Oh hi.

October 17, 2010

Hello there. Its been so long. Why don’t we keep in touch?

 

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I think this will probably be the last post I make. I don’t have anything interesting to talk about anymore and the site never garnered much of a following anyway.

So to leave things I’ll give you one more update.

I’m doing better in most regards, I’m physically able to do almost everything i was before my issues started. In fact I’m working out six days a week. I now weigh around 225lbs. I still get headaches and things of that nature though they are infrequent.

I’m taking cabergoline once a week, testosterone injections every other week, and just started a blood thinner whose name i can’t remember that I take everyday.

One reason I won’t be writing anymore is that I feel not equal to it since my last surgery. Since then I feel as if I have a diminished mental capacity. I don’t feel stupid, i’m not calling myself a blathering idiot. But things that were once easy and came quickly, now require a lot of effort. I think this is a natural side effect of your brain almost sploding’ from the inside and theres nothing to do about it.

Anyway, thanks to those of you who read this blog while it lasted.

Stunted Growth

August 26, 2010

Well the results from my hell-test are in. I am indeed growth-horome deficient. You wouldn’t guess it looking at me, I am 6’4″. But it only causes growth issues if it starts when your a child. To quote our ever present scholar wikipedia:

Adults with GHD present with non-specific problems including truncal obesity with a relative decrease in muscle mass and, in many instances, decreased energy and quality of life.

Hmm.

I got my second testosterone shot on tuesday, I even was able to man up and do it myself. So from now on I’ll be doing my injections at home. I figure I’ll get used to it pretty quickly if i start having to do the daily injections.

Manly Bits

August 20, 2010

So the hormone replacement therapy is working. Without going into the awkward details let it suffice to say that I’m going through a second; and highly accelerated puberty. While something like 85% of my readership is female (30% of it being my mom) and therefore wont be able to identify with this, I can honestly say that the worst thing about all this is that I forgot how distracting functioning male genitalia is. Not in the “oh look a new toy I wanna play with it” sense, but in more of a “I notice girly bits again” sense. It’s hard to get things done.

Should be getting the results of the growth hormone testing today, lets hope for the best. I’m definitely all for something that makes me feel like I can fly and shoot rainbow lasers out my eyes, but I’d rather not have to worry about finding the $500-$750 a month.

Hormone Therapy

Speaking of money, I had my re-evaluation call with the firm that’s representing me in my disability application. It felt somewhat awkward as they went down the list of symptoms on my previous application and most of the time I responded “That only happens every once and awhile and it isn’t an issue.” Which is a good thing I suppose. My case worker said that she thought I probably would get approved, but that it wouldn’t be until the third or fourth appeal.

Good times

August 19, 2010



The Horror

August 16, 2010

Today I went down to the Unemployment office and finished all of my paperwork and interviews. NOthing difficult. They gave me a series of tests consisting of different levels. On reading I made it to and passed level seven, which is the last. And I made it to level five on the math portion.

I also got ahold of Vocational Rehabilitation, but unfortunately while they would like to help me, the earliest orientation they have open is in October. Bah.

I was called today by the Bend Memorial Clinic, it seems that I will have my growth hormone testing done tomorrow morning. I am not looking forward to this, as it involves three solid hours of blood draws. Nothing to be done about it though. Bah again.

Now its story time.

I recently remembered an incident that occurred during my last brain surgery. Dr.Hadden screwed with me. In a kind of jerky way no less.

I recall hanging out in the pre-surgery prep room with my family, and the anesthesiologist came in and started in IV. The drugs started to take effect as they wheeled me to the back, but rather than do the “Count backwards from ten” bit, Dr.Hadden looked at me and said “Chris, we need you to get in this other bed. Go on, get up.”

Being in my drug addled state I tried to sit up and stand. I think I made it about 3 inches off the mattress before I passed out. All I can really recall was a giant shit-eating grin on Hadden’s face.

Thanks Doc.

Meet and greet

August 12, 2010

Alright everyone, today I’d like to introduce you to someone who is very close to me. He has been with me for quite some time now and is really a part of me. He’s my little buddy, he goes wherever I go and he does whatever I do.

I’d like you to meet Phil. My tumor.

Don’t see him? Thats OK neither do I. He’s kinda shy being only 2mm big and all. But my doctor assures me he’s there. You could say he’s really gotten inside me.

Lame tumor puns aside I’m doing well. As I said before the confirmation wasn’t a big surprise so I’ve taken the news quite well.I don’t feel any different right now after the testosterone shots (and if I did it would be psychosomatic) but they should start perking me up in a few weeks. I have no doubt that soon I will reach a level of manliness that I will be able to spontaneously grow body hair by flexing.

This

Well this post isn’t going to go exactly as I wanted. What I wanted to do was link the scene from Kindergarten Cop where Arnie… you know what? Screw it.

Now promptly disregard the theme of that message. I do have a tumor. It is a very small and 99% likely to be benign, but a tumor none-the-less. The tumor is about 2mm and is on my pituitary gland, it is excreting prolactin which is what screwing up my testosterone. It is not what caused my hydrocephalus.

Today I got manly-juice injected into my butt.

In other words I am now getting bi-weekly testosterone injections and am taking Cabergoline to reduce the levels of prolactin in my system. I may eventually stop getting the testosterone if my system figures out that its supposed to be making it on its own. But I should expect to take the pills for a long period of time.

I am also going to be tested to see if I need to have growth hormone injections as well. Normally we would wait a few months to see how I feel with the testosterone injections, but seeing as I may be losing my health insurance and the test is around $1000 I’ve decided to get it out-of-the-way.

If I do require the growth hormone it will result in me taking a daily injection. I’m hoping I don’t need this, as it is very very expensive. The injections cost anywhere from $500-$750 dollars a month. That and I hate needles. A lot.

All in all, none of this is really a surprise. And it could have been a lot worse.

Deep Breaths

August 10, 2010

Today I find out if I have a brain tumor. I’m allot more calm then I anticipated, but I still feel stressed. After thinking about all of my symptoms and some ill-advised googling I honestly feel that I probably do have a tumor. It would explain SO much, including my Hydrocephalus, my low testosterone, my high prolactin and a handful of other things.

I had my MRI yesterday, that was a minor nightmare in and of itself. I went to Bend Memorial Clinic rather than CORA, this made me a little sad as the scan-tech at CORA is a really cool guy, he always sings while your in the tube. But my issues stemmed not from the unfamiliar environment or the fact that this MRI took more than an hour but from the fact that apparently I’m severely allergic to MRI contrast dye.

I’ve had many CT/MRI scans before but none with contrast. The first twenty minutes or so was fine (other than the IV in my arm which caused slight panic as I hate needles), but towards the halfway mark the tech radioed in and let me know that the dye was now being injected. Within ninety seconds my entire left side became extremely burny and itchy and I became extremely sick to my stomach.

I frantically squeezed the bulb and said “Ithinkimgonnathrowup!” The tech didn’t move quick enough. I projectile spewed all over myself, in a tube, with a face-guard on. Not such a pretty sight. I had to change into hospital issue scrubs as i was drenched in puke. But we got the imaging done. So that’s a plus.

Moral of the story? Scrubs are hella comfy.

Sleepy

August 9, 2010

Didn’t get any sleep last night, just tossed turned. MRI is today, one more can’t hurt right? From what I understand MRI’s are quite safe, the only real side effect to speak of is the radiation dose, which is equivalent to the amount of radiation you’d get over the course of a year. Still… this will be dose number ten today? I hope it doesn’t give me cancer… oh wait.

Got my first un-employment check in the mail. As much as I’d like to go off on on some big tirade about how this crushes the last of my dignity, I really don’t care. Here in Bend Oregon we have the highest unemployment rate in the state, sitting somewhere around 17%. Besides, I feel like I’ve been hemorrhaging money lately, so many bills to pay and little things here and there to pick up. A bit of cash will help.

Thanks Uncle Sam! Thanks tax-payers!

A Cautionary Tale

August 5, 2010

I am a child of the information age. I’ve grown up knowing that if I have a question, my dear friend the internet is there to give me answers (and sometimes other things). Where some children on the playground argued about what superheros could win in a fight, my friends and I argued about what search engine rocked the hardest.

Webcrawler represent!

Things haven’t changed much. I’m still the kind of guy where if there is a fact that comes into question during an argument, BAM out comes the cell phone to ask Saint Google. So as per my modus operandi when my doctor said “You may have a pituitary tumor.” I wanted to inform myself on the subject as much as possible.

This was a mistake.

While learning online is awesome for some things, learning about lethal diseases you potentialy have is not. The sheer amount of terrible things that can result of having a pituitary tumor sent me into a  out of control fear-spiral that ended with me rolling up into a little ball on the couch and incessantly blubbering.

While I’ve since regained my composure, it is far too easy to see the worst possible outcome. This is why I think things like WebMD are evil. It can turn a cough and bellyache into something terrible like Diverticulitis. I’m not saying that some light googleing on your condition is ill-advised, just that you should remember to take everything with a grain of salt.

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