"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

More time in hospital

By Shanathalas

UPDATE: Well, I hadn't expected this (though I really should have): I got bumped. Symptom of the over-stretched medical system in British Columbia. I arrived at 7:30, got all dressed up in sexy hospital gown and booties, and lay on a stretcher for four hours. They were just about to start my IV line and then I was told that due to a broken machine and several emergency patients they hadn't expected, they couldn't do my angio today. I have to come back in two weeks. Considering how stressed out I was about it, I really wish it had just been over. Now I get to string the anticipation out even longer.


Tomorrow I am going in for a cerebral angiogram to find out what is causing the turbulence in the blood vessels of my head, making me hear my own pulse 24/7. All jokes about medical procedures aside; I’m really terrified. Not only do I have to be awake for the procedure, there is a small but real possibility of complications leading to bleeding, strokes and death. Currently, the most likely culprit for the sound is a dural arteriovenous fistula. So after two years of this horrendous sound, tomorrow we will find out whether its:

a) Nothing. This is less of possibility now that the doctors can here the bruit in my head. Half of me wants it to be nothing, as brain malformations are really scary. But then again the thought of hearing my own pulse for the rest of my life sounds miserable. But if it is just some odd trick of my anatomy, then I guess I will work with my osteopath to see if we can minimize the sound.

b) Something treatable. This most likely includes a dural AV fistula. Generally they can be fixed either with angioplasty or brain surgery. The other half of me wants this, because even though it’s kind of scary, a solution is possible.

c) Something not treatable. I guess the leading candidates are tumours, cancer or dead cells. This is also less likely, as I have already had two MRI/MRAs and customarily big nasties like this tend to show up on these type scans. None of me wants this.

Anyway, saving any bad complications I should come out of this with an eight-hour rest in the hospital, some bruising, a half-brazilian*, an answer to my problem and some hope that it can be resolved. Wish me luck!

*To get to the carotid artery, they feed the catheter into the femoral artery, through the heart and into the neck. The femoral is accessed where the thigh and groin come together. Fun, eh?


11 comments so far.

  1. Shoshe 7:44 AM
    Good luck Shannon! We're all hoping for you over here.
  2. Kass 8:41 AM
    I'll be thinking about you and sending you warm thoughts! Good luck!
  3. chelle 12:05 PM
    good luck babe. fingers crossed for a perfect op and result.
  4. Beppie 1:01 AM
    Yeouch. My mum had to have an angiogram at Christmas 2005 (Christmas day in fact)-- did not sound fun. I'll be thinking of you.
  5. evelyn 3:20 AM
    good luck Shannon, I hope everything goes well.
  6. aoife 6:02 AM
    Hey Shannon- will be thinking of you, best of luck. Keep in touch.

  7. aoife 6:03 AM
    Hey shannon - Sorry to hear that you have to go throught all this. Will be thinking of you- best of luck

    Take care

  8. Alex 12:44 PM
    Good luck Shannon! I'm sure it will all go fine and you'll get a good result.
  9. Anna 12:51 PM
    Good luck, I hope you get a good result, we´ll bring you grapes and balloons from NY to make you feel better.
  10. Shanathalas 12:53 PM
    Thanks for all the good wishes everyone. I feel guilty eliciting all this sympathy and then not having the surgery. I will take all the kind words with me when I go in again on the 14th
  11. becstarr 9:19 PM
    Hey Shan,

    Looks like I'm late in on this-- but the 14th of May, is that the next one?

    Here's hoping for better scheduling and more information.


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