A year ago, while I was out jogging, I had a strange episode. Coming to a cross street, I glanced to the right to check for traffic, and just then I lost a piece of time. It was just a fraction of a second, I didn’t even come close to stumbling, but it was a strong sense of “Where did I just go?” It was trippy, cool, a little unsettling, but I just kept jogging. Then, 30 seconds later, it happened again. That wasn’t so trippy, that was a little scary.
That got me to contact a doctor, and a preliminary EKG suggested a small heart attack. So, I underwent a barrage of tests: a stress test, another EKG, Carotid artery scan, heart scan, and an MRI. According to all the tests, I’m in great health, nothing discernible to be concerned about, no heart attack, brain looks like it should be firing on all 2 cylinders.
A week or so after all these tests, my thumbs began really hurting. I couldn’t remember injuring them, I hadn’t been doing a lot of computer work, but they both hurt tremendously whenever I tried to do a pinching motion. Helping Quinn with Lego’s was impossible. Lots of things were impossible. I went to a hand therapy center, and we did weeks and weeks of acupuncture and therapy, but my recovery was very slow. My entire summer was proscribed – no boogie boarding, riding a bicycle hurt my thumbs, everything hurt.
In the fall, my sister, who is an MD and anthroposophical doctor, saw me and gave me an injection which gave me the first relief from thumb pain in 5 months. It was great! I had to learn to give myself injections, but it was worth it. My local doctor, who also knows anthroposophical medicine, commented that the injections she prescribed were for gout, and that gout attacks the thumbs and toes.
Gout? Isn’t that one of those ancient Elizabethan complaints? What the heck is gout? I looked on the web, read up on it. One of the triggers for it, apparently, is the dyes they inject when you have an MRI. Whoa. Sure, they gave me a phone-book sized sheaf of papers to sign before I did my MRI, and I’m pretty good about reading through anything before I sign it, but if it mentioned gout I must have missed it.
My thumbs hurt only mildly now, I’m grateful for the medicines my sister gave me. But be aware, that seemingly non-invasive things like MRIs can have strange and sometimes big consequences.