Super busy morning at work today as I prepare for a meeting with Boss to give him an overview of all of my work over the last couple of months. I’m nervous and lost sleep over it, but I wanted to start this entry just to get it out of my head - literally. I prob won’t finish this entry this morning, but it is giving me just a tiny break from all of the other stuff going on.
As you know, I was expecting to hear from my neuroradiology interventionist on Monday with the results of my CTA scan that I’d gotten last week before Thanksgiving. The CTA was to check and see about the status of Lumpy, the aneurysm that was born from my carotid artery dissection earlier in the year.
Technically, Lumpy should really be called a “dissecting aneurysm” as the aneurysm occurred around the “flap” injury, causing an outpouching of my artery. And in some cases, doctors call this a “pseudoaneurysm”. Seems that these terms are used interchangeably, but no matter. You really don’t want these to grow and get bigger as the risk for rupture gets worse and worse the bigger they get.
And the problem that I was having was that since I had a bad reaction to the new blood thinner that I had been taking was that we didn’t know if the fact that I’m simply taking aspirin as a blood thinner to prevent stroke was enough protection. We’d find out with the scans. One of three things would happen: it would have gotten smaller (as pseudoaneurysms can do), it would have stayed the same, or it would have gotten bigger - in which case we’d need to determine next steps - stronger meds or a stent! Yiiiiiiikes.
Monday came and I didn’t get a call. Finally, in the afternoon, what I did get was the lab report in my hospital/medical application on my phone, so naturally I opened it up and read it. I mean, wouldn’t YOU?
And of course, there were hundreds and hundreds of SCARY words in there that I didn’t understand. But what I did get out of it was the following:
- The aneurysm is SHRINKING!!!
- Something else is wrong with me. That something is that the left hemisphere of my brain is much smaller than the right - causing some kind of somethingorother to some other arteries or somesuch.
The report went on to say that this is something that has been seen in previous scans and that it actually may have been some kind of trauma that I had received around the time I was BORN?! And that the recommendation was to see a neurologist, get an MRI, do some other testing and on and on and on…
I let all of that swim around in my deformed brain. I mean, the doctor would be calling soon enough, right?
Um. No. The doc did not call me at all on Monday. I figured he was busy or still on vacation and the fact of the matter is, if it were an emergency, I know I would have gotten a call from the hospital.
During my nightly phone call with my mom on Monday, I told her about the report and then I asked her about my birth. Did I suffer any trauma? And sure enough, my mom said yes…she said that there was difficulty in my birth and while I wasn’t breach, I wasn’t coming out the right way. She used the analogy that the doctors used to explain it to her: it’s like when you’re trying to put on a turtleneck sweater but you don’t quite get your head in there properly so you’re pushing your head into the wrong area…like…your head isn’t hitting the hole! Does that make sense?
So they put my mom to sleep so that she’d stop pushing and we think that the doctor probably used forceps on me and probably put a ding in my brain. Now. my mom said that she checked me all over from head to toe after she woke up and didn’t see any injuries or malformations, and that’s all she really worried about. She didn’t ask what they DID while she was out, she was just thrilled to have it over and a “healthy” baby in her arms.
I was kind of fascinated with that story and still a bit reeling from the thought that I probably had a malformed brain since birth and a bit blown away that I have developed as normally as I have all these 52 years of life.
But what to make of all the fuss on my report??
Yesterday, I was able to take a second and call the neuro. He was in procedures at the hospital but called me back and told me that he’d read the report and said he could imagine that I was freaking out when I read that part of the report myself.
He told me that yes, indeed, the left hemisphere of my brain is visibly smaller than the right but that I have always been that way. He said that since I have no seizure issues or other neurological deficiencies that he didn’t recommend pursuing. We discussed the possible birth injury and he said that while that might be the case, my left brain has obviously overcompensated for whatever trauma it may have had and that it’s working juuusstt fine.
In fact, the MAIN thing was that the aneurysm is shrinking and THAT’S the great news! That’s what I need to concentrate on. The other stuff is really nothing to lose ANY sleep over.
So there. My Lumpy update. Lumpy is getting smaller! And I will keep taking aspirin and then have one more CTA scan in 6 months to a year just to make sure we’re all good to go and it may be the end of my Great Medical Emergency of 2019!
Now to get my mom and dad all taken care of by the end of 2019 and things will be golden!
It’s now afternoon and I’ve had my dreaded meeting with Boss. Ugh. It’s stressful because there’s so much to do and he just told me that I’m stressing him out. It’s the holidays. He gets this way every single year. I’ll push through - I always do. But this year without a staff.
It’s fine. I’m still soooooooo happy to be alive, deformed brain, shrinking Lumpy and all!
Love and more,
Last updated December 04, 2019