As we continue the 10th birthday celebrations, here's another memorable post - to me anyway - from out of the archives. In this one from 2005, I prove once again that I share more of myself with my readers than most other bloggers.....
Insane in the Membrane....
Saturday, September 24th, 2005
If you're at all squeemish, you may care to look away now.
Allow me to present for your viewing pleasure...... my brain.
(Feel free to click on an image if you want a close-up....)
I ask you - what other blogger gives you more? Could you ask for a greater insight into the innermost workings of my mind?
Samuel Pepys eat your heart out.
And yes, now you mention it, I do look a little bit like a fish in some of these shots....
(**respect due to the Eye In The Sky for these quality photos of the original scans....**)
And the neurologist said:
Brain: Coronal T1 and T2 sagittal FLAIR
There is no evidence of a space occupying lesion. There is a mild enlargement of the posterior bodies and occipital horns of the lateral ventricles with a slightly colpocephalic appearance. Areas of ill defined high signal change on FLAIR and T2 imaging are noted adjacent to the bodies of the lateral ventricles bilaterally and a small subcortical high signal lesion is noted involving the right middle temporal gyrus. There is no definite involvement of the corpus callosum or posterior fossa structures.
Cervical Spine: Sagital T1 T2 axial T2* sagital and axial T1 plus Gadolinium.
vertebral height and alignment are maintained. Canal dimensions are generous. There is a discreet oval high signal lesion located ventrally in the cord at C3 level causing mild cord expansion. This is poorly visualised on T1 imaging but shows evidence of marginal enhancement on the post contrast images. Axial images show the lesion lies on the left side of the cord at the C3 level. No other cervical cord lesions are identified.
Thoracic cord: Sagital T1, T2 and T1 plus Gadolinium.
Vertebral height and alignment are maintained. Canal dimensions are generous. There is no evidence of extrinsic compression of the thoracic cord, or of an intermedullary lesion.
Conclusion: The combination of the definite left ventral cord lesion at C3 and the subappenydymal lesions on the brain imaging is rather suggestive od demyleination.
Pick the bones out of that.
(as I said at the time I originally posted this, "And what does that mean? Well, my neurologist actually disagreed with the hospital neurologist that wrote the report, and said he couldn't see any lesions in my brain, but only on my cervical spinal cord. This is good - I don't want lots of lesions, as that way MS lies. I have a single lesion that seems to be on the way down. It's probably caused by a virus and may take about 3 months to go away and they may never know what caused it. It may mark my spinal cord permanently and leave a physical limit that wasn't there before, albeit one that won't affect me in my every day life, but might come into play when I really push myself physically and my nervous system will just say "NO". Ho hum. Back in 3 months time for a follow up appointment, and in the meantime just wait.
It's if it comes back that I really have to start to worry.
The colleague of mine who had similar symptoms to me at the same time has just been diagnosed with MS, so I'm currently feeling that there but for the grace of God go I....")
It was another four years from here until I was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The entire journey from that first morning in summer 2005 when I woke up with a numb hand all the way through to diagnosis and starting to inject myself in 2009 and beyond.... it's all documented here. I don't know if any of it has, or ever will be, of any use to anyone else. Who knows? What I do know is that it has certainly helped me to be able to take my thoughts out of my head and to put them down here. The act of writing has always helped me to see what I'm thinking more clearly, and that's never more so than working my way through the mass of emotions that come with a diagnosis like this. I just hope that I don't come across like I'm moaning all the time. I do seem to talk about my condition an awful lot.... But even now, looking at pictures of the inside of my head just seems impossibly amazing. Even if I do look quite a lot like a fish and appear to have a large hole in the middle of my brain that the neurologist doesn't seem to think worth mentioning.....