LYNN VINCENT: Those are the sounds of an MRI…Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Believe or not, each of those sounds has its own fancy name…Like
Axial T2 IDEAL…
Coronal T2 IDEAL…
Sagittal T1 Fast Spin Echo
On May 5, 2022, I learned to hate those sounds.
Then…about a week later, I learned to love them.
LAWLESS THEME: INSTRUMENTAL BARS
From WORLD Radio, and the creative team that brings you The World and Everything in It: This is Lawless.
I’m New York Times bestselling author and WORLD Magazine senior writer Lynn Vincent.
If you’ve been listening to Lawless, you know that earlier this month, I had to call an ambulance.
My doctor, Tony Fam, ordered a flurry of tests, including two MRIs.
A radiologist read the images…and saw a tiny dot. As small as a dot you make with a pen. They called it a punctate stroke. An anomaly…but also an irony, since I’ve spent the past 18 months investigating the case of Terri Schiavo, a brain-injured woman…before suffering a brain injury myself.
But I never felt it. No pain. No paralysis or drooping face. No fainting. But there was that dizziness.
A week after I first went to the hospital, I was still dizzy, so I went back. But this time, before I went, I had a little talk with God.
He and I have a history. Let’s just say, I learned a long time ago to pray for the impossible. So when I think there’s something impossible for God…I pray about it anyway.
So when I got dizzy again just a week after that first MRI showed that punctate stroke, I said, “God, I know I will have to get another MRI. And I know I’m asking the impossible. But here’s what I’d like: I’d like it if doctors not only did not see a second stroke. But that when they look at my film they can’t see the first stroke either.”
Next thing I knew, I was lying stone-still inside that MRI tube again.
It was so loud in there…like road construction…even with ear plugs…
Essentially, an MRI machine is a set of giant magnets. If a workman had taken a blowtorch and cut away the front of this contraption, you’d have seen complex machinery about the size and shape of a semi-truck tire….spinning around my head.
MRIs measure the concentration of water in different parts of our bodies. This one measured the water inside my brain. More specifically, it was measuring the alignment of the protons inside the nuclei of the hydrogen atoms that make up the water that makes up my brain.
I know. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.
But that’s the thing. My head wasn’t hurting. It hadn’t been hurting.
After this second MRI, I spent another night in the hospital…waiting.
The next day, I got the MRI results: Radiologists saw no evidence of any stroke. Not a second stroke…and not even the first one.
Was it a miracle?
Well…the neurologist, Dr. Cragin, pointed out that MRIs are conducted in horizontal cross-sections. Maybe, he said, the first stroke was so tiny that the line between cross-sections blotted it out.
Maybe. And sometimes God answers prayer in ways we don’t expect. With compassionate professionals who come to your aid. Or with daring treatment options. In a healthcare climate that has a pill for every condition, Dr. Fam and Dr. Cragin took a refreshing step: They recommended that I stop all medications. I did exactly that. And three days later, all my dizziness was gone. A complete return to normal.
And who knows? Maybe the difference between those MRIs was answered prayer. But…it might not have been my prayer. The Lawless team has been so touched by the letters we’ve received asking how I’m doing and letting us know you were praying for me and for this project.
WORLD Radio is listener-supported and throughout this challenge, you’ve supported us in the most important way of all.
On doctor’s orders, I’ve been on a break…but now, we are back to writing and producing the final episodes of Lawless Season 1.
So thanks again for your outpouring of support. We will be back with Episode 6 later this month.
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