Thursday, October 1, 2009

Finally, some good news

Aneurysm: weakening in the wall of a blood vessel causing it to "bulge" out

Brief History to get you up to date:

2002 - MRI to try to determine cause of fainting spells. Result - fainting still up in the air, but there's a potential aneurysm. If it is it's really small.

Feb 2009 - see a neurologist for headaches; she suggests a CT scan to determine for sure if it is an aneurysm or not at the same time - it's good to check up on these things and make sure they haven't grown as well, if it is an aneurysm

Feb 2009 - get results, yes, it's an aneurysm. In my brain (to be clear). She wants to follow up in May to see how the headaches are.

May 2009 - follow up appt: she says, yup, it's an aneurysm, but I refer those all to a neurosurgeon.

May 2009 - lose insurance

August 2009 - get insurance through school

Sept 29, 2009 - finally see neurosurgeon! Here's how it went:

First off, I left a little bit early from school in case the lightrail was late. It was. Now, I had looked on a map and was pretty sure the lightrail didn't go close enough to where I was going, so I had parked in the park and ride and ridden the lightrail to school. The plan was to ride back to my car and drive to the appointment. No problem. Well, with the lightrail 10 minute delay (as in I waited 20 min for a train, and they're supposed to come every 10) I was going to be cutting it close. I had no problem with the drive but was frustrated when I see, lo and behold, the lightrail line a mere block away from my appointment location. Whoever made the maps for Phoenix Metro should be fired (from map-making...I'd hate to suggest anyone lose their job in this economy). Because I could do a better job. In fact I may, for my future reference. Moving on.

So I got to the parking lot okay, but then I got lost. It was at a large hospital that had an infinite number of other buildings attached by sky bridges and what not. Well, I followed signs for neuro (makes sense, right?) but wound up in the wrong place. At this point I was stressing because my appointment had been for 1:30 and it was now 1:38. A kind nurse was trying to tell me where to go but it was darn confusing (due to construction you had to wind your way through various buildings) so another nurse was like, screw this, come with me honey! You're late! I'll help you! She was so great. So she led me around the building (and construction) and walked me halfway to the right building and then pointed out the doors to get me the rest of the way. (thanks Nurse!!)

So, I get to the right place at 1:45 and I'm freaking out. Turns out my appointment was for 2pm...they just tell you a half hour early so you're on time. The lady seemed smug and I'm sure she was thinking (for people like you) which is so frustrating because I'm usually 10-30 minutes early for things like this! Ah well.

So, finally they take me back and the first person to come in seems young. I know the neurosurgeon I'm seeing is from Germany and world famous - I figured he'd have a certain...air about him. And that he'd be a little older. Well this doctor introduces himself and turns out he's the Chief Resident. He assured me I'd still see the main guy, but he was going to ask some questions to help smooth things along. Fine with me.

So I told him about the aneurysm, answered some questions about family history and whatnot and then fired off my list of questions which mostly were about how having an aneurysm would affect pregnancy and child birth. Anyway, that was all good news! He said that they're very supportive of patients going ahead with pregnancy and childbirth and that they've not had any reason to believe one condition affects the other. (sigh of relief...) So then he went back to meet with the head boss.

A few minutes later an older gentlemen strides into the room with exactly the confidence, grace and air I expected of such a famous neurosurgeon. (quick aside: I heard this somewhere, but can't remember where: what's the difference between a neurosurgeon and a rocket scientist? Both being relatively intelligent professions, of course. The difference is margin of acceptable error...for a neurosurgeon, it's zero. Hmm...words for thought) Anyway, so he strolls in and introduces himself and then looks at me a little puzzled and says, well, if there is something there, it's too small for me to say if it is an aneurysm. And if it IS, in fact, an aneurysm, then it's so small that the risk from it is far less than any risk from trying to go in to fix it. (ie brain surgery) So his recommendation is to carry on with a healthy lifestyle, and then come back in a year for an MRA just to be sure that nothing has changed or grown (because I did have one splitting headache since the CT scan that sounded a lot like the kind you get when an aneurysm ruptures) but after that, just forget the anomaly is even there.

So, major sigh of relief. I didn't even realize how much this had been weighing on my mind until I walked out of the appointment. I felt inches taller from a weight being lifted! And I'm so thankful that there's probably nothing wrong in my head and I can go on living as if I'm normal. (hah!)

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About this Blog

I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

Or see my first post here. That's why I started this blog.