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All content by Nicole Willson. Copyright 2000. No stealing.


Insomniaville -- All the Stuff that Keeps Me Up At Night

1/15 -- This is My Brain on the Scanner.

See? I really have one.Check it out. That's my brain. Yes, I really do have one, despite what various co-workers and relatives undoubtedly think from time to time. Now I can prove it! Ha!

We picked up my MRI scans from the medical center tonight. The experience of sifting through huge negatives with photo after photo of my brain was just too strange for me not to share one picture with you. I would have posted more, but the negative sheets are enormous and they're a huge pain in the ass to scan and edit.

I don't think there's any sign of MS in this particular shot -- I leafed through the negatives and found that all the images showing suspicious nasty MS stuff had been marked with a red line.

We got them because I have to take them to Baltimore with me next month for my appointment with the famous Dr. Hotshot. That's right -- in case I didn't mention it before, the office did fax all my records to Dr. Hotshot, and he did deign to finally accept me as a patient. Woo. I'm incredibly honored.

I really need to stop referring to him as Dr. Hotshot. I'm going to have a shitty attitude towards him before I ever get to Johns Hopkins, and I'm actually quite interested in what an honest-to-God specialist has to say about my condition.

We had another motive for getting the negatives tonight. Last week I learned that my health insurance had refused to pay for my last two MRI scans, deeming them "unnecessary."

Yes. You read right. Those last two MRI scans, including the series that turned up the evidence that led to my MS diagnosis? Unnecessary. The procedure that any up-to-date information you read about MS will tell you is one of the most critical in leading to a diagnosis? It's unnecessary, according to the idiots in charge at my insurance company.

I guess the assholes think my neurologist just sent me down to the MRI place for shits and giggles. Or maybe I just bebopped in there off the street one day. "Damn. I'm bored. What to do, what to do? Hey, I know! I'll get some more MRIs! Maybe if I ask real nice, they'll give me a gadolinium injection and do the contrast ones again, too! Rock!"

Really, I don't know what the hell they were thinking, and in my written request for reconsideration I said as much.

Anyhow, the first bill for the MRIs came here last week, and Bill pointed out that we should probably retrieve the negatives before the situation turns nasty. At the rate of $1,200 for each MRI series, it could get ugly pretty fast.

Because a few people have asked me lately, a health update: There's nothing really new to report. Which is great. Fabulous, really. (And I so hope I'm not jinxing this by writing about it here.) I haven't had an exacerbation since the one in late July. Whether that's thanks to the Copaxone or whether it's because the MS is just slowing down a bit after the one-two-three punch last year, I don't know. But I'll take it. My left hand is still numb, but that's the only ongoing problem I have at the moment. The Copaxone injections leave some beautiful bruises on my legs and the backs of my arms, but if that's the worst they ever do to me I won't complain.

The next entry.

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January 2000