Thursday, August 20, 2009

Relax, It's Not Brain Surgery!

I haven't really posted lately, because as I mentioned in my last post, I've had quite a bit on my mind--literally! My doctor was concerned about the fact that my headaches included dizziness, and ordered some additional tests "just to make sure there's no aneurysm." Sidebar: add "aneurysm" to the list of words I don't want tossed around when they're concerning me. Anyway, the doctor told me they wouldn't call if all the results were normal, so when I got a call the morning after an MRI that the doctor wanted to see me as soon as possible, but was out of the office for a week, it resulted in a week of freaking out about the state of my brain. Needless to say, I was very concerned...after all, if they were looking for an aneurysm and had something in the results that made them need to see me immediately...well, I was concerned. My only comfort was the fact that if they were willing to make an appointment a week out, as opposed to "hey, go straight to a hospital!"--whatever it was obviously wasn't going to kill me in the near future, or at least the next seven days. Small comfort when you're talking about brains, really.

It turns out that the news was actually fairly good. The tests showed the reason I've been getting dizzy, but found it is not dangerous, progressive, or related to any other symptoms. In fact, it has to do with the way the blood vessels in my brain have been wired since birth, and the extra energy required to work through the pain is why I get dizzy with the headaches (and by the way, also explains why I got dizzy a lot when I was pregnant). Most likely, I do have ordinary migraines that are completely treatable with preventative medication. What a relief!

During this very stressful time, I have been extremely blessed by the support of my family and few people I had told about what was happening. Those that knew went out of their way to be supportive, and to say incredibly nice things to and about me. I really appreciate it, more than you will ever know. Facing a mysterious future makes everyone feel more open, and I know that I too, was a kinder, gentler, me. I wanted to make sure those I love knew how much I love them. I'm hoping this past week will teach me a more lasting lesson than a trite platitude would, but since it's human nature to forget, I figure I'll make hay while the sun shines.

The words I have to share with my family I'm not going to be sending out on the blog, but I've been thinking about something else I've taken totally for granted my whole life. It's about time I gave a tribute to one thing I was truly afraid to lose even part of: my brain.

To my brain:

Thanks, buddy, for being with me through the long haul.
I know I don't deserve your devotion--I'm sorry gave you a big bump on that Payless shoe rack when I was three and messed with you a little bit. If it helps, I still have a scar on my forehead.
You have always been there for me though.
Your hard work is the reason I loved school (well, until college), and was able to figure out "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" every day at 4:00.
Thank you for the endless library of Simpsons Quotes, and song lyrics. It's truly a treasure trove of useless junk in there, and that's part of what I love about you. I've always got a handy factoid when I need one. I owe that to you, brain.
You gave me a love of literature. You gave me the ability to find comfort for teenage loneliness in "Jane Eyre," and the adult maturity to roll my eyes at Bella Swan's headstrong cheesiness...uh, repeatedly.
You memorized the State Capitols, and promptly forgot all the states smaller than Colorado.
You learned some calculus, the parts of a cell, and helped me get an awesome score on Ben Stein's Trivia game on the ipod.
You gathered just enough Organic Chemistry to squeak by, and promptly dumped it out the day after the final. Thank you for both of those, but mostly, for getting it out of there (probably to make room for more Simpsons quotes).
You have at least a million stored memories--funny ones, sad ones, poignant ones, angry ones, happy ones--and every single one is priceless to me. Thank you for holding on to my past.
When my heart tries to run away without you, you always step in. You have saved me from stupid decisions countless times.
You're vital to me, Brain. I'm not naive (or skinny) enough to think I'm going to make a life for myself based on my looks or athletic ability--I know you are my only moneymaker. I'm so glad you're sticking around to be taken for granted again. Don't tell my heart or liver, but you're my favorite organ. Thanks for everything.


Crow Family said...

Carly!! I am so glad that you are okay. I am sorry you had to wait a stressful week to find out though. Call me if you need anything!

Natalie said...

I'm sorry to hear you've been having such a tough time...but soooo glad to know things will be ok!! Sending lots of love your way!!