I've often said, our brain is an absolutely amazing organ! Even in the confines of our disease, it's still amazes us... Remember what I've said before - In PD we can lose almost 60-90% of our dopamine-producing cells (Substantia Nigra) before a Parkinson's patient even begins to notice symptoms... The brain can simply compensate for the loss, until it becomes overwhelmed and cannot do so anymore!! Now that's amazing!
If you remember back earlier in the year, I mentioned I had to take some time off from the blog to help with a medical emergency involving a family member. Well, I can now say that the family member was by dear and loving wife!! So today I've decided that she is the newest 'guest blogger' for Deep Brain Thoughts, and I wanted her to tell you a little bit about what happened. I think it will demonstrate just how amazing our brains can be!
I'll close out the post with a few comments at the end, but without further ado, may I present my wife, Karen!
The author of this blog and my husband, Tom, asked me to be a guest blogger for this installment of his blog. It has to do with a neurological condition that I experienced.
It was found that I had what is called a meningioma on the right side of my brain back in January of this year. Luckily 90% of these are benign and mine was, too. It is a rare tumor that is mostly found in women, but men can also have them. It is a slow-growing mass that can take years to form and grow. Some of the symptoms include: leaning to the opposite side when you are sitting; excessive sleeping; not caring about housework, being on time, or tasks that need to be done. I also had started snoring which I had never done before; and I began to have excessive weight gain. My sense of reasoning became impaired and I didn’t think I needed to see a doctor. In contrast, other symptoms that I didn’t have are headache and seizures [which are common with this type of tumor].
My husband and father teamed up to make a list of all of the symptoms I had and worked together to make sure I was safe and got me to my doctor’s office when the symptoms progressed. She ordered an MRI and then sent me to the hospital for immediate removal of it. We have very good neurosurgeons here in town and I got one of the best. The morning after surgery was very surprising to me. Most of the symptoms had already disappeared and I felt like a new person. A couple days after I returned home, Tom reviewed the list and all of the items had totally resolved. I have since lost almost 30 pounds and feel great!
The tumor was slightly larger than average so it took about 6 months to totally resolve. I praise God every day for bringing me safely through this affliction, for the positive outcome and for my husband and father who watched over me. My head is now almost totally healed, and the follow-up MRI of late May revealed a healthy brain.
The lesson I learned was that no matter what your body is doing or telling you – listen and take care of it as soon as possible.
So there you have it! How many couples can say that BOTH of them have had brain surgery?? Let's hope that is the end of that - no more brain surgeries for us (if we can help it)!!
One of the reasons we both thought it would be good for her to say something about this in the blog is that, because this is a rare type of tumor, people may not know how to recognize the symptoms. It has always been one of my goals of the blog to educate, so hopefully this post can help us if we see some of these same symptoms in ourselves or our loved ones. Of course, it could be many other things, but if one has these type of symptoms and it continues for more than an acceptable time frame, make sure you see a doctor! An MRI is all that is needed to 'see' this kind of brain mass!
Thanks again to my wife, Karen, for sharing on such a personal topic. In the future, I am going to try to put out more of these 'shorter' type of posts in the future so I can get them out on a timely basis, and save my 'longer' ones for other times!
Thanks again to my readers for keeping up with the blog (even when I am tardy)!