please can someone help....

Hi, After being diagnosed a few wks ago, I’ve slowly started coming to terms with things and have gone back to work on reduced hours. I saw my neuro last week and he examined me and explained that he does want to run a spinal MRI. I’m petrified of the MRI even though I’ve had them before. Tonight I’ve received my appt for next tues and it say they are doing a MRI spine cervical and MRI spine thoracic…what do these mean, I’ve only ever had them on my head. I’ve also received a letter from from neuro saying that during my examination he felt I was ataxica and mild increase in tone on the right side and perhaps some finger nose ataxia but very mild. I don’t know what this means… I’m now thinking the worst and feel that I’ve taken about 3 steps back. If anyone can offer some encouraging words I would be eternally grateful. Thanks Nic x

You haven’t gone backwards - all the neuro has done is describe what you already knew about in medical terms.

Thoracic and cervical scans just means they are going to scan your back and neck. There’s not a whole lot I can do to make that any easier if you don’t like MRI so, if you think you’ll struggle to do it, please ask your GP for a sedative. It won’t affect the results and it will make the whole thing very much easier. (Fwiw, I promise that MRI is absolutely safe!)

Ataxia is sort of clumsiness; missing things that you’re trying to touch / reach for or moving in a jerky way. The finger nose test is where you have to touch the end of your nose with your finger.

Increased tone means an increase in muscle, which generally goes hand in hand with some stiffness.

I’m sure you must already know that you’re a bit clumsy and that you didn’t do so great on the finger/nose test, and I would bet that your right side feels a bit different to your left. It just looks different when it’s written in medic speak!


Karen x

PS It occurs to me that you might wonder why the neuro is bothering to scan your spine when he’s already diagnosed you. Apart from it helping to see if there is anything there causing that slight increase in tone, it’s basically very good practice: it means that you will have a baseline scan that you can use to compare any future scans, i.e. if you happen to have a relapse that affects your legs and the neuro orders a spinal scan, you will have something to use to see what’s new. It’s nothing to worry about.

Hi Karen, Thank you so much for replying. I feel much better than I did before. I seem to always think the negative and need to be more positive, I’m not as ill as I was weeks ago so that is an improvement. I’m really grateful for your reply and your help. Everyone on here is so helpful. Thanks again Nic x

Hello, Just wanted to give you some reassurance (I hope!) I had my first MRI last week and they scanned my spine and brain. They ran the spinal scan first and they broke it down into sections. I.e. the Radiographer told me how long each bit took, how noisy it would be and she also explained that the table moved at certain points. It was actually quite busy as she kept talking to me!! I found that very reassuring :slight_smile: I don’t know what is going on with me at the moment but I am very glad I have had both my brain and spine done. Good luck, you will be fine but if there is any doubt on you coping, follow Karen’s advice, she’s the best!! :slight_smile: Sam x