Good Reads

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Brain Cysts Have Walls

My second MRI wound up being a regular, full-length MRI.  I had hoped it was going to be a shortened version but it was not.  I don't do well in MRI's - not so much because of the small space and claustrophobia, though that is bad enough.  But more because MRI's require you to lie on your back so long, which means on the back of your head.  For me, that is torture.  All that pressure on the brain stem really creates unnerving feelings - or in my case -non-feeling.  I go numb, get dizzy lying on my back and just feel all-in-all, sick.

In any case, what the doctor was seeing was enlarged trigeminal nerves.  He said, after reviewing my films, that for me that is to be expected.  Other than that, there was nothing major, or out of the norm for me, detected or seen.  The only thing is, is that my cyst has rebuilt its walls.  All the issues I've been dealing with the past couple of years may be due to my walls being re-built.  So, this means that there is a chance I will need to have a repeat of my first surgery I had back in '05, to knock down all the walls and get the cerebral spinal fluid communicatig or flowing with the rest of the cerebral spinal fluid.

I am going to go down to a pressure of 140 on my shunt to see if it will help with the symptoms I've been living with and mentioned in my last post.  That will happen Wednesday.  If in about two weeks there is no change, then we will talk about scheduling a Cisternogram.  A Cisternogram is a test to check the flow of my CSF.  He will be able to see the dye they inject into my spine, flow into the cyst and if it gets hung up in the cyst, then my doctor will know that the walls are trapping fluid again, which causes the pressure.  Cisternograms - just another test that I do not handle well and truth-be-told, I dread that almost as much or more, than the surgery.

If this is the case, another surgery will be warranted.  On one hand I am so thankful nothing major was discovered - no new cysts developing or other issues with the sagging of the brain or my Chiari.  On the other hand, it is disappointing.  No one wants to think about having brain surgery.  I draw a little comfort from the fact that I have been through it before, so I know what to expect.  On the other - I've been through it before, so I know what to expect, therefore I am hoping and praying that surgery is not in my immediate future.