...it works really well.
I just read in the paper today about cuts to RNs (registered nurses) BUT I do have some good news about our health care system as well.
It helps to live in a city (London, ON) where several top-notch hospitals with world-wide reputations are located but I digress.
My doctor told me I'd be lucky to get an MRI done before my trip in September. But earlier this week (Tuesday) I received a call about a cancellation the next day - did I want it? Of course!
The MRI itself was quite an experience - I wondered if I would be able to go in feet first instead of head first and was elated to discover that yes I could. The technician was wonderful and very reassuring. She gave me a squeeze ball that sounds an alarm when squeezed so if I was feeling claustrophobic I could be let out of there PDQ! She also place a cloth over my eyes which was very calming and ear plugs for the noise.
Holding still for 20 minutes seemed like a very long time but I just focussed on my breathing. Whenever I felt like twitching or I would get a "bad thought" like - "what if everyone goes home and forgets I'm in here??" I would concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply. (The technician said afterwards that they almost never forget that someone's in the machine!!) What a card!!
She said it would take 4-5 days for the results to reach my doctor but lo and behold I had a call not 24 hours later from my doctor's office that they had the results and could I come in the next day (today) to go over the results! So I've been and come home again.
There's a lot going on with my spine and lumbar region. I have mild to moderate disc compression, disc bulging and disc uncovering (?) and mild stenosis (abnormal narrowing) in the lumbar region and lower spine.
At today's appointment I was told that I can request a referral to a spine doctor to confer about surgery and it's a one year wait! Because the problems I have are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things (for a 59 year old woman with a previous history of back pain since I fell off a trampoline when I was 14) a spine surgeon wouldn't likely operate and having my back operated on really doesn't appeal to me right now. The other option is to continue what I'm doing - meds and lots of exercise.
The meds are helping with the pain as well as anxiety/depression and I'm becoming more active again - 90 minutes of yoga last night, riding my bike again, hiking and walking again so I feel pretty darn grateful for the relief I am getting. And grateful for our health care system that doesn't charge me for the MRI and got it done in record time.
There are two sides to every coin.