Thursday, July 28, 2005

Medusa is inside my head

I did some research. The thing in my skull looks sort of like a cross between Medusa and a tree. Basically it occurs in two or three percent of the population and is considered benign. That part works wonderfully for me.

Then there's the counter-effect: This bugger is kinda cramping the rest of my grey matter a lil' bit. Meaning that it can cause headaches and a whole lot of other side effects. It's not like it's fatal, although there is an increased risk of seizure, hemorrhage, etc. - which can cause decreased neurological function in the area of the bleed. It's also not operable. The risk of a hemorrhage is too great. There are other options, including medications to improve blood flow.

I'm a little freaked out by it, but not to the point that I'm on the verge of a psychotic break or anything. The freakiest part is having this ugly thing attached to the part of me that makes me... ME. And that this thing sort of looks like the little hatchy things from "Alien". Not to mention the localized headaches, twitchy feelings and tingliness. That's sort of creepy.

I also have this feeling of a lot of pressure on the left side of my head. Which leads us into the otology aspect. It could very well be that there is some sort of problem in my inner ear that's causing the pressure, which in turn would exacerbate other issues.

What's interesting to note is the similarity in symptoms many other people claim to have with this same abnormality:

visual disturbances (I get these squiggly sort of sparkly things in my eyes)
balance problems (some people - myself included - feel tilted to one side)
decrease in memory function
decrease in attention span
losing train of thought (sometimes in mid-sentence)
slurred speech (only occasional for me, and it could be my jaw alignment)
weakness in the extremities
painful bee-sting feelings in extremities
feeling of pressure in the head
popping or crackling noises in the head (very freaky)
twitching (mine is mostly in the left side of my face)
tingling sensations (I get 'em all over, but lots of it is around my left temple - like it fell asleep)

I'm dealing. I always do. I won't say it's not scary, but it's not going away. I just have to get used to it and (as my friend Andrena says) "make friends with it"... Be at peace with it. Just don't 'spect me to talk to the darn thing, 'Drena. People already look at me funny.

This is a Googled image. My angioma is on the right frontal lobe.


Kim said...

Awww Shanna. I feel for you. I have a lot of those same symptoms, though mine are inner ear related. It still sucks! Vertigo is my primary problem, and occasional bleeding in my ears which is frightening to anyone who happens to see it. I hope you come to terms with this and it doesn't consume your thoughts. Hang in there honey.

andrena said...

top o'da mornin' to ya! Hey Sweetie!!! Rmember that song:

"ain't nothing gonna break my stride..
ain't nothing gonna hold me down...
Oh no! I got to keep on movin'"

and yadda yadda yadda...

Queen of Ass said...

Um. Can I just throw another possibility out there?

I have pernicious anemia. It's an auto-immune disease that means my body doesn't process B-12, and so it just leaves practically as soon as it's taken in.

The sucky part is, B-12 is part of what forms nerve cells, red blood cells, etc. So the body can't get oxygen anywhere, and nerve cells deteriorate. Including the ones for the optical nerve.

May be a long shot, but a possibility nonetheless.

andrena said...

u awfully quiet.....what's up???

Anonymous said...

Sheet that don't sound like fun. I was hoping for a simple inner ear problem. Wishing you well & Cheers, 'VJ'

PMbeers said...

I also have a benign angioma. i have most of the same symptoms as you do and some others. My doc said the symptoms were completely unrealted to the angioma. But reading personal stories of people with angiomas I'm finding my doctor may be wrong.