Wed I had an arthrogram and an MRI. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect because I had never had either procedure. I did a little research and was not impressed by what I learned. They were going to lay me on a table, numb the area with lidocaine, guide a 4" needle into the joint capsule by means of live action xrays, inject 10-12cc's of contrast dye then slide me into an MRI tube for about 40mins. This did NOT sound like a good time. It wasn't. First of all, local anesthetics never work right on me. It takes an elephant dose to numb me up and it always wears off very quickly. Sure enough, the radiologist starts in with his "bee sting" speech. Why can't they be more honest about these things and say "It's going to feel like I'm ramming a dull hot sword through your leg and out the other side. Please don't scream as it upset the other patients, but feel free to weep quietly to yourself". After the radiology tech had to go track down more lidocaine, I was somewhat numb. Even though he assured me I'd only feel "pressure" as the coffee straw sized needle went in, I prepared for the worst. I can't explain the sensations I felt. It was like painful cramping and pulling punctuated by sharp jabs each time he hit the bone. He was having a hard time "finding the right spot" so he would push in, hit the bone, back out a little and inject a bit of dye over and over. Finally he was "pretty sure" he had the right position but wanted a 2nd opinion since the dye wasn't dissipating the way he wanted it to. I lay there on that table with a huge needle stuck in my hip for what felt like hours as my anesthetic quickly faded away. The sensations were getting sharper and I was starting to get nauseous. My mouth was watering and I kept myself from vomiting by shear will as he came back with the other radiologist who said his position was fine. As he slowly injected the dye, the pain in my hip grew and grew. It felt like something was going to rip. Finally he was done and the needle was removed. Now all I had to do was walk the 50 yards to the MRI suite with a half numb, painfully distended hip capsule so the dye would move around in the joint. Swell..
I made it and they got me situated on the table and slid me into position. I'm not overly claustrophobic, but I was glad I was out of the tube from my eyebrows up. It's a wonder what a few inches can do for you. Just being able to look up and see the room was comforting. Unfortunately about 20 minutes into the scan they pulled me back out of the tube, resituated me and slid me back in past the top of my head. My feet were taped together, an MRI coil kept me strapped to the table from mid chest to mid thigh and my arms were crossed over my upper chest. Both elbows pressed against the sides of that damn tube and my nose was only about 6 inches from the top. I had to remind myself that I could breathe. They had given me headphones, but half the time I couldn't hear the music over the thumps and AK-47 like bursts coming from the machine. Every time a series of clanging would stop, I'd think "oh good, it's almost over", but then it'd start back up. It seemed to go on and on. At last the machine was quiet and my table slid out of the tube. I waited patiently while a woman untaped my feet and unstrapped me from the "coil" I asked how long I'd been in there and she replied over an hour! She said they were having trouble getting clear images because I'm "so skinny". When I finally hobbled back out to the waiting room to see Trina, I had been gone for 2 1/2 hours. I have had more pain in my hip since that arthrogram than I've had in weeks. Monday I should get a call from the orthopedic office to schedule my surgery. Hopefully then I can finish healing and put this all behind me for good.