Update on my brain situation.

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Tracyarts

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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.
 

moore2me

Lions don't need to spank
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I too have been given a lot of MRIs. With and without dye in my brain. Each one lasts about two hours. Some I had before open MRI machines were available as well. They checked the progress of my multiple sclerosis (MS) which delaminates (strips) my brain nerves. Now, to the positive side - for at least a week or two after a MRI my brain was peaceful and I actually felt great. No headaches, fewer symptoms, it was like a mini-vacation on the beach (in my head). Turns out the MRIs gave me a little "reboot".
 

Tracyarts

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I hope they find answers.

They did find some answers. The stroke and TIAs were almost certainly caused by autoimmune disease related cerebral vasculitis. Since the autoimmune disease (Sjogren's) was diagnosed and I started treatment, I haven't had another stroke or TIA and only a few instances of cerebral vasculitis symptoms during flares.

The little brain thing turned out to be a calcified meningioma. It showed no growth since it was discovered, and all I need to do is get an MRI or CT scan every 2-3 years to make sure it doesn't start growing, bleeding, or cause any other problems. Even if it ever does, it's not cancer and is fixable.
 

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