Happy New You

Well the upcoming new year has me thinking… a lot! What will happen if I do this? What will happen if I do that? Should I stop eating sugar? Should I start balancing my checkbook and keep better track of my spending?

A lot is going to change in this new year, and I am excited to announce that I have some pretty solid goals, which don’t include losing weight. That is just a given. My main goal is to find fifteen minutes of peace each day and soak my feet at least once a week in hot water with lavender oil…

I was hitting some brick walls; more and more just kept cropping up, but I think I have knocked a few of those suckers down today and might be getting some answers to my questions.

Over the holidays I had some time to think, and eat lots of cookies. I thought about these risks that, in an earlier post, I made clear I could bravely take on head-first.

I am always skeptical of the medical industry and sometimes think there is nothing wrong with me, but I am taking a chance and going to talk to someone at Mayo Clinic in Rochester before I meet with a holistic doctor. I had to call ten people and their mothers to get the information I needed, but I think I am finally getting somewhere.

I don’t know when my appointment will be, but I hope it happens soon. Plus then I will get to visit some friends in Rochester that I haven’t seen in a couple years. Bear with me, things will start moving along and soon enough (if I go ahead with radiation) you will see pictures of me with a frame screwed to my skull. I have to remember the human body is a miraculous machine and all will work out in the end.

Until then, happy new year and best wishes to you and yours.

Confused? Yes.

I e-mailed my doctor to specify exactly what the side effects are going to be, and among the usual suspects of dizziness, headaches and risk to stroke, tumors and cancer were thrown in there, as well as possible double vision and muscle weakness.

I know I said everything comes with a risk, but I am finding myself not convinced that radiation is what I should do. Logic tells me to get another opinion. I have held off my appointment for treatment, and plan on seeking assistance through Mayo Clinic in Rochester and hopefully a holistic doctor.

The whole reason they want to go into my brain is to prevent a bleed from happening (weakened vein bursts, causes stroke and possible brain damage). So, why can’t I find another method of preventing this from happening that doesn’t involve cracking my skull open or burning tissue in my brain? What if I ate foods that kept my blood pressure low (it’s pretty normal at this point)? And what if I continue not to smoke, eat well, and exercise?

I am hoping to meet with a holistic doctor to discuss these options. I know that there is no way to naturally take out the bad tangle of blood vessels without going in there with machines or knives, but there must be a way to keep it from rupturing.

That is where I stand now. The holidays are thankfully distracting me, but come the new year I need to start doing something. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Lesser of Two Evils?

After much deliberation and a couple more appointments with various doctors I think I have made a decision. I am trying not to think of it as a decision between the lesser of two evils, but instead something beautiful. I have a love/hate relationship with technology these days, but I am grateful for what doctors can do. I am looking at this as an amazing opportunity for treatment and the fact that I will have a long, healthy and wonderful life after this is all said and done.

Ultimately my choice has become this: do nothing, or do radiation. Surgery has become this inappropriate and overly complicated form of treatment for my AVM. Because it is deep in my brain, and small, surgery might cause more harm than good.

So, radiation it is. It is technically called Gamma Knife Radio-Surgery. My most recent doctor’s appointment was this past Monday where I was more thoroughly informed of the procedure, which includes literally screwing a box to my skull (kind of like those Christmas tree stands), an MRI and another Angiogram all before going in and getting zapped with a million rays of cobalt radiation. Sounds gruesome, but I have come to terms with the idea.

Risks are what they are. If you think about it, any time something goes into your body that isn’t supposed to be there naturally, risks come with it. When I had my appendectomy, I was at risk of infection to my organs. When I had my angiogram I was at risk for a multitude of other issues. Take it or leave it, everything comes with a risk. Even walking down the damn street…Especially in my neighborhood with that old woman who drives the Mercedes.

That being said, this will all work out in the end. I can’t wait to not have crippling headaches, dizzy spells, and a small nagging fear that my vein might rupture at any random time. To deal with all of that for the rest of my life would be especially exhausting.
Now the fun begins! I hope to get this taken care of in January, and will have many pictures to share of the doctor drilling into my skull (Yay!) I wish everyone a happy holiday season full of good food, good family and peace above all else.