Sunday Coffee – MRI and Sleep Rx

A couple health updates today. First, that brain MRI. Apparently the substitute doctor I saw had written up the order but never submitted it. So my doctor submitted it. Within two days, the MRI was approved by my insurance, and I scheduled it for this past Tuesday. The evening before, I got the insurance approval notice and realized these MRIs would involve injections/IVs, and that’s when I started freaking out. Stick a cage over my head and shove me into a tube, no problem, but once you start trying to stick me with needles…sigh. So I expressed my fear to the nurses the next day, and they said they’d have the radiologist check if they needed contrast images after the first round. I made sure to stay extra still for the half hour that I was in the tube in case that helped. And after a short wait, they confirmed that they didn’t need the second set. No needles, yay!

The first results came online the next day. From what I can tell, no tumors or weird growths on my brain. Yay! It notes mild paranasal mucosal thickening with no fluid, whatever that means. I guess I’ll find out during my follow up visit on Tuesday. I’m a bit annoyed that it said I requested no contrast (I just told them I was scared and asked them not to put the IV in my hand!!), but whatever. No other results have popped up on my account since then. I’ll update this post on Tuesday after I’ve gotten the full results from my doctor.

ETA: Nothing. Not even a sinus infection. Back to the drawing board, starting with a three-week intensive antibiotic course. Sigh. Glad there are no tumors though!

We’ve also been working with sleep meds. At first my doctor tried me on Silenor, which is technically an antidepressant. It’s the only prescription Rx sleep med that isn’t habit-forming and it’s specifically helpful in staying asleep, which is my trouble. My sister had good luck with Silenor for awhile, so I thought I’d try it first. Unfortunately, I had a bad reaction – severe headaches and blurred vision, which indicates a skyrocketing of blood pressure. I got off of it immediately and was told that if that happened again I needed to go straight to the ER. Yikes!

We tried Lunesta next, and let me just say that those first few glorious days of sleep felt miraculous. I don’t care that the medicine changes my dreaming patterns. It just felt so good to really sleep, and to fall back to sleep easily when I inevitably woke up in the night. It’s been ten nights now, and most have been awesome, with two exceptions. Once I woke up for several hours in the night but eventually got back to a short amount of more sleep. Once I woke up at 4:30 after only six hours of sleep and couldn’t fall back asleep. These are both normal for my insomnia and I’m not sure why the Lunesta wasn’t entirely effective those nights. Still, an 80% success rate in the first ten days shows promise. Now to see how it goes over a longer period of time. I still wish we could have found the cause of the insomnia and gotten rid of it without need of potentially-habit-forming-sleep-meds, but it is what it is. At least I seem to be sleeping now!

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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4 Responses to Sunday Coffee – MRI and Sleep Rx

  1. Maybe it takes the Lunesta to really work? But hey, at least it is helping. 🙂


  2. Michelle says:

    Thank goodness for some relief! I can imagine you feel like a whole new person after ten nights of sleep!


    • Amanda says:

      I think it might be awhile before I fully restore my “sleep bank” as they call it, but it does feel so good. Soon we’re going to try Jason moving back into the room and see if it still works.


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