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Thursday, February 18, 2010

4 Days to MRI

In four more days I am going in for an MRI that will assess my progress following the excision of my papillary craniopharyngioma via transnasal transsphenoidal hypophysectomy.

(I love doing that. Brain tumors are basically bad, yet they are endlessly entertaining for wordsmiths and cruciverbalists. There I go again.)

The last few days have been okay, but there are a few funny issues I am dealing with on the side. They are:

1) Water retention and weight yo-yo-ing. My body feels like a giant bag of blood with my head attached on top. My extremities look either pure white or blood red. When I stand, my legs balloon up with fluid until they hurt. So last week I started wearing "hospital socks" again, which are designed to encourage circulation. In the next twelve hours I lost seven pounds.

2) Morning headaches, ringing ears, and a tingly scalp that gradually gets better during the day. I've said this before.

3) Slow lips and jaw. I have had this for just the past three days, and only today have I noticed the trend. This is difficult to explain, but my lips and cheeks feel "heavy" in that they don't quite react as fast as I want them to. I don't slur my speech, but there is a millisecond where I have to think, "Okay, make an 'O' sound right now, make a 'T'," etc. etc.. I don't want to overstate this because it is so slight, but when it happens for several days in row I make a note of it.

4) Weird memory issues. Again, this is very slight, but some recent things have given me trouble. For example, our dog Noah is fed at 4pm. That is the time for his dinner, and it always has been this way. Today, I wasn't so sure. I thought it was 3pm, and the time just "looked" right because of the way it appeared on the clock with the hour hand pointing directly right, ninety degrees apart from the minute hand. 4pm just seemed wrong, not . . . correct, somehow. Also, yesterday I couldn't remember the word for the beverage "tea." I described it to MJ as "the hot drink with the bag of leaves and you hold the string" but the simple word "tea" eluded me. Now, both those things are back with me, but unusual moments like that pop up.

Hopefully, the MRI will reveal great news, enabling me to continue my rehabilitation. It is very possible the slow lips are a result of my return to (somewhat) heavy oboe playing and the regimen of getting facial muscles back into shape. And the weird memory issues could be that I am tired from the hormone replacements, plain and simple. I AM NOT FRETTING AND I AM NOT WORRIED.

Regardless, I will have another high-tech peek inside my head on Monday and that will give me a hint of where I get to go next.

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