Tag Archives: CT Scan

The anticlimactic end to an overly dramatic day

It’s hard for me to explain to most people what my vision post-surgery is like. Most people don’t understand, and some try to act like having to wear glasses because “like I’d so be blind without them” is comparable. However, until they invent glass to put on your BRAIN,  the two situations are nothing alike.

*Cough* Anyway, about a week ago I noticed that my vision was changing. I didn’t think it was for the better or worse, until it started blurring up at work. On Wednesday, I was on my computer, as I usually am, and I blinked. When I opened my eyes again, the screen was blurry. That was unusual for me, because despite the chunks that are missing, I’ve always had 20/20 vision. (Actually, if you want to envision how I see everyday, read this article on Wikipedia and combine the three scotoma images on the right-hand side until they merge and form a giant, mutant scotoma. Welcome to my life.)

The change in symptoms got so worrisome to me that Wednesday night I decided to go to the emergency room. I hate to be one of those people who abuses the system by using the ER as my primary doctor. Either way my health plan doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. It was one of those infamous damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations. Really, their slogan should be: We’ll keep you healthy…but only if you’re already healthy!

This is where I wish there was a real life Dr. House, who would take my case pro bono because it was a challenge. Obviously.

Or the wacky cast from Scrubs.

They would have been all, “Patient is a 25-year old female, history of craniotomy. She presents with vertigo, nausea, radiating headache, blurry vision, and a mysterious, disappearing fever.”

Then they would subject me to a battery of tests; during the first two the outcome would look bleak. Then suddenly, ten minutes before the end of the show, they would find the magic pill (or the correct diagnosis) and I would take it and feel better. The end. Everyone lives happily ever after.

What really happened was definitely not interesting enough for TV (and barely interesting enough for this blog… you’re welcome!). I waited in the waiting  room for over an hour. Then I waited in the room for hours, until I finally got a CT. Everything turned out normal. Their diagnosis: vertigo. The good news is that my brain is normal! Well, normal-ish. The bad news is that I made a big deal out of nothing, getting myself nervous  for the possibility of something, like tumor regrowth or meningitis, or something equally worthy or a medical sitcom/drama. Sometimes, in these situations, don’t you hope that they find something wrong? Even a little something, lest you look like a nutcase hypochondriac who relishes taking advantage of the system?

Or maybe that’s just me…

In the end, I went home five hours later with a note to stay home from work and anti-vertigo pills . It was an anticlimactic end to an overly dramatic day. Next time, I’ll just take a nap and skip the ER.

Some Time to Think it Over

I think it’s starting to sink in. Slowly. Yesterday when I wrote I was in shock. I still am to a certain degree, but I have had more time to assimilate the information.

A woman from one of my mastocytosis forums wrote on my Facebook wall that she knew of a woman who had mastocytosis and had a brain tumor. In the end the tumor ended up being a cluster of mast cells so she told me to make sure they test it for that.

Now, the last thing I am is an MD with years of training, but I can’t help but think that everything is somehow related. Our bodies are just too intricate and complicated for most of us to understand (even some doctors) and then when you throw in rare, chronic illnesses on top of that it becomes sort of a puzzle and you have to fit together the pieces as best you can.

Even if there is no connection I can’t help but feel that  everything happens for a reason. I heard my parents talking when they thought  I wasn’t listening and my mom said “Thank God for the mastocytosis. Without it, she may never have found this.”

I feel like this is somehow connected to a bigger purpose in my life. I feel like I’m destined to be more than “brain tumor girl”.

I didn’t sleep much last night and I had some time to think. For the first time in a long time, I prayed. I had falling out with God while I was experiencing some tough times in high school and was very angry. I still don’t know if I believe in the traditional Lutheran or Catholic image of God, but I believe in a benevolent force that watches over everyone and trust me, we have definitely been talking.

I have another CT scan today. I didn’t realize at the time that is was of my chest, abdomen, and  pelvis. When I found out yesterday, a cold, hard lump formed in my throat because I knew that they were looking for other signs of cancer in my body.

I’m pretty confident that they won’t find anything, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried.

In about 20 minutes, I have to start drinking that barium sulfate stuff. The last bottle I took in January for my last round of tests had a “delightful  flavor”. And let me tell you, it was not particularly delightful nor buttercreamy. This bottle makes no such claims and straight out says to refrigerate because that “has been said” to improve the taste. I’m just going to plug my nose and chug like a frat boy.

Think of me around 1:20 central standard time.