Category Archives: On the Nature of…

Head Trauma

About once a year or so I get an EEG. This isn’t because it is necessarily required, but my neurologists (plural now) can’t figure out what’s wrong with my brain. It’s as if they need to keep checking that my brain is screwed up. My friends have a few guesses as to why, but the doctors can’t scientifically prove any of those.

I have so many studies on record: EEGs, ambulatory day EEGs, video monitored hospital stays, MRI, MRA, MRV, and coordination tests. (They want me to walk in a straight line despite my huge thighs not making that possible.) So what’s another test? I actually get pretty excited about the EEG itself. My main anxieties arise from dealing with insurance and setting appointments. This time I had to deal with a few misunderstandings, a rescheduling, and a 30 minute stay in the waiting room because of a snafu.

The waiting room was an interesting experience. I was the only one there until these two Old White Guys (OWGs) arrived with a newspaper. One said, snidely, something about ‘that Hussein in the White House.’ Then they pointed at parts of the newspaper that made them feel OWG rage, cursing up a storm. There were several statements about the incompetence of congress, with a stop off at “why do they have 5,000 laws they can’t get through. Just make 5 or 6 and vote on them.” (This writer interprets that to mean that he wanted everything shrunk down to a one-size-fits-all type of lawmaking. You know. Like back in his day.)

There was a brief break when OWG 1 noted Shakira had a new baby and how cute it was. I think OWG 2 was thrown off by the knowledge of someone named “Shakira” being in the news. (FYI, this image is all that’s available of that baby as of right now.) They left the room after this bizarre interruption and I pondered what they were really mad at. Maybe the Hussein comment wasn’t coming from the Fox News Cult. Maybe they were moderates joking around and yelling at representatives from both sides.

OWG 1 returned. The news was on. The discussion: Hillary Clinton’s career. No discussion of current events. Only a brief mention of her problems with the terrorism misinformation. It was just her. OWG 1 stared. Lingered. Finally said, “damn bitch” and walked off.

Uh. So this was supposed to be a post about my new head wrap: Instead of normal ambulatories where they glue the electrodes on, this hospital used a type of paste. I thought that was great because the glue makes it look like you have horrid dandruff for two weeks. But how do you keep these pasted things on? A friggin’ gauze headwrap.

versus two years ago:

what the glue does to your hair (from two years ago):

(Pretty rockin’. I should try that with my pomade.)

Two days. Two days. Twwooo daaayyysss…..

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There are too many other things to worry about.

I remember the May 21st hullabaloo. I get really excited about end of the world prophecies. They show how our old culture is still embedded in our nature. When the human mind was young it thought it knew that the gods created the beginning and there will be an end. Eliade writes extensively on The Myth of the Eternal Return. When our mind arrived at the Age of Reason, it found there could be no definitive end. If you believed there was, it was nothing more than a belief and science could only show we had a beginning and the end may be beyond our very existence as a species. Do we ~want~ to see and feel our own mass extinction because death is so unpredictable itself? Or do we want to be proven right that the human species is the reason for creation and ultimate destruction? Or both? Some can accept that we evolved and were not created, but still believe we exist solely to cease to exist. We aren’t destined to evolve further?

I don’t feel like we should accept fate. If there is no tomorrow, live like you don’t care. If we do face some sort of insane destruction, immerse yourself in the experience. There may be some sort of destruction that lay ahead (one of my favorite shows was Mega Disasters which shows how much I love this stuff), but our mind, our collective mind, is here to get shit done. I may not be the one to preach like this, being the shut-in that I am, but I’d prefer to think and learn (and play video games) while I’m here.

This is late night ramblings. I finished watching another Christmas fave Muppet Christmas Carol and am full of feels.

Drinking in Space 2

The party was full of strangers and in a cramped hallway. The other guests were very good at eating food and blocking people from passing through. Drinking helped my super anxiety and when my co-workers showed up we got to enjoy yelling at each other and hunting down bottles of wine.

Kegs were tapped, wine was drunk, and this happened:

Neil deGrasse Tyson and me.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and me.


(And ermergherd I had some acne going. Ignore that.)

Taco Night

I was gaming all day today. During that time I could have updated the blog. There wasn’t much I could do in game being that I was on a horse miles away. Then I was in a car and wouldn’t let people get in. I had to run over some of them to get away. I don’t care if getting into the car was “for their safety”. They should have gotten their rides worked out before the party.

I was told it was going to be taco night. Then my folks said maybe not. Then it was TACO NIGHT.

During the tacos we got to watch Miracle on 34th Street. That is my third favorite Christmas movie. The first two are Muppet Family Christmas and Muppet Christmas Carol. Did I tell you I like Muppets?

I’m super hyper right now because tacos.

I’ll probably have weird dreams tonight. I had one recently where I was fighting terrorists with Steven Seagal. I had some kind of short-range bazooka. I shot the leader and he blew up, but his flaming body fell onto Seagal killing both of them. Or did it? I don’t even like Steven Seagal movies.

Then there was a 30 Rock dream where the NBC building acquired an old, rundown building next to it. Jack Donaghy had a vision that he could physically unite the two buildings and move them with his mind to the point that the new one was destroyed, but so were all the other buildings around NBC. There isn’t a good synonym for “building”. Anyway, in actuality the newly acquired building was used for a college that seemed to have teens from the 50s that liked to play harmless pranks and drink fruity cocktails. All the TJS staff wanted to quit and become students there.

A quote from last night’s dream: “I thought it was a demon, but it was a rooster with a gun next to it.”

Here’s a tumblr blog about tacos: Ask Taco5364.

And a picture of Jack Donaghy who, I don’t doubt, could physically move buildings with his mind:

(And no I haven’t seen the last 2 or 3 episodes, so don’t tell me about your Liz/Jack ship sinking.)

Hey. Look at this mystery link.

Brain-a-chondriac

I remembered last minute yesterday that I had to schedule an MRV. An MRV is like an MRI, but for the brain veins. Thankfully it only took a few minutes (as opposed to previous hellish experiences). I managed to get one today, which was excellent since my “authorization letter” expires Saturday and the rest of my week is sort of booked.

The reason I really needed this test (on top of everything they’ve been checking for) is that the neurologists have no f**king clue as to what is causing the epilepsy. I’ve had this since I was 15 and it has done nothing but get progressively worse and require more and more meds (as covered by several posts). The MRI & MRA helped none. The 3-day stay at the hospital only confirmed that I have mini seizures, which also confuse the doctors. My neurologist finally said the MRI kinda sorta showed some swelling that could be caused by veins.

I am always excited to look at images of my internal bits. That might sound narcissistic or just plain weird, but I know I’m not alone. I got a CD of what had been scanned and immediately viewed it when I got home. I’ve captured some images so you can see what the cold, loud machine came up with:

So you may notice something that pops out right away. I am not a brain expert, but that doesn’t look quite right. I then did a shit-ton of research. No, I did not go to WebMD or Wikipedia as a first stop. I started Googling images of brain veins and asked about blood flow for certain veins – the problem seems to be in the sinus (or transversal?) veins. I know veins aren’t symmetrical and I wasn’t expecting that, but damn if it doesn’t look like I have no matching vein on the right side and a bit of a bloated left side. Finally I came up with several hints and an eventual diagnosis: Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis.

Okay. Uh. What does that mean? I finally hit the wiki and saw this: CVST is a rare form of stroke caused by blood clot. I haven’t had a stroke. I’m not aware that I’m prone to blood clots. Both Wikipedia and several Neurological Journal/data sites confirmed that a sign of Thrombosis is seizures (and bad headaches which I sometimes get, but blame on the computer). So does that mean I’m going to have a stroke? Not necessarily, but the concern is there. Am I going to die?!? Maybe not.

This is what a normal brain’s veins are supposed to look like:

This is what a CVST brain looks like:

(Source is the Radiology Assistant which depicts a couple of examples of the ones that look like mine and have the same diagnosis of Thrombosis.)

I am known as a semi-hypochondriac. I will take things to extremes only when I have a major query (like, I don’t assume I have pneumonia as soon as I get a cold).

My neuro buddies: tell me if I’m over-reacting. I talked to my dad and said I was a little depressed since there is a, albeit low, death rate. I got the “if it was that bad, we’d be hearing about it on the news. Don’t tell your mom, she’ll freak out. And don’t worry until the doctor tells you to worry” speech. I’m not *dreadfully* worried, just concerned that it is a serious thing, as everything related to my epilepsy is. And maybe there will be a hopeful outcome, but I’m kind of perturbed by both the research and my father’s shitty reaction. Updates when available (which may not be for a few more weeks).

(Still hesitating on the next Disney post because it is villain related and that decision requires much contemplation.)

A Quiet Earth

This was amazingly relaxing this morning.

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael K├Ânig on Vimeo.

Over the Stretch

I couldn’t post yesterday because having no medication for a day and 4 hours of sleep makes me a zombie girl. I watched a lot of T.V. instead trying to stave off boredom. The procedure is working, though. I can see my brain waves on a little screen and whenever there’s an absence seizure and I catch it I see little blips as it’s happening. After 13 years of being diagnosed I finally have an active view of what’s going on.

They still wanted to provoke things and keep me on for another day. Well that’s fortuitous because no sooner had my doctor left from checking in on me this morning than I woke up from a Gran Mal. So I’ll be even groggier for the next day, but it means I can go back on my meds while they continue to monitor me. I just need to find more crap to do. At least I was passed out for half a day.

The other bonus of being this out of it is it may prevent me from giving in to my urges and starting a tumblr account. Every temptation is behind that, yet I just can’t come up with an awesome and witty name. One that not everyone on the Internet has already come up with and doesn’t think it’s pretentiously stupid. Fine lines on all those criteria.

Not terribly fascinating update, but I did promise updates from the hospital and the point was to try to provoke a seizure, which has been accomplished. If I hadn’t had that seizure this post would have been a lot more uh… verbose? witty? just interesting?

I can’t wait until I can go to the bathroom without a chaperon again.

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