Thursday, 23 September 2010

First Day

Everything here runs like a well oiled machine. Each day, a fresh cohort arrives and one leaves, others passing through the sequence of tests and operation.

Day one is tests , starting with  optical coherence tomography, which is being mooted as a better test of disability progress than MRIs. My own results correlate quite well with my Doppler test from Dublin and my experience of symtoms to date.

Then back to the hotel for a detailed presentation on the procedure by one of the clinic medical staff, followed by a question and answer session. Plenty of information on the potential risks and also statistics of what they have actually experienced here. Over 500 patients and no major adverse events, just under 60% balloon angioplasty alone, the balance requiring stents.

They check and work on the jugular, brachiocephalic and azygous veins. Venography during theatre is used to assess blockage and progress throughout.

After the talk, we go off for MRV testing. This is using MagneticResonance Imaging to look specifically at the veins associated with the central nervous system. So far at Dr Simka's clinic only two patients have stopped at this stage, because they showed no signs of CCSVI.

I hate MRIs. I would rather have another lumbar puncture than an MRI, but this is somthing I have to go through, if I want to progress, so it is grit your teeth and go on with it.  Once the technician/radiologist starts to fasten the coils around my chest, I close my eyes and start to go over our sailing trip in my head. That way I don't see the cage go round me head, or the narrow tube as I go in.

Thankfully the ear muffs reduce the sound to unpleasant, and thw whole thing is over seconds before I press the "I can't take this anymore" button in my right hand.

So back to the hotel. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

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