Thursday, April 23, 2009

My ticking time bomb

Ok, for those of you who don't know I was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm about a week and a half ago. The "cure" for it would have involved some form of brain surgery. "How was it found?" you might be asking yourself. I'll tell you.

Back when I had the girls you may (or may not) remember I had a Bell's Palsy. The last 6 months, some of the symptoms from that have been getting worse, more ptosis (drooping) of the eyelid, twitching of the eyelid, some vision changes, facial numbness, etc. I went back to the neurologist and he thought it might be a good idea to get an MRI to rule out any sort of brain abnormality that might have caused this. I know, I know, you're all thinking, "Of course she has an abnormal brain," or "She has a brain?" They were thinking medically not mentally. Now that we have that out of the way I can continue with my little saga. Anyhoo, the MRI showed what looked like a small aneurysm in my carotid (the major blood supply to the brain). An aneurysm is an area of a blood vessel that stretches out much like a balloon. If left untreated it grows and grows until an area of the vessel wall is so thin that it bursts much like an over-inflated balloon. The result is quite often death or severe brain damage, so as you can imagine, I was quite nervous. The next step was to get a CT angiogram which I did yesterday. In the mean time no physical activity for me, nothing to raise my BP, etc. Arrrgggg.

The CT angiogram was the strangest experience I've ever had in my life. I've had studies that used contrast before, but never like this. They inject it while you are being scanned and it immediately makes you feel hot. I could literally feel it travel around my body. I got an odd, almost metallic taste in my mouth and my mouth felt like it was full, like just before the dentist uses her magic wand on you to suck out all your saliva. Then, the oddest feeling of all. I got very hot down there, and it felt like I had wet my pants (I hadn't). All this occurred over about 20 seconds, and then it was gone. Sooooo weird.

So. Scan done. Now for the waiting. Thank goodness my neurologist is an early riser and a prompt responder. For both scans he has called me first thing in the morning the day after the scan. Now for the good news, which I'm sure you all have guessed by now, NO ANEURYSM!! Woo hoo, woo hoo, and woo hoo. Apparently it was just an odd twist of the vessel that created a large shadow that looked like an aneurysm on the MRI. You can't imagine the relief I feel. Big, huge weight lifted off my chest. As Andrea so accurately put it, I feel like jello about now.

Now, back to hockey for me. I'm playing Sunday!! Woo hoo!!

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At 23 April, 2009 10:55, Blogger wen said...

I am SO glad you are okay.

At 23 April, 2009 12:51, Blogger Carolyn said...

WOOO!!!!!! I fully expect a hat trick out of you on Sunday now. ;) ;)

At 23 April, 2009 15:14, Anonymous Shadow said...

Nothing like 'this was a test of the emergency broadcasting system' to get that adrenaline pumping. So glad it was just a 'test' and you can get back to enjoying your life

At 23 April, 2009 18:14, Blogger Viv said...

Yikes, totally scary. I am really glad you are okay!!!


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