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The most expensive portrait I own

Head MRI

Head MRI

Head MRI

Head MRI

The images above are taken from the head MRI I had done last year. They would be at home hanging in the surrealist wing of an art museum or on the album cover of a metal band’s CD.

I was surprised to learn that MRI films come on CDs now, but my radiologist friend, Lakshmi, that I visited this weekend said most of these things are done digitally now. She flipped through my films and explained what all the black, grey, and white bits were without charging me $400 for it.

Each image on the CD is a slice of my head, as if they cut it up like bread and peeked inside. The way Lakshmi read the MRI was to sort through the images like they were a flip book, back and forth. Each time she ran the animation she looked at a specific part of the picture, like the brain stem or the sinuses, and looked for abnormalities. I have a healthy brain according to the films. Yay?

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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21 Comments

Tara • March 24, 2009 at 9:03 am

Wow, that’s pretty cool. I wish I could get my MRI scans for my own personal use.

It would be nice to have proof that yes, I do have a brain.

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PastaQueen • March 24, 2009 at 9:10 am

@Tara – You should be able to request a copy of your scans from the hospital or imaging center you had them done. Mine were even free!

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Mara @ What's For Dinner? • March 24, 2009 at 9:30 am

I had an MRI a while back and am just fascinated with looking at the films… Apparently I have large eyeballs. Go figure.

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K • March 24, 2009 at 9:33 am

The second one down is scary. I know it’s you, but it’s still scary!

I’d say having a healthy brain is cause for moderate levels of yay, even if it doesn’t really answer any questions. Sometimes I wonder about mine…

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Jen • March 24, 2009 at 9:52 am

Fascinating. I went off on a tangent but I deleted it. I am glad your brain is normal. I am sad that no one has been able to help you yet. Take care.

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Jen • March 24, 2009 at 9:53 am

Fascinating. I went off on a tangent but I deleted it. I am glad your brain is normal. I am sad that no one has been able to help you yet. Take care.

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tami • March 24, 2009 at 9:58 am

is it body part week? first your toe now your brain!

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Nina • March 24, 2009 at 10:05 am

Dude, I’m in a metal band.. what a good idea for an album cover!

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she overflows • March 24, 2009 at 10:54 am

Those are amazing! If I were you, I would so print off that first image and frame it, haha. It looks like a mix of a person and a tiger.

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KateG • March 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Yes, those are really fascinating. Even better than the neck and back scans my dad was showing everyone a couple of years ago. I think that these are more interesting just because they are of your brain and head (and you can tell where your eyes are!). It’s great that your MRI results are normal, but too bad you don’t have a good answer about your headaches yet. I hope you find something that helps soon.

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cloudy • March 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Yay, but AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

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victoria • March 24, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Oh, dang. On the one hand, yay for a healthy brain! On the other — crap, there’s nothing they could cut out to cure you. I’m sorry that they didn’t find, like, a big ol’ cyst or something tothat is easy to fix & would cure your pain, but I guess “everything looks fine” is better than a diagnosis of glioblastoma.

I’ve been suffering from allergies the last few days, and they make my life miserable, but then I think about what it would be like to live with a headache for over a year and the allergies seem pretty tolerable by comparison.

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jennywenny • March 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Way cool. These remind me of the body slice that is in the welcome trust museum in london.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennywenny/2966287668/?rotated=1&cb=1237914839030

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Jaime • March 24, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Wow, cool and creepy at the same time.

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maggieapril • March 24, 2009 at 2:35 pm

My friend had a brain tumor removed and has a big empty dark spot on his MRI where it was. They do his MRI’s top to bottom. (He came through great and there is no sign of regrowth, thank God.) It’s crazy cool to see all the twists and turns of the most facinating and least understood part of the body.

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PastaQueen • March 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm

@maggieapril – My radiologist friend says the black spots are just air, like you can see in my sinuses. So it makes sense that your friend’s black spot marks where they took the tumor out.

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JEM • March 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Freaky, but wicked cool too.

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Becca • March 24, 2009 at 7:52 pm

That is so cool! I love the first one, where you can see your eyelids.

I had a roommate once who was an X-ray tech and she would practice on me. We had cool x-ray and ultrasound images of my body parts hanging on the fridge.

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kate • March 25, 2009 at 11:57 am

Not that I’m comparing your brain to fast food or anything that rude…but your post reminded me of this NY Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/science/24scan.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=art%20big%20mac&st=cse

Hope you find a way to get pain relief. I get migraines, but “only” for a day or two at a time. Can’t imagine what you’re going through

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Deb • March 25, 2009 at 11:00 pm

creepy and neato!

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Cheryl • March 27, 2009 at 11:47 pm

It really is art in a freaky sort of way! Using the most technical terms I know for this sort of thing… I love the curlicue thingys in the center of the last frame and the tube-looking deals on your eyes in the second one! I wish I had a friend that could explain all this to me!

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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