Making a List and Checking It Twice
Then I check it again. And again. And again and again and again. No, I am not the Ginosaji, but I think I may have discovered why my memory has become a cess pool of forgetfulness over the past few years.
Earlier today, I went to the Imaging Healthcare site to confirm my EEG w/Sleep Deprivation test for Tuesday morning. My neurologist wanted me to have the test before my surgery date. While I was on my portal at Imaging Healthcare, I found the test results for my many procedures, dating as far back as October, 2013. I clicked the report generated from my MRI of last year. According to the physician who examined the imagery, there is nothing that would indicate why I have seizures and migraines; however, he made note that I have "Mild Diffuse Cortical Atrophy." What exactly is that?
It means that a portion of my brain cells have dropped dead. It seems to be relatively common in people who suffer from migraines, which I have all my life, except for that nice extended break in my late 20s. The primary symptom of this condition is forgetfulness, because it is a form of dementia. To experts' knowledge, the condition does not cause seizures, but it can cause you to stand at the fridge with the door open, wondering why they hell you'd come into the kitchen in the first place. The thing is, though, is that cortical atrophy is mainly associated with elderly people.
It's a natural part of growing old; however, it can also indicate dementia and the beginnings of Alzheimers Disease. I just approached an online doctor about it. Hopefully, my questions will be answered, despite my not subscribing to the 'Ask a Doctor' website. If I had the money, I might, but people who are running GoFundMe campaigns because their medical situation is guaranteeing they won't make ends meet in any conceivable way tend not to shove their debit card in a virtual doctor's face and shriek TAKE MY MONEY!, especially when said persons are going back to their neurologist for the EEG results sooner rather than later. It would be frivolous and unresponsible to pay to have my question answered, when I can barely pay attention for being so broke. Then again, maybe I can't pay attention because my brain is dying in increments. Whatever. At any rate, here's what I wrote to the "Emergency Medical Hologram" (Geek points to those who get that):
Since 2008, I've been having grand mal seizures. I was 41 at the time. They're well under control with the dosage of Keppra I'm on, and my neurologist keeps a close eye on me, doing annual tests and having me keep a diary of my migraine headaches. I'm due to go for another EEG with sleep deprivation next week. As I was setting up my appointment for a bone density scan ordered by my OB/GYN, I noticed that I could access the results of my previous tests, one of which was the MRI my neurologist ordered last year. Everything appeared normal except that I exhibited "Mild Diffuse Cortical Atrophy." Is this normal for a 47-year-old? From what I have read, it's an age-related issue that could be nothing, especially if you are a senior citizen, although it could mean you might have the beginnings of Alzheimers. For the past four years, I have struggled with memory issues. It often takes me three times longer to do things because I keep forgetting what it is I need to do next to complete whatever project I'm working on. My longterm memory seems relatively okay, but I'm constantly having to retrace my steps to make certain I'm doing or have done what I need to at any given moment. Should I be especially concerned about this, or am I just well on my way to joining AARP?
For now, I'm going to try to not let that report worry me, since I need to focus what rudimentary mental ability I still have to the task of preparing for this surgery and the subsequent week or so of recovery. This next week is going to be busy, what with my pre-op visit and EEG, both of which are on Tuesday, then a surgery consult with my pain doctor, since she's the one who has to oversee the pain management after the procedure. Those are the only two days I need to leave the house, which is great, because I need to begin sorting what clothing I need to take to Angie and Cierra's, gather up any connectivity cords and my extra surge protector, and prepare my room for Matt and the Mother Unit. While I'm gone, they're going to clean up Syd & Nancy's cage and paint, among other things. I also need to write out instructions on what Smidgen and Toby need and are used to getting, as well as draw a diagram of puppy pad placement. Since Toby has been on Prednisone, he's become a peeing machine. Most of the time, I get him out in time enough, but there will always be incidents, so I keep the carpet covered with the protection, but there's a certain way it needs to be done to reduce the amount of pads used while still being a flawless barrier between the carpet and Toby's cho-cha. Thanks to the help I have so far received, I've been able to get another box of puppy pads, to ensure the Mother Unit does not run out of them.
After I have the instructions written out to my satisfaction, I need to write out some semblance of a will. I want to make certain that I am not intubated or put on life support of any kind, should something go wrong during the surgery. Also, I'm keen on bequeathing certain things to certain people. Nothing I have is of any monetary worth, but there are some things that mean more than mere money. I also want to have some sort of arrangements made for Toby and Smidgen, should I die, and I'm going to request that my ashes be taken to Craggy Dome on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. I doubt my wishes will be adhered to, but I have to state it, just in case. Getting my document witnessed and notarised has already been made possible, thanks to your generosity.
Later on in the week, I plan on zipping up to Oceanside to spend the day with Angie and Cierra. San Diego transit isn't just for the city proper, but for the entire county, so I can take various buses and trolleys to make it up there to them. I'm looking forward to the journey and to seeing those crazy Oceanside chicks. What I'm planning is to go up and go shopping for some of the heavier items, that Angie and Cierra can store for when I arrive from the hospital. It will cut down on having to haul the stuff from the store to the house, then from the house to the car, then from the car to the apartment, and so on. Right now, I can carry bottled water and large bottles of juice, both of which I'll need post-op. After the surgery, lifting things like that won't be an option. Wiser to get anything I can do beforehand done, so things will be easier post-op, right? Again, thanks to your kindness, I'll be able to buy these supplies this next week, and have one less worry clinging like a funky monkey on my back.
So that's where we are for now. I want you all to know how humbled and amazed I am by your outpouring of fundages I know you can ill afford. Despite my misanthropy, I am always awestricken by how people can pull together when any sort of shit hits the fan. Religious, racial, and cultural differences are swiftly ignored and reviled by folks as each person does what s/he can with the seemingly impenetrable hope that things can and will get better. That's a testament to the goodness within us, despite our fatal flaws. If I had not known this before I launched my GoFundMe campaign, I would have been smacked by the Clue-by-Four of Kindness within just a few hours afterward. Thankfully, I didn't need the Clue-by-Four, because I have always had faith in my friends...my tribe.
Again, thank you from the bottom of my shriveled little heart.
I'll be back with more updates as they come.