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Update on my brain situation.

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Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2005
, Female
So, I had the MRIs with and without contrast, and the MR angiograms with and without contrast last week, and had my followup with the neurologist today. And nothing I expected to hear happened.

I didn't have a second stroke at Easter. It was a TIA, or sometimes called "mini stroke". I had stroke symptoms, but they resolved quickly, and left no permanent brain damage. Which is better than having a second stroke, but still no answers as to why it or the actual stroke happened.

The silent cryptogenic stroke was actually in my occipital lobe, not my parietal lobe. This actually explains a lot, in terms of why I'm having visual issues. Mostly sensitivity to light, but also seeing tracers and halos with bright lights at night. And the occasional little hallucination of something moving in my peripheral vision.

But wait, there's more...

I apparently have a small cavernous hemangioma in my brain. Which is a type of benign tumor. My doctor assures me that it's very small, very slow growing, and will most likely never cause any major problems due to its location. It can however cause minor headaches, unsteadiness, and lightheadedness. At this time there's no way to know if it or the old stroke are causing those symptoms in me.

The doctor says not to worry about it. But brain + tumor still makes us hit the panic button and I'm not okay with this new information. For the foreseeable future, I will have to monitor it with MRIs every couple of years. Unless it causes major symptoms. Which it shouldn't, but you never know... So it's a monitor loosely kind of thing. I most likely was born with it or with the predisposition to it. And it might just go away. So it is what it is.

All my other tests are normal. No narrowing of the arteries or cholesterol deposits. No identifiable stroke risks showed up at all. Whatever caused the stroke and TIA is still unknown, and may never be known. But we're still going to investigate more obscure causes.

So, for now I take my Plavix and aspirin, keep on top of my blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipid profile, and make health and wellness a priority. Unless something changes, that's all I can do.

And because I have a sick sense of humor. The hemangioma is named Boomer the Tumor.

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