Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is It Good If Your Brain MRI Shows "Nothing"??

For those of you who read my blog, follow me on Facebook or happen to find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being backed against the wall when I'm rambling non-stop, you may know that since our vacation in July of this year, Chuck has had some dizziness issues. The first episode was a full-blown vertigo attack on St. George Island, FL which resulted in him being transported by ambulance to the tiniest hospital in North America in Apalachicola and put out of his misery. With Phenergan - they didn't shoot him, although I doubt he would have minded. (The photo above was taken an hour or two before his collapse. Didn't see it coming.) The doctors chalked it up to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, which, loosely translated, means "We have no fucking clue why you're dizzy but it makes us sound smart." He went to a specialist back in Little Rock, who said, "You'll be fine. Probably just need to go on some long walks and look up and around while you're walking." Clearly it was a doctor who isn't aware of my husband's clumsy gene & wasn't here when Chuck attempted to walk down the two steps to our tiny den BEFORE he was stricken with this condition to show our neighbor a family photo. He fell FLAT on his ass right in front of her, for NO apparent reason. The man can't walk looking straight ahead. Let alone outside near moving cars & skateboarding youngsters. Uh, no. New solution, please.

It went away for a while, for no obvious reason. And then near Halloween, he came down with strep and a sinus infection and it reared it's ugly head. Not nearly as bad, mind you. No hospital visits, vomiting or the inability to even lift his head. Just some dizziness. Pretty severe, but not vertigo. Back to the specialist who decides a battery of tests are now in order. He passed 'em with flying colors. Basically, "If you didn't have a problem with these tests, you are normal. Go on more long walks. No need for brain scan. Pffft! Pay me your co-pay so I can head to the Caymans and you go live your life." And this is where I lost it. I insisted he go back to his family doctor and demand a scan of his head/brain. I mean SOMETHING has to be causing him to be dizzy, right? Other than my raving beauty, long legs & ability to cook good food. This doesn't just happen for no reason. Right?

So, the MRI is scheduled. Of course not for a week or so, which gives me time to Google (I know! I know! SHUT UP!) things like:
*terminal illnesses with dizziness as symptom
*symptoms of brain tumors
*glioma, adenoma, medulloblastoma
*symptoms of deadly brain diseases
*diseases that sneak up & strike you dead
*what could possibly be causing dizziness in a hot, middle-aged consultant?
*images of Tom Brady

Ok, that last one was an attempt to distract myself from my fears that were sort of consuming me.

Every time I looked at Chuck, I thought:
*A year.... at most we have a year...or two if we're lucky.
*How will I raise the kids alone?
*I can't drive to two practices in one night.
*He's going to suffer & I'd rather it be me & I can't handle this.
*Hell, I can't handle Sonic forgetting my pickles...

Hey, guys, let's play "You name a doomsday scenario - I'll paint you a picture!" And Chuck, always calm & RATIONAL, would just say, "I have good life insurance, honey." WTF? Who cares about that? I mean it's smart & nice to have but I want YOU! What fun is a pool without you in it?

Cut to the MRI. I go with him for no other reason than to be with him every step of this long, painful, journey that I'm convinced is going to start here & end with a casket spray of lilies & some band playing a bluegrass tune about heaven or angels or something equally depressing. Chuck, however, never gets upset about much. Or I should say, he's the type of guy who will completely lose his SHIT over a light being left on in an empty room or the dishes not being loaded PROPERLY but not, let's say, the possibility of imminent death. That's just him. So we're sitting there filling out the paper work & he's joking about everything being asked of him on the medical history.

HIM: Difficulty urinating?
ME: No. It takes 2 additional hours to get to Florida just adding in your bathroom stops. And costs us an additional $125 in snack food for me & the kids from the convenience stores we stop at while waiting for you. Often? Yes. Difficulty? I'd say no, but why are you asking me?
HIM: Gastrointestinal issues?
ME: 3 big tacos, cheese dip and a couple of Coronas is NOT what they're referring to. You're fine there too.
HIM: Blood pressure?
ME: Usually normal when you're not around me. Then it tends to rise.
HIM: Am I allergic to latex? I have no clue. How would I know?
ME: Well, I realize it's been a while, but have you ever broken out after wearing a condom?
HIM: Well, a few times.
HIM: Well, yeah, you know that.
ME: I did NOT know that. Never saw it. When???
HIM: You did too. You were scared you were pregnant!
ME: Broken out in a RASH silly, not had the condom BREAK. What would that prove?
HIM: Oh, NO! I haven't! No rashes! Ever!
ME: Then you're probably not allergic to latex.

And that is where the tension I had been feeling temporarily left my body and he again used his uncanny gift to make me die laughing about 5 minutes before the tech called him back. In fact we couldn't stop laughing. And this is why I love us.

And guess what? The MRI showed nothing but a completely normal brain. No aneurysms, clots, cysts, tumors or anything that could be causing his problems. Which is great. I went to bed very happy and content that night. Except it's still frustrating to NOT know why it's happening. But it's a huge comfort to know that as far as his brain goes, he's just fine. Lately it's only been happening here at home so I'm about to decide it's just the raving beauty & long legs ;) And I don't even charge a co-pay.

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