Saturday, October 17, 2009


Properly named, “Magnetic Resource Imaging”.

It’s like a “CT Scan” - almost.

It somehow gives a view of the inside of a person’s body not seen in any other way. Most people have either “had” one, or know of someone who “has”, or heard talk about it.

Don’t expect me to be “pontificating” about it, since I’m not that knowledgeable.

I do know what “they” are like, though, because I have had 2 or 3 of them - over the years.

Most times it has been because of a back problem I’ve had for 8 or 9 years. Arthur Itis has hit me, and some of the parts of my spine have a tendency to rub other parts - or SOMETHING like that.

You know “Arthur”, of course, or at least heard of him. His proper name is “Arthritis”. Get it now?

In about 2004, my back was giving me enough trouble that my doctor suggested seeing a surgeon in Colulmbus. When setting up that visit, I was asked to get an MRI - which I did right here in Springfield.

My back was so bad that I could not stand erect. I had to bend forward to keep my back from severely hurting.

Jean and I drove to Columbus to meet the Surgeon, and he showed us the MRI, and explained - visually - what Arthur was doing to me.

The best way to correct the problem was with surgery, though he gave me doses of a brand of prednisone to help with the pain.

I was admitted for surgery on January 2, 2005.

Our two sons accompanied me to the hospital, and Tonya stayed with Jean in Springfield. I was frankly surprised that the Surgeon would operate on an 80 year old man.

The surgery was performed that day, and the NEXT DAY I was walking erect down the hospital hallway!

I was just today looking at my medical records for 2003 - 2005, and I can’t now believe that I was so helpless before the surgery. The records say that I was barely walking; fell some; and was in severe pain.

I had asked the Surgeon if I could pray with the Operating Room staff and him before the surgery, and he readily agreed.

The next day after the surgery, the Surgeon was visiting me, and I said to him,

“I was hoping to be able to pray with you before the surgery, but I guess it didn’t happen.”

“Yes it did!”, he said. “You prayed for me, the anesthesist, and all the Operating Room staff, just before we all went into the OR”.


Anesthetics do some wondrous things. I was apparently given a shot just before the “prayer time”, and, to this day, I don’t remember the incident at all.

But God did!

A year or so after the surgery, I began getting some back pain again, and when visiting the Surgeon again, he prescribed a series of “epidural” shots in my spine - done right here in Springfield. There were 3 treatments in that sequence, and after the procedures, the pain was gone for a year.

The next year, I had another series of shots with the same result.

These have lasted me until just the last several months, when my pain increases if I walk very far - down to the dining room, actually.

Last month, my doctor and I agreed to try some Rehab work, to alleviate any muscle problem that might be there.

To date, I’ve had 5 sessions - that are VERY GOOD, and beneficial to my back and leg muscles - but my lower back keeps getting worse.

On Friday last, I arranged for an appointment with my Physician for Monday (yesterday), and together, we decided that I should maybe start the “epidural” shots again.

That meant, of course, that I needed an MRI.

This was arranged for 3:10 PM today, Tuesday.

Along with the appointment to get the MRI, the doctor gave me another dosage of the “prednisone” - a 6 day regimen of 21 tablets - to help relieve the pain. They began working immediately. Not TOTALLY free of pain, but improvement.

After the test today, I was given a CD, with the results of my MRI, that I was to take to Dr. Abraham, the “pain” doctor, who would decide whether to administer the epidural.

Late this afternoon (Tuesday) I received a call from the “Scheduling Person” at the MRI Lab, indicating that the doctor there felt I should have a second MRI, which we scheduled for two days from now at 2:15 PM.

“Why the second MRI”, I asked.

“I don’t know. The doctor just asked me to set up another test.”


For you long time readers of this blog, you will remember the “panic” I felt last February, when my TB test “spot” on my arm was reddened, and the Internet suggested that might be a problem.

There WAS no problem, of course, but I had a “worried and sick” stomach before I found out.

What SHOULD be my reaction to the call for a second MRI?

I think it should be just as I feel it now. Feels different this time.

In spite of my history, I’m not worried at all. I’m in God’s Hands, as I was before, without thinking of it.

But, why do I feel calm now, when I did not in February?

I don’t know.

But, I do remember one time years ago when a friend told me of a fact he heard of, that some Christian people have a tendency to worry when it’s NOT necessary, but when they SHOULD worry, they don’t.

Remember now, that I am presently writing right at the time I have just described. I don’t know at all why there is to be a second MRI, but frankly, I’m not worried at all!

Go figure!

It’s now Wednesday morning after breakfast: Slept well. Feel fine. Not much back pain.

Thursday afternoon, 3 PM:

Slept well - no problem. Had a scrambled egg, one bacon, two whole wheat toast, orange juice, and hot tea for breakfast. Did the daily exercises, and made up the Proposed Agenda for our Resident Coucil meeting with the Executive Director next Monday.

And, lunch was OK.

Second MRI at 2:15. Shorter time today, and I had asked for the headphones to play WEEC for me, rather than the “jazz” they played last time - when she didn’t ask what I wanted.

Have you ever had an MRI?

You know why they give you headphones, don’t you? Not for you to listen to music - though part of the time you can hear it.

No………’s to block out the AWFUL NOISE that machine gives out.

Grinding, rumbling, knocking - everything but whistling.


I, of course, asked why I had to have a second test after two days.

“The doctor wanted to see higher up on your spine.”


I held my hands higher on my chest this time, along with the “panic button” they give you in case you have trouble.

Went well, and I got a replacement CD to take to the Pain Doctor, that, she said, included the first test as well. More of the spine to look at, I guess.

Had you remembered that the reason for this whole MRI thing, was to see why my lower back hurts?

Now, I have 12 more days of waiting to see Dr. Abraham ( a friend, actually, who helped Martha’s pain before she died) for an evaluation. Experience tells me that if that goes well, a week later than that (at least), I’ll have my first of 3 epidural shots in my spine - two more a week apart after that one.

If last time (4 years ago) is any indication, my pain will be gone the same day!

Praise the Lord!

Not presuming on the Lord, now. Just following experience.

I MAY not wait for all of that to post this, since the subject is MRI. If I get panicky for not having something to post, I’m liable to use this one before the epidural.

What do you think?

This is Wednesday. By yesterday - a week after the first MRI - my back was hurting so badly that I FAXed Dr. Buchanan to ask if I could have a PRX for a heavier pain medication, and another series of prednisone - or, whatever he would suggest.

His Nurse called-in the two medications that I requested.

How to get them?

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that since last Thursday, I haven’t had a car. Jim’s Electrical Contractor’s Van broke down, and he had to “borrow back” the car he lent me when I moved here the end of February.

I didn’t tell Jodi about not having the car, knowing she would do her best to get here to provide transportation for me - whether convenient for her, or not.

She was trying to decide whether to go to church again with me, or back to the one we went to last week (First Christian), where Rylan can get involved in the Awana or other kids program during the week.

On Friday night she said it would be to First Christian. During the day Saturday, she mentioned that she may go with me again. That meant, that I would have a ride to Church.

Then, at 9PM Saturday night, she said she was not well, and would not be going.

I had a plan in mind all along that if I didn’t get the car back; or if Jodi didn’t go with me; that I would call Roy and Sharon Landrum - the friends who took me to my church a couple months ago - along with Sharon‘s mother, Norma - when in the same circumstance.

I called them, and they said they would certainly pick me up Sunday morning, and any other time that I needed it. They did, thank the Lord!

Yesterday (Tuesday), then, Jodi called in the AM to say that she got off her job at Comfort Keepers at noon, and she and Rylan would come here to see me at about 12:30. We planned lunch together.

When they arrived, I was sitting outside on a bench near our parking lot, and Jodi was about ready to call me to see where my car was, and she saw me.

I got in her car, and told her that she was a God-send, and that after we ate, I needed to get my two prescriptions, and then go to WEEC to pick up an amplifier, microphone and two speakers that I had bought for the next Town Hall Meeting here at the Grand Court.

“Grandpa!! How did you get to church on Sunday?” I told her the above story.

God’s Provision - or a “God Moment”, as David Mains used to call it.

I wrote all of that above to say that, by Tuesday afternoon (yesterday), much of my pain has subsided. And seated now at this computer - after taking the medication Dr. Buchanan prescribed yesterday, I have practically NO back pain at all.

Walking back and forth to the Dining Room, and a little walking this afternoon with our Bus Outing at The Dollar Tree, I did have some discomfort, but negligible.

Within the next 2 or 3 hours I’ll be retiring, and can expect some pain off and on, but I’m thankful for what I’ve just been through.

Except for the postings where I’ve inserted photos, I think this is the longest one I’ve put on.

So, the next report on the Epidurals, or other experiences about my back between now and then, will probably be on a subsequent posting.

In the background, I can almost hear some (many?) of you saying,

“Doesn’t this guy EVER shut up?”

Answer: “Not so you could notice it.”

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