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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-01-2006, 12:49 PM   #21
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Re: "My first MRI"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Payin-the-Toll
Why hasn't anyone mentioned open-sided MRI?
Actually, I did in reply #12.

Robert the Red knows his stuff. My experience is mostly first hand as a patient rather than an engineer.

Open is the only way I can deal with the confined space without major drugs.....long emotional story I will not go into here....

Image quality is an issue with some units and some radiologists but the technology is getting better all the time.

Big magnets and small patient space=better image

Small patient space with nothing visible but an off-white tunnel 4 inches from my nose=panic and no image being made because I am not there

I will take a less than perfect image for none at all.
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-01-2006, 01:02 PM   #22
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Re: "My first MRI"

Quote:
Originally Posted by JB
I have two friends who have torn ACLs that were never repaired. One is very athletic and does fine without it.
Thanks, JB, I agree that surgery isn't such a great idea. I think the doctors are covering their assets with the MRI but with my history I'm not complaining. My instinct is to avoid surgery as long as I can work on the PT and the strength. I'll be over in Kahului 10-12 Nov for Kiffman's tournament; I hope to be able to spar and not just do the forms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
As long as you don't have metal in your body..implants, screw, plates, bullets, metal fragments, etc. you should be fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
(like small metal shavings in your eye from working in a metal shop)
Hunh, that's why I got so many questions about submariners and metalwork. I was far more concerned about vasectomy titanium staples...

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry
Nords, that's just the way of the hands and feet (and knees). Sorry, couldn't help myself.
Ouch, good one-- a little subtle for this crowd!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SelfRighteousNerd
"MRI" stands for "Machine that will find something wrong with you no matter what."
But as long as you keep it down by your knee you should be OK.
At this point I'd rather know "how much" than wonder about "if". And, hey, welcome back, we've missed you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert the Red
You should ask for the DICOM files of your images -- most scanners write image files in this format now. It's a peculiar format, but you can find various DICOM viewer programs out there for free. Then you can play with your images on your computer, not just peer at the film.
Excellent, thank you, I'll talk to them about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Have you considered non-striking martial arts like Aikido?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
Has the injury caused you any doubts about your choice to study Taekwondo (as opposed to something with less emphasis on kicking and jumping)?
Well, I've heard from a 60-year-old TKD instructor who broke his hip on a five-board break of his 4th dan test, but he got the belt. He listed a litany of other injuries in 18 years of competitive TKD and he's back in action, so I think that I'm still ahead of the game.

But I'm hooked. Judo was OK but our dojang has great people and a great team of instructors. When our kid started a couple years ago I could not sit on the sidelines. If martial arts were a little more popular in 1970s Pittsburgh my life would have turned out quite a bit differently (especially that concept of self control). At 45 I'm the oldest guy in our dojang and the only older active TKD competitor I've seen in Hawaii is a 56-year-old grandfather. 95% of the focus is on the little/lightweight teens & 20-somethings for national & Olympic competition. I don't think the sport has much understanding of what's euphemistically called the "Ultra" age & the "unlimited" weight category, and that's a huge Boomer revenue-earning oversight.

I'm glad I started TKD because the biomechanics that I've learned has helped me avoid self-inflicted problems. I stretched excessively over the past 25 years without realizing that it makes me prone to knee/ankle injuries. Although I can put both feet behind my head and achieve other moderately-weird contortions, I've also stretched ligaments & tendons to the point where my joints have way too much instability. (I thought it was genetics but I know better now.) If I'd kept it up I would've ended up in a wheelchair in my 70s. I'm not wrapped too tightly now, so to speak, but with the aid of [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0940149451/qid=1149176675/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-5272621-5575049?s=books&v=glance&n=283155]"Stretching Scientifically"[url] my joints will hopefully tighten up. I've sprained each knee & ankle joint at least three times over the last two decades but the injury rate has slowed way down.

I also used improper technique that we didn't catch until six months ago. Just before the round kick connects you're supposed to turn over your hips and have the leg moving straight across at the target-- moving straight across the floor in a direction perpendicular to the target plane so that the instep strikes straight on. I wasn't making a full hip turn (too slow!) so I was striking 20-30 degrees off the perpendicular and putting a lot of sideways stress on the knee joint. This is apparently pretty common in us older students but we're not as common so instructors don't see it very often. About a thousand hip turns later I have the muscle memory to do it correctly, just like Tiger Woods "fixing" his golf swing. Since that epiphany I've stopped hurting my knees in practice and the strength exercises are finally eliminating the weakness. I'm also scoring higher in matches since the kicks are connecting with much more force.

This latest injury is a stupider problem-- boomeritis. I'm very slow to accept that there are some moves, like a 360-degree spinning hook kick, that I shouldn't use in sparring. During that match I had just earned myself an axe kick to my face and I was a little testosterone-poisoned shaky. I was off-balance during my next move when I twisted the knee. It got extremely wobbly but with all the adrenaline sloshing around I didn't feel a thing until I tried a second twisting move and fell over. I'll keep sparring-- for now-- but deceit & cunning will have to have to replace the cool kicks. We had just finished a tournament so I was trying new moves and I certainly won't repeat that mistake.

But overall I'm in the best shape of my life, and not just physically. TKD has given me a lot of personal knowledge and helped develop a great relationship with our kid. It's easier to set an example when you're ER because you can show up regularly-- our instructor always tells others how much I've improved just by showing up three times every week. My core strength & flexibility is tremendously better and I don't pull muscles anymore. It's improved my balance, timing, & reflexes by an order of magnitude (my surfing, too). I won't be so careless again and I'm glad that these injuries have forced me to figure out my mistakes. I'll probably stop competitive sparring after I get my black belt but I'll be doing forms for the rest of my life. I may take up "old man's martial arts" like hapkido or aikido someday but I'm not in any hurry to drop TKD.

Leonidas, I'd strongly recommend a checkout with a sports physician (maybe bring your older son along to explain things if the doctor isn't a martial artist) and then a couple months' lessons. With proper technique and common sense (I finally have one of them) you'll be fine. Your kids will simultaneously laugh at you and respect you more while renewing their own commitment to the sport. It's the best father-daughter experience we've ever shared, better even than surfing. (How many kids get away with head-kicking their parents?) You have a lot to offer-- you've probably picked up a few career-related dirty tricks that your sons would appreciate and that instructors could use for their personal-defense classes. You set an example that encourages other parents to join in-- at least six parents personally hate me because their kids said "Aw, c'mon, her Dad does TKD, you can too!" And your experience will also give a lot back to the sport, as I will, during teaching and in judging forms & matches at tournaments.
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-01-2006, 03:30 PM   #23
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Re: "My first MRI"

Interesting on the open vs. closed. I have had 10+ mri's on my head and they are always closed. I dont think it is a big deal. 45 minutes and it is over. You fill out a survey on potential metal parts on your body and that's about it...
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-01-2006, 06:33 PM   #24
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Re: "My first MRI"

brewer, is the fact that you suspect I am an African Canadian a reason for your inane and nonsensical comments?

It would serve everybody's best interests if you dealt with the topic at hand instead of your own personal agenda. :

I was a very serious Martial Artist, but for meeting my Future wife, three of us were moving to HK to study with a Chinese Sifu, arranged through Chinese Contacts, at that time Kung Fu was not taught to outsiders.

I once had a meeting arranged with a young Chuck Norris,a nd fortunatly for me, he got a movie part, it would not have been pretty.

He is/ was, very good.
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-01-2006, 06:40 PM   #25
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Re: "My first MRI"

I'd like to introduce you to him right now.

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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-02-2006, 12:21 AM   #26
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Re: "My first MRI"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Have you considered non-striking martial arts like Aikido? It focuses on using your oponent's movements against him/her in a "circular" way. There's nothing like grabbing a punch or a kick and letting the person's own momentum put his/her butt on the ground...
Two recommendations for Aikido so far – I’ll have to look into that. My sons’ school is developing a Han Mu Do curriculum, which as they are doing it consists of all empty hand techniques (I think the art does incorporate some weapons) but right now the only students are TKD instructors. I’m not sure if I want to be the sole new learner in a class of five black belts (one of who is my son). But, it looks very effective and oldest kid loves it.

There is an Aikido/Judo instructor not terribly far from where I live who is apparently more than just well known in both arts and runs an excellent school. Studied in Japan in the 50’s and 70’s and according to his website is “10th Dan Professor of Aikido, 8th Dan Professor of Judo, and 8th Dan Professor of Jodo” (I thought Jodo was a typo at first). Has a system of Aikido named after him and a friend in the DEA transferred to this city just to study Judo under him because “this is the man when you’re talking Judo in the U.S.”

His goddaughter is a friend and former coworker and he has invited me to observe classes. I may take him up on the offer to see what I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
you've probably picked up a few career-related dirty tricks that your sons would appreciate and that instructors could use for their personal-defense classes
One or two – but do you think the “testicle twist” would be counted as a strike in sparring?
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-02-2006, 01:29 PM   #27
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Re: "My first MRI"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
I’m not sure if I want to be the sole new learner in a class of five black belts (one of who is my son).* But, it looks very effective and oldest kid loves it.
Hey, if you're paying for it then you want the best instructors money can buy, and it's all going to your kid's Roth IRA anyway, right? Besides he'll only have your best interests at heart. Besides, as a Marine you're probably immune to criticism by now. I think many of the submarine force's nuclear inspectors have been trained by Marines.

I've had classes where the instructors outnumber the students, and I think that's way better than the typical ratio. I know that I'm certainly a lot more tired & sweaty from the former than the latter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
One or two – but do you think the “testicle twist” would be counted as a strike in sparring?
No, in tae kwon do it would only count for points if it was done as a foot technique. However it certainly sets the tone for the match, it's a great distractor, and it's been tried on me more than once. I console myself with the thought that my opponent is just going for the biggest target...
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-02-2006, 07:28 PM   #28
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Re: "My first MRI"

I tore my ACL when I was 41. I had the surgery. I'm now 53, and glad I had it.

it did take nearly a year to get back to normal, and 6 months or so of physical therapy.

I tore it downhill skiing. I tried getting by without the surgery, but I just didn't have the stability I needed.

I had lots of pain and swelling, as well as bruising in my heel (from blood draining out of my knee) after the accident. The knee would kick out on me every now and then. I finally decided to have the surgery because it seemed like I would have to give up karate and skiing, or at least scale back way more than I wanted to.

Since I had the surgery, I've been able to ski without any kind of brace and do not favour the erstwhile bad knee in any way. I can throw kicks off it no problem.
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-09-2006, 08:21 PM   #29
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Re: "My first MRI"

Well, that was fun. Kids, be drug-free, stay in school, and don't get injured!

I won't try to claim that military health care is in the same sorry shape as the rest of the system, but you veterans will appreciate this story.

"My" civilian doctor asked the gatekeeper, Tripler Army Medical Center, to authorize my MRI for Queens Hospital because they know what the heck they're doing have the latest MRI technology. Tripler said yes last Friday and I had visions of civilian healthcare-- limo rides to the waiting lounge, free lattés and a Thai massage while I waited, and the undivided attention of a doctor for over an hour. (Oh, wait, I have that confused with Bumrungrad.) By 4 PM the following Wednesday afternoon (no phone calls from Queens, either!) Tripler said "Cancel that" and redirected me to the Tripler MRI lab. At least they agreed to do both knees instead of just the worse one. I hung up the phone and immediately called the MRI appointment hotline around ("This hotline is open until 1630") but of course it had closed for the day at 3:30.

So Thursday (yesterday) morning I called Tripler's MRI appointment line and they said "two or three weeks."
I said "Send me out to Queens".
They replied "No sir, we're still within 30 days." Sigh.
"OK, I can do it anytime, I'll take the next appointment. When is it?"
"Sir, we just had a cancellation open up at 1:15 on the 23rd."
"Great, but can you tell me where I can find parking at that time of day? The lot is usually full by 8 AM!"
"Sir, we don't mean 1315, we mean 0115. The parking lot should be almost empty." Yikes. Of course they'll use one machine 24/7 before they'll buy another one to lighten the customer load.
"Well, can you at least do both knees during the same appointment, or is that two separate appointments?" (Veterans have learned to ask this question.)
"Uhm, wait one." (tick tick tick...)
"Yessir, this time we can do both knees on the same appointment. Our supervisor said we should have the time since it's early."

After some more questions I learned that they'd call me if a standby appointment came open, but it might be as little as 30 minutes' notice. So we decided to leave the phone turned on at night for the next couple weeks.

At 8:45 last night I got a call: "We just had a 2:30 cancellation. Can you come in?"
"You mean 0230, right? Less than six hours from now?"
"Yes, sir, can you take it? We have other people waiting on standby..."
"Oh, no, no problem, really, I'll be happy to take the midwatch! Can I get a couple hours' sleep first?"
"Thank you sir, see you at 0200."
"Wait, you said 0230 earlier."
"Yessir, your appointment is at 0230 so you need to be here at 0200 to fill out the forms. See you soon!"

As Robert the Red mentioned, imagine that you have to dress for a magnetic field of approximately 1.5 Tesla, which itself is about 30,000 times stronger than the earth's magnetic field. See if you can find enough clothing to cover your body without including metal zippers, rivets, snaps, grommets, or other magnetic materials. Just leave the piercings, jewelry, and wristwatches at home. I finally decided to go with an old pair of surf shorts, a tank top, and rubber slippers-- pretty much what I wear every day. Bad tactical thermal-insulation error.

Parking was great. For the first time in my life I was actually parked within visual range of the Tripler entrance. This feature is normally only available to O-6s and flag officers.

I'd like to tell you more about the MRI machine. However us presbyopians aren't allowed to wear eyeglasses next to an MRI machine because they (our eyeglasses, hopefully not us presbyopians) have metal parts that are affected by the MRI's magnetic fields. TH will be happy to know that the biggest component on the machine, after its magnet, is its GE logo. (I didn't need glasses to see that.) I also couldn't tell exactly what was splattered on the machine's inner toroid at about the radius of my liver, but I'm sure it's not what I was thinking it was.

However I can confirm what everyone has already mentioned-- the gradient magnets make a godawful racket. Imagine standing between a fire truck's air horn and the neighbor kid's car alarm for three or four periods of continuous blasts between four and seven minutes each. Add a jackhammer for variety. I was wearing high-quality engineroom earplugs and my ears were still ringing after 45 minutes of this racket. (No noise-canceling headphones like Bumrungrad.) The MRI techs do their business in a separate room with an acoustic doorlock and a triple-insulated viewing window.

Oddly enough, considering GE's record on refrigeration equipment, the room was icy cold. We're talking meat locker, although I don't know if that was the machine's leaky super-cooling superconducting equipment or Tripler's air-conditioning policy. So after being racked into this multi-million dollar system in my warm-weather clothing I was given a $3.95 cotton blanket and admonished to stay very still ("Don't start shivering!") or we'd have to repeat the sequence. I was pretty sure that the MRI would notice there was no blood near the surface of my skin.

I did get a free CD of very cool DICOM files (thanks, Robert!). The included DICOM viewer even allows you to loop the images so that you can "fly through" your knee on a monitor (instead of during the actual sparring). I now know my axial from my sagitall from my coronal axes. I could pick out both ACLs (one per each knee), they seemed to be attached to all the right bones, and I think I could even see an MCL. No, I didn't learn that at Tripler, silly, I learned that from the "How Stuff Works" and the Medline websites.

Of course I still have no freakin' clue whether there's any damage to my knees. The midwatch staff doesn't actually include a doctor who could check the images while I was standing there (shivering) in case there was a problem or a question. The files will be looked at sometime today (as far as I can tell!) and if there are any quality issues then I'll get another standby appointment. (Is this the meaning of the term "doctor's hours"?) At least I got a second CD to keep, because I was given the first one to take to "my" civilian doctor-- Tripler would send one through the mail in about two weeks. Hopefully next week I'll get the damage report and any surgery options.

The most important lessons of all? I'm surprisingly mortal. I'll never practice "extreme ligament stretching" techniques again. From now on this martial artist is keeping at least one foot firmly planted on the mats during all techniques. When I've done a thousand quadruple kicks on the heavy bags then I'll be ready to try them during sparring, but perhaps I shouldn't be using them during sparring at all. Maybe at my age it's more important to avoid ever having to go back to Tripler again injury than it is to win a sparring match. Hard to believe, I know, but the concept is finally getting through the testosterone poisoning and the Boomeritis.

We'll see how long that lasts. At least when I'm wearing a knee brace I can still pop up on a surfboard, and the grommets paddle out of my way pretty quickly now...
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-09-2006, 09:20 PM   #30
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Re: "My first MRI"

I had a MRI with contrast on the left shoulder today.* They suspect a torn rotator cuff.* No problems except they had one a/c unit down and it was getting a bit warm in the tunnel after 30 minutes.* The MRI tech apololgized profuselsy for my discomfort and canceled the rest of today's schedule until the a/c is fixed.* I have already had a shoulder replacement with two revisions on the right shoulder so I must take care of my left.* It's tough learning to do most things with your left hand when you are right handed.* I will get the results next week.

Nords I'm glad yours came out OK.

My initial injury was at Subic Bay in the PI.* I'm sure you* made port calls there during your career.

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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-09-2006, 10:10 PM   #31
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Re: "My first MRI"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Oddly enough, considering GE's record on refrigeration equipment, the room was icy cold.


Come on...that refrigerator would get all the way down to 39 degrees on a good day, although it averaged about 41-42. Pretty chilly for people. Not so good for food.

Its replacement, sent after months of wrangling with GE corporate and after I'd given up and bought a different brand, is actually working great out in the garage. I've gotta be the only guy on earth with a $1500 brand new refrigerator in the garage though. :P
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Re: "My first MRI"
Old 06-09-2006, 11:04 PM   #32
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Re: "My first MRI"

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Originally Posted by 2soon2tell
My initial injury was at Subic Bay in the PI.* I'm sure you* made port calls there during your career.
Yes, but was it worth it?

Just once each side of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. I doubt that either of us would recognize the place today!
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