So. A few things here on the health front of late; my younger sister has been diagnosed with temporal arteritis and this, combined with some issues I’ve had of late with odd happenings and pains in the head have resulted in a mad spate of activity in the diagnostics arena, most of which has been depression and anxiety inducing and pretty damned stressful all the way around.
A bit of background here: my biological mother dropped dead of a brain aneurysm in 2003. She was at work and had gone on break to freshen her makeup or whatever in the bathroom and… she simply never came out. They found her there, collapsed and passed away. She was 56 years old.
As a result of the above two things, and previously mentioned episodes I’ve been experiencing, the doctors decided there was enough in play to warrant a serious look into things.
(I’ll spare you the flips and twists I’ve endured in the meanwhile except to say that these tests were supposed to be done immediately and, thanks to insurance dickering about over “necessity”, have lagged several weeks; thankfully, approvals were obtained today and so, mid-day, I got a call from the imaging/neurology lab to stop what I was doing and come in to get this done.)
The appointment completed at roughly 5:20pm and they were kind enough to give me a CD containing the images and a nice little viewer with which to roll through them. Turns out there are a pretty amazing series of time lapse images that demonstrate the complete arterial flow in the head (MRA) as well as a full range of magnetic brain imaging (MRI) that goes 360 degrees and can be stepped through using their viewer as well.
I’ll tell you there is something kind of odd looking at pictures of your own brain. I’ll also tell you that these images aren’t as sharp, pretty, and clear as the ones you see in movies. (This is no real surprise, but a spot of humor for me.)
Now, I wait for the call from the doctor’s office saying they have the report and results. I know at this point that if I have temporal arteritis, it is not currently inflamed, as the SED rate was normal and the in-office neurology exam did not reveal any observable issues. If the MRI comes back clear as well, I can (likely; pending whatever recurring checks I must now observe) relax on this count.
Of course, the more serious concern/threat is that of aneurysm. The MRA examines the arteries of the brain to locate any abnormalities or possible stress areas that may be dangerous. Again, I’ll be waiting for the doctor’s office to tell me what the report from the imaging lab finds or not. If this is clear, it may or may not mean I’m “in the clear” (I am not yet sure what kind of follow-up, if any, is required or for how long).
Obviously, I am hopeful of a full and clean bill of health; but this doesn’t resolve the issues I have been experiencing (even as it removes the stressers of serious issues). I’ll deal.
For now, I’m working from home, trying to stay calm (with intermittent success) and generally thinking good thoughts for myself. In the meanwhile, I thought I’d share a few of the more interesting (and clear) images. They are below.