February 13th, 2003


I'm not dead yet

My appointment with the brain doctor, Doctor Steege, was today. I picked up my films from Swedish Med in Ballard, and then walked across the street to his clinic. He put them up on the light box and took a look, read the impressions notes from the radiologists, and then ran me through an array of balance, coordination, and reflex tests. And then we talked through a diagnosis.

These little vein hemorrhages "just happen" sometimes, but usually in much older people. Over a couple of months typically what happens is the vessel heals over and then the "bruise" fades away. So he wants another MRI in a couple of months to see how it changes, and until then I can take acetaminophen, but certainly not aspirin or ibuprofen.

It's in a part of my brain that, if it was affecting local function, would be messing up action and intention on my right side, and would be showing up in my typing, piano playing, and marksmanship. But none of that is happening, which is certainly fine with me. And he didn't want to go in looking, because if he did, it almost certainly would mess that up.

As to what caused it, and why it hurts, and why the inside of head is slightly inflamed on the left side, he has no idea, and no advice.

In the entryway inside the clinic there was hanging a pair of signed publicity photos of DeForest Kelly and of Gates McFadden. Sigh. I wish our real medical diagnostic and healing technology was that good.

I suppose that the MRI was primarily useful for negative diagnosis, for what it showed wasn't there. No tumor, no aneurysm, no stroke, no swelling, no hydrocephalus, and no significant sinusitis or blockages.
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