The summer was moving fast and we were still searching for something that could explain my dragging right leg, loss of balance, and the random twitching of fingers on my right hand, which by the way only seemed to happen in the still of the night. I also noticed about the same, that my fingers were weakening, and it became difficult to write in the same block printing style I'd come to recognize as my own handwriting.
At first, I considered the change to be a symptom of a cultural shift from using pen and paper, to typing e-mails and texting on my Blackberry. How often did I actually write anymore? I remember asking my coworkers if they were noticing the same thing, but no one seemed to be jumping on my cultural shift theory.
The Orthopedic ordered a series of blood tests, x-rays, and MRI's in July, and referred me to a Neurologist. I'd had my fair share of blood tests and x-rays but the MRI would be a new experience. I learned this procedure was fairly uneventful; although you must lay completely still, with ear plugs, if your lucky enough to be offered them, and you pray that you don't get the sudden urge to scratch your nose, which inevitably will drive you nuts for the next 45 minutes!
The Doctor actually ordered several of these MRI's to be performed, and I learned that sometimes the procedure was done on the same area of the body twice, once in the standard fashion, and then a second time using a dye that was set up intravenously. I was not crazy about this added amenity, the complimentary ear plugs were enough, but this particular sequence of imaging was going to be of my brain, and the technician did not resemble Nurse Ratched, so I complied. Frankly, you could easily gain consensus that it was about time I had my head examined anyway.
So now we've got the dye set up, and we're ready for brain imaging in technicolor, and over and over the technician warns me that if I move, we'll have to start the whole process all over again, so at this point the best I could hope for was that I could manage to relax, and maybe fall asleep. After all, who wouldn't want to enjoy a midday siesta? Thankfully, I slept through most of these tests and emerged from the cocoon like contraption virtually unscathed and well rested.
Spinal taps were an entirely different experience...