I am having a lumbar MRI this coming Monday. For YEARS I had been told I could not have an MRI for anything because I had an older cochlear implant and the machine would yank the magnet out of my head. Well, I believe it was Intrepid who posted that there are MRI machines now where that is not an issue. Well, it's true, depending on the Tesla tolerance of your implant and the power of the MRI machine. Why does this matter? Many of us have conditions other than MM where an MRI is the best diagnostic tool. I had to do a CT scan some years ago on my knee when an MRI would have been better; fortunately, the CTI scan caught the torn cartilage and I was able to have successful laparoscopic surgery. Well, the last 8 weeks have pretty much been a living hell for me, NOT due to MM. About that time, I started feeling an intense pain in my lower left back, sometimes radiating down the outside of my left leg and into my abdominal region. The best image I could arrive at is that it was like someone was slowly twisting a red-hot, misshapen railroad spike into my back slightly above my left hip bone 24/7. Went to a bunch of docs. Finally found one who had the right approach, an orthopedist/pain specialist who believes in conservative treatment of the SOURCE of the problem, not the symptoms. Since my other docs had put me on a regimen of horse-sized injections of painkillers and about 4 other painkillers in pill form, which basically turned me into a turnip mentally, I was really interested. He called around, we got the company, reference and serial number of my implant, and found an imaging lab that had just the right equipment. He suspects I have a degenerated spinal disc that is pressing on a major nerve complex, but the MRI will provide confirmation one way or the other. Oh, and in the mean time, on Monday I learned, as I had suspected, that a vertigo/blackout attack I had on April 16, when I smacked into the door jamb leading from our kitchen into our sun room, had bruised or done more serious damage to a couple of ribs. In fact, it fractured two of them. Fortunately in the middle of my left rib cage, no pneumothorax, no lung or other organ piercing, no displacement. That makes four broken ribs in the last 7 months from vertigo attacks. And before MM, I had broken two others. As I remarked to my daughters, no biggie: I still have 18 more ribs left to go! Anyway, just wanted to tell those of you who have other conditions (heart, lung, liver, kidney, prostate, cranial) where an MRI would be best, and you have a CI, don't just assume you can't have an MRI. It is very possible you can. And I believe this is not as big an issue with newer cochlear implants (mine was implanted April 1, 2003, which always seemed an appropriate date to me.) And to repeat: thanks to Intrepid or whomever gave me the heads up so I didn't just assume I couldn't have an MRI. It may make the difference in my hanging in here because, frankly, being unable to function due to excruciating pain or excessive painkillers is not a viable option for me.