My Progress!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Update on Diagnosis and a big ol' head trip Michelle Style!

I saw my neurosurgeon monday and the news was not so good. Sorry its taken me so long to get this posted, I started writing it Monday and have just been busy with other things. Namely trying to figure out how to pay the rest of our bills after both our pay being short because of all the work I missed when I had the weeklong migraine from hell and the other aftershocks.

In a nutshell, apparently I failed the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) flow study which is where they tried to determine how well the cerebrospinal fluid was flowing through the foramen magnum from my skull into the spinal column. The foramen magnum is the large opening at the base of the skull. Apparently, the lower portion of my skull is too small and the nodules at the base of the cerebellum (the cerebellar tonsils) protrude through the hole where normally they rest just at the rim of the hole. Because they extend through the hole, they make an already cramped space even more cramped and this is where they sometimes interfere with how well the CSF circulates from the skull into the spinal column.

From there, he went on to explain that this is what has caused my headaches for the last 20 years, why I tend to wake up with headaches (the position makes the circulation problem worse) and why I get the exertion headaches or headaches when I get overheated. All of the scenarios basically create more pressure in the skull which causes headaches if I’m lucky, vomiting, dizziness or worse when it gets really bad. For instance, the headache that started this last round of migraines was so bad and was impacting the pons which apparently controls body temperature, blood pressure, etc…which is why my body temperature was coming in at abnormally low temperatures and why my blood pressure was alarmingly high. This is the range of problems I can experience with this particular problem…anything from a minor headache to a less likely emergent situation where basic life functions (body temp regulation, blood pressure regulation, respiration, etc) are impacted.

The doctor went on to say that it was his recommendation that I have the surgery. I know I need the surgery, but part of me wants to hold off on it. I’m on such a roll when it comes to exercise; I appear to have broken the stall (this morning I am at 293) and I’ve continued to work in one to two miles a day walking in addition to taking a boot camp class and my water aerobics last week. My body is getting stronger by the day and I’m loving it. Just as I’ve enjoyed watching my shape come back (I actually have a waist now , I know I’m going to enjoy watching my muscles get more defined and my body firm up. I have this picture of me at about 21 laid out on this couch (it is on my blog somewhere I think, but heck, I’ll dig it up and post it below because I look awesome in it! As long as you ignore the fact that my hair needs its own zip code that is…lol) and I remember at the time I was working out like a fiend and while I know I was maybe 218-220 lbs at the time, I was so incredibly fit. I look at my calves and I can remember being so proud of how firm they were, how defined. I find myself looking forward to not just being thin, but being fit. And I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride when it comes to exercise and weight training; I don’t want to have this surgery and screw with that. I don’t want to impede the momentum I’ve got going now.

Speaking of momentum, I would also like to reassure you guys that I am finally emerging from my…whatever this last setback was. Sometimes it is almost like I need to have this sort of emotional/physical/spiritual breakdown so that I can sort things out, put the pieces back together and emerge just a little bit stronger than I was the last time. Those of you who have been with me for the long haul have probably noticed the pattern. In the middle of it, I often feel as if I’m losing it, like this is something different…that I won’t make it to the other side, but I always do. And when I get back on this side of things, I can see it for what it is…just my way of assimilating change, getting comfortable with whatever is new and different and finding my comfort level with it all.

The last 6 months has required me to assimilate quite a bit. Changes in eating, activity, my body. They’ve seen me tackle my first relationship since Erik. They’ve also seen me fail miserably in some areas and experience amazing success in others. Again, I’m reminded that with the pain of bad experiences also comes the joys of living life and experiencing all the wonderful parts too. Finding closeness and intimacy with someone special when you thought it was lost to you forever. Sharing yourself and being open and accepting of what someone else has to share with you. Discovering parts of yourself that still need work, but recognizing areas of strength you didn’t know you had. Finding your way back to the steel core of strength that was always there. Finding comfort in knowing it will always be there because it has been forged through the blood, sweat and tears of the sum of your life’s experiences. Note to self: you will always be a work in progress and that’s ok.

Yeah, I know I’m in my head way too often and sometimes it gets me into trouble. Sometimes though…it saves me.


crazyjojo said...

You did not "fail"! Way to go on the exercise and eating healthily Michelle! Keep taking care of yourself!

He Took MY Last Name said...

hmm your concerns for holding off on the surgery for the sake of being healthier are sound... but still... this impacts your whole body and most importantly your brain.

I'm not sure how long you should hold off on the surgery. Losing a little extra weight will certainly help with the burden your body is currently working under. But, and this is a big but, this surgery is extremely important and potentially life saving.

As in.. if you don't get it, you may have a heart attack and drop dead.

Before making any decisions on your own, call your doc (family and neuro and whoever else) and ask them how long you think you have if you 1) post pone this surgery 2) if you do not do this surgery and weigh your options that way.

This is extremely serious and not a decision to be taken lightly.

Anonymous said...

Are you fekkin nuts? :-)

Yes, the surgery will be a temporary bump in your fitness journey, but my God, to be rid of this horrific problem for the rest of your life? Seems like a pretty easy choice from here.

Of course, brain surgery is not an "easy choice," and you need to make the decision that's right for you. Good luck, I'm pulling for you!

-A sister WLS vet.

Anonymous said...

I would not do the surgery, it is too risky. I have been using the Roca Labs formula something, not exactly sure about the name, but just google it up. It expands in your stomach forcing you to eat less. Just a heads up :) Love your blogs, you are amazing! All the best to you.

Ronnie said...

Love reading your blogs. I'm happy that you are making progress and enjoying life to the fullest. Was also not so fond of clothes before but Roca Labs helped me reach my goal weight. Now from a size 16, I could now fit into a size 6. It filled up my stomach decreasing the amount of food I take in. Good luck!

summer27 said...

Been reading your blog for a while now. I know under going surgery is like our last option in order for us to lose weight but I think it's to risky and there are many complications that comes along with it. I also considered under going gastric bypass surgery but I don't like to be cut Been searching for alternatives and i bumped to this rocalabs supplement. The roca works just the same as undergoing the actual surgery so I did my research and made up my mind to try it at first it was difficult to take take formula but then again nothing is easy in lossing weight but the good thing about this product is you can eat what ever foods you like the roca fills your stomach making you feel full thus making you eat less. So now I'm happy just give it a shot try to do research first for alternatives before under going any surgery. =)

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if I could do it but each time I saw success stories in losing weight I became more determined to do it it's only that I don't know how to start.I have heard something about a formula that will give you a gastric bypass effect but no surgery by Roca Labs, is it true?

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