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


By Shanathalas

Just a quick note to all the kind folk who have been wishing me well. My angiogram did indeed go ahead this past Monday. There were some pretty serious complications, but to get to the good news first: the procedure did not give me a stroke (my biggest fear), and the angiogram seems to show that I do not have a Dural AV fistula.

The two major complications? The puncture in my Femoral artery did not want to stop bleeding when the catheter was removed after the operation. My blood pressure plummeted; I went into shock and was about thirty seconds away from a blood transfusion. Luckily, the doctor was able to stop the bleeding and my BP improved, negating a need for transfusion.

The second complication was an adverse reaction to the contrast dye they released in my blood vessels. The procedure involves the doctor running a small wire through the femoral artery in the leg, up the aorta and into the neck, and then he releases the contrast dye into different arteries and takes x-rays at the same time. As my body took considerable exception to the contrast dye, it felt like Drano going through the vessels. The burning pain was the most excruciating feeling I have ever endured. And they had to do it over and over in different veins. This essentially caused a migraine in every blood vessel in my head. Needless to say, I spent the next seven hours throwing up. Its four days later, my head is still ringing and my vision is still all fucked-up* . Ironically, the pulsatile tinnitus has gotten much worse, evidentially from the irritation to the blood vessels.

So the outcome? They found nothing they can treat. The radiologist, who was a really sweet guy from Melbourne, says there was some possibility of a dehiscent jugular bulb (say that 10 times fast!), but he would need to do another CT scan (without angio or dye) to confirm. Even if they confirm it, it doesn’t sound treatable and is unlikely to cause a bleed. My cow of a neurologist had never heard of it, or a few medical terms like “bedside manner”, so I don’t think I’ll be following up with her anymore. So the end result is: I’m not likely to have a major bleed in my brain anytime soon, but I might have to live with the sound of my “telltale heart” for the rest of my life.

But to end on a positive note; now starts a long-weekend, Jaime won us Bj√∂rk tickets and I have a shiny new camera which I have named “Ookpik”.

*There is no real concrete way to explain what your vision is like after a massive migraine. Those who suffer them know exactly what I mean. Those who don't, consider yourself lucky.