Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Cavernous Malformation - How I found out

It was Sunday, April 24. I had just finished studying for finals for the night, and I decided to watch a couple of episodes of "The Office" with my wife before going to bed. Everything was normal, except that I started unintentionally stuttering, which is abnormal for me. Attributing this to the upcoming finals, I ignored it.

The next day, my stuttering got much worse. In fact, I was forgetting many of my words. My mind and body felt exactly the same, except that my mouth wouldn't say what I wanted it to. My wife was the first to be worried and told me that I should maybe talk to a doctor. But, I never go to doctors.

 The following day is when things got much worse. I was unable to string together an entire intelligible sentence. Sending texts and composing emails was very difficult. I had to give a final presentation to my professor to show off my Senior Project. I was embarrassed by inability to talk, and I tried my best to mask it. We were going to be graded on presentation, confidence, etc... I wasn't able to present very well. Instead of critiquing me, my professor told me that I didn't seem okay, and that I should go get checked out at the doctor. He told me to not ignore it.
I had plenty of tasks to do that day, and I thought that I'd maybe call a doctor's office if I had time later in the day.

I drove to work to get in a few hours. One of my co-workers asked me a simple question about the status of a specific project. I struggled so hard to respond that I wanted to break down. He told me that I probably wasn't stressed, and that I should go get help immediately. He helped me get checked into InstaCare where my wife met me.

I felt kinda foolish. I thought that they were going to tell me to relax, drink hot chocolate, and have less stress in the next couple of days. The doctor talked to me for 3 minutes, and told me that I'd my brain scanned, and that I'd need to go to the ER at the hospital.

I was a little annoyed by the hassle of going to the ER. I really didn't want to spend the money on fancy CAT scans and MRIs, just to be told that I was okay and that I needed to stress less. The doctors were very nice, and I met with a lot of them, most of them perplexed that I seemed to be reasonably healthy and normal. I realized that I could comprehend things perfectly, but I couldn't speak out loud. Like I couldn't read words, dates, or numbers.

I finally got my brain scanned. I was shocked by the results. My brain had internal bleeding, and I was most likely going to need brain surgery. I just thought of the clip of Anchorman, "Well that escalated quickly!"

Earlier that day, my biggest worries were pushing myself to run 2 miles, study for finals, coordinate with my band to shoot music videos for our press-kit, just accepted my first post-graduation job, and signing a contract for my new apartment. Now that all of that would have to be placed on hold until I figure out exactly what was going on with me, and what impact that this would have on my life.

I'll have to write this in chunks at a time. The part of my brain that was affected was the expressive side. The part of my brain that had surgery is tingling right now.

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