Today was MRA day.
Be there at 9.45am I was told.
So I was.
And I sat and waited…and waited…and waited.
Then was escorted across to another waiting room…and waited…and waited.
Finally I heard my name called, followed the guy to a change room where I changed out of my top and into a sexy paper gown before entering another room where I was instructed to lie down on the bed. Once I had manoeuvred into the appropriate position it was again a case of waiting…waiting…waiting. This time for the doctor to come and do the arthrogram meaning injecting a contrast and an anaesthetic (Marcaine) into the hip joint before having the MRI. It’s hard to explain what it feels like after these have been injected into the hip joint – the hip felt bloated and uncomfortable for a while.
The Marcaine was being used as a diagnostic tool. I have to monitor how my hip feels for the next 24 hours and whether the pain goes away. If the pain does go away then it points to something going on in the joint, which you think would also be picked up in the imaging.
After the injections I then changed back into my jeans, returned to the waiting room and waited…waited…waited to have the MRI.
Eventually the technician did come for me and once again I changed into a paper gown before being shown into the room with the MRI machine. Imagine a long metal cylinder. Lucky I’m not claustrophobic. I was instructed to get up on the bed, had some foam contraption strapped to my abdomen, sandbags placed on my legs to stop them moving, given a buzzer in case I got a case of the yips and needed to come out of the tunnel, headphones to block out the noise (fortunately there was music to listen to) and finally a blanket to cover me, because it was very chilly.
And then for the next 20 minutes I lay entombed in this metal tunnel listening to what sounded like a jack hammer at times, trying not to move. I think my right leg involuntarily twitched a couple of times! You try lying perfectly still for 20 minutes!
And finally that was it. I was there for 2 1/2 hours.
So now I wait for the specialist to get in touch.
The Marcaine has worked its magic. Currently I have no hip discomfort. Tomorrow’s 27km walk will be a good test.