Category Archives: ouch

Wanted: Brain Plumber

Still broken.

I tell people my brain is leaking, but what I really should be saying is the tear in my dura has not healed so I have been leaking spinal fluid for three hundred and sixty-four days.

But saying “My brain is leaking” is more fun to say.

Not any more fun to live, but I take what I can get.

What I do have, in addition to a migraine, an aversion to bright lights, a very faulty memory, and random bouts of slurred speech and minor bouts of manic like behavior, is a collection of class four drugs, and an impressive fedora collection.

Because fedoras are this light adverse gal’s best friends.


My brain in leaking.

Brain Diagram

Did I forget to mention?

I’m kangaroo virus free (hurrah!).  I still have the migraine (boo!) which is apparently caused by leaking spinal fluid (what word is more negative than “boo”?).

So, technically, my brain isn’t leaking.  Just the stuff holding my brain in position is leaking. Which leads to ouch.

I’ve been told it won’t last longer than six months (As long as six months?  Once again, word more negative than “boo”?  Aside from breaking down into hysterical tears…)  And it is getting better… just slowly.  Crazy slow.  (As in, it is making me crazy…)

To keep this from just being a brief whine, I’m including a vocabulary word:  Dura.

Dura is a thin membrane that surround the brain and spinal cord.  It is responsible for keeping the cerebrospinal fluid in place.  (It apparently looks like, and heals about as quickly as Saran Wrap)

(Why, yes, I do have a small hole in my dura… how clever of you to figure that out…)

I’m being tested for a kangaroo virus… And how was your day?

Insert joke about kangaroo’s carrying the virus in their pouches here.

So I’m on week six of a migraine.  Which is less fun than it sounds.  Various doctors ask me what has helped in the past, and I say “I’ve never had a migraine before.”  Because I haven’t

Today I saw a new doctor, who I liked very much.  MRI(s) ordered, blood drawn.

And, yes, officially one of the things I’m being tested for is the Q virus, which is in fact carried by kangaroos.  Also by cattle, goats, dogs and cat.   Though mostly in New Zealand.  Which is not where I am.  So the odds are low.

But still – officially being tested for a kangaroo virus.  So that’s sort of cool…

Just Call Me “Relatively Healthy But Sadly Consistently Broken Gal” (title does not come with super powers or a cape)

I can’t believe women had to lead productive lives while wearing one of these.
(and…I can’t believe I’m envious how much better looking these are than modern back braces…)

Remember that whole “stuck in a wheel chair for six months and really should have been longer, but I started having horrible back pain, because we apparently weren’t evolved to sit on our ass for half a year” thing?

Well, history repeats itself.  Not the wheelchair, thank goodness.  But the back giving me trouble – if you define trouble as feeling like I’ve been kicked or beaten (or both) in the lower back and breathing hurts.

Physical Therapy is my continuing part-time job (but a really sucky one, where I pay instead of getting paid, and twice a week have horribly painful things done to me for which I say thank you to Mr. M when he is done making me cry).  And I have pills that help a bit, but interfere with my ability to do important things like drive, or have a cocktail.

So my newest accessory is a back brace.  And my new hobby is trying to dress so no one knows I have a back brace on.  Because after almost two years of casts and wheelchairs and crutches and canes, this is the lamest ugliest thing I’ve been stuck with yet.

Big, white, velcro and polyester, lumpy, and weirdly noisy. So not what is in style for 2013.

ARGH!!!  It suddenly occurred to me that I wasn’t really sure what is in style for 2013, and I thought I should check to make sure corsets weren’t suddenly on the ‘hot’ list.  Do Not do this!  Because you might find photos of women – contemporary women! – who clearly have overdone it on the corset lifestyle and have freakishly tiny wasps waists.  I’m not sure how they haven’t’ snapped in two.  Or ruptured internal organs.  (Yes, a graph of how corsets move internal organs around popped up too.)

I think I need to wash my eyeballs.  Mostly because that is as close as I can get to scrubbing the images out of my brain….


The One Where I Talk About A Day In 2011… Because I’m Current Like That

Well, it hasn’t been quite this long…

Remember that time I was reading in bed and suddenly I had a sharp sever pain in my jaw and my back?  And how when I tried to go to sleep an hour later my heart was beating so hard I couldn’t sleep?  And how after several hours of my heart racing so fast it felt like my body was shaking the bed?  And how I finally got the blood pressure cuff out my blood pressure was really high, and my pulse rate was stupid high, and how after hours of this I finally called the nurse advice line to find out if A) I could wait till the local urgent care clinic opened at 8am, or if B) I should drive two towns over and go to the one that opened at 7am, and the nurse was all option C) hang up and call 911 to go to the hospital?

Because, hello?  Heart attack?

And how I woke up my husband and he drove me in (because, hello?  An ambulance seemed sort of overkill at 5:30am when there really isn’t traffic.  And yes, totally stupid, and no, not a good plan, but here I am writing about it, so not my worst decision ever, but don’t try this at home…)

And how if you show up in a wheelchair talking about jaw pain and back pain and elevated pulse and blood pressure you end up rushed in to a room in front of everyone, because it turns out that people stuck in wheelchairs sometimes get blood clots and that is so not a good thing, and it’s all so dramatic and full of blood tests and EKGs and drugs?

And remember how it turned out that I did not have a blood clot, or a heart attack, or anything wrong with me other than a major panic attack, because it turns out months in a wheelchair is super depressing and eventually I hit a breaking point, and this was it?

And how I got anti-anxiety drugs and things have been better since then, but updating this blog seemed less than fun because life kinda sucked even with the drugs?

Good times.

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