). He said her eye sockets (he didn't actually say eye sockets--I
think he said ocular orbits, or some such--but that's what he meant) and
surrounding area seemed free of anything that might be causing pressure
on her veins too. The only thing he did suggest was that she have her
thyroid checked out--a conclusion he seemed to reach almost by intuition
rather than anything on the charts themselves. Even this was more of a
"just to be sure" kind of thing than a "I see thyroid problems" kind of
thing. The wife is pretty sure she doesn't have any Hyper Thyroid problems,
as folks with that condition tend to be a lot skinnier than she is.
our way back out, we stopped back in the waiting room up front to make
sure Sandra had left and wasn't still waiting around for us. She had
only said she would stick around long enough to see if the MRI people
were going to kick me out or not, so we figured she was gone. In her
place, though, was her husband Gerry, who was snoozing sitting up. We
woke him up to learn that Sandra had had to leave, but he wanted to come
and wait and see how things had gone. I'm sure glad we stopped back in,
cause we could have walked right past the door and he would have sat
there sleeping for who knows how long. What great friends, though.
Thank you to all of you who've left comments or otherwise written to me to wish us well in this.