Good Reads

Friday, April 19, 2013

Managing Your Brain Cyst

So you have a brain cyst. You've been diagnosed by a doctor that you, in fact, have a cyst growing on your brain. You know that you have been dealing with some strange symptoms and possibly pain. You want to get things under control and try to get back to a normal life. Well, you may not be able to get back to the life you once knew, but you can do things to help some of your symptoms.

First and foremost, make sure you:
  • Get plenty of rest -- You may find that you are not sleeping as well as you used to before the cyst got to the point of causing symptoms. But that shouldn't stop you from trying to keep getting a good night's sleep.  If you are having trouble sleeping, figure out which symptoms are the most pronounced at night, and be creative with things you can do to help you sleep - and I mean, sleep either through the night, sleep more comfortably, whatever it is that you're having problems with. Take a nap during the day to help give you what you missed at night. The more you can rest, the better you will not only be able to deal with the physical symptoms you get, but your emotional status will be more intact and able to handle dealing with your condition. If you can, try to avoid taking too many sleep aids or any at all. Many sleep aids contain ingredients that may aggravate your neurological system, your symptoms, and your state of mind. Try all-natural sleep enhancers; such as, warm milk, warm decaffeinated tea such as Chamomile, or a warm bath or shower to relax you, just before bed.
  • Eat properly -- Diet plays a big role in your situation. When you have a brain cyst, you, more than likely will suffer neurological symptoms; maybe even neurological damage. There are lots of foods and products that are hard on the neurological system. To keep your neurological system intact as much as possible, and prevent it from going into a meltdown or aggravating it more, watch what you eat. Some foods you should reduce or steer clear of altogether are: Caffeine, too much sugar, too much red meat, diet products that contain Aspartame, too much fat, too much salt, and spicey foods may aggravate your condition. Whatever you find outside this list that aggravates your condition or gives you flare-ups, you need to stay away from.
  • Exercise --  You may not always feel like exercising, but it is important to get some exercise on a regular basis, if not, a daily basis. Even if you just take a casual walk around your neighborhood, or do light, floor exercises, try to do something every day. At the least, multiple times each week. This will help, not only with your physical stamina, but your mental stamina as well. It can help keep you in a positive frame of mind, especially because exercise causes the release of endorphins in your brain, which is a natural "feel good" hormone. Living with a neurological problem can bring you down, so be sure to do things that help boost your frame of mind.
  • Try to keep things normal - Ok, so now you are running to doctors and having bad days. You may feel like, on some days, just crawling into bed or curling up on the couch under a blanket and retreating into a funk - all day. But this can bring you down. Eventually your body will start to notice things aren't normal, and it will start reacting, accordingly. You may not always be able to do all the things and activities you used to do, or want to do, and that is okay - and it's expected. But what you can do, try to keep doing it. You may have to adjust your schedule to fit your new condition, or create a whole new schedule. And that is ok. So long as you try to keep your life as active and as normal as you possibly can to prevent too much down time. Too much down time only allows depression to sink in, and allows your body to get used to being too complacent.
  • Rest - Of course you do need extra rest! Yes, you want to try to continue to live a normal life, and keep your routine as normal as much as possible. need rest, and extra rest, at that! If you find yourself feeling bad or getting too weary, rest. If you are tired and don't have the strength to go on in the day, take a nap. Even a short nap can revitalize you enough to get through the day.
  • Seek professional counseling - If you find that your diagnosis, and how you feel physically, is just too much to handle, don't hesitate to seek professional counseling. There are counselors who specialize in helping people deal with medical conditions and changes in their life due to them. If you feel yourself getting depressed over your brain condition and/or brain cyst, talk to someone. Not only can the changes in your life get you down, but brain cysts can also put pressure on areas of the brain that deal with your "coping mechanisms," making it more difficult for you to deal with your situation. You may need a little extra help in dealing with your condition so you can cope.
It is very important that you take care of yourself when you have a brain cyst, a Chiari Malformation, or any brain issue. Without our brains, our entire bodies can fail. Be good to yourself. That is the important, and key issue. Always be aware of what your body is doing and trying to tell you. Get in touch with yourself and your body, and put your brain first!


  1. Maria,
    You have gone where no one should have to. Your perseverance, courage, attitude are to be commended as this is what many people lack. The most difficult thing to do can be to learn and go forward, "Never Give Up...Never Surrender", how many times I have to tell this to myself.

    Please feel free to contact me if you can or wish to

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