Did You Really Think That Was It?

…Moving on, recall from my last entry about the second part of my first entry, which had six entries on the first of July, being the seventh month of the year 2009…uhh…backfire – in my cute attempt to confuse I confused myself…I ran into a doorway at the Target and went back to a hospital (not because of the doorway).

During my stay at the rehab hospital, I’d make frequent trips to Dallas to see my neurosurgeon, Dr. Jonathan White, when I say his name or picture him in my head I hear the angels singing; this man is a god as far as I’m concerned. Here are the particulars –

The Doctor Visit
On June 30th, Jessica, My parents and I met with Dr. White, a neurosurgeon, at UT Southwestern. I also got an MRI. The doctor (and the scans) suggested I wait a while longer as there is still too much blood in my head. BUT, surgery is possible given the current location. I will go back in two months and do the same thing and hopefully the blood will have absorbed (enough to operate anyway). The surgery itself is risky and will likely send me back to rehab (if not worse). The tradeoff is a lifetime without fear of this recurring with some permanent damage or the possibility of recurrence and the fear that that possibility brings. I am opting for the former (surgery).

Dr. White looked at the pictures born out of the loud noises shot through my skull and reckoned we wait until the bleed site becomes not so bloody. I was a bit upset about this, I was ready to have that thing out of my noodle. If I may borrow the tone from the JG Wentworth (this blog sponsored by lump sums for structured settlement payments) commercials – IT’S MY CAVERNOMA AND I WANT IT OUT! I do worry about it growing back, but I’m glad I don’t have to worry that it’s gonna erupt again. I sometimes think how it might be if I hadn’t had the surgery, then I think about not walking and paralysis and that thought quickly goes away. For those of you contemplating surgery, many will say “it’s a very personal decision.” To me, that part is implied, my advice is this – if your doctor is confident he/she can cut it out with a minimum of residual damage and you trust in this doctor after having done your research on him/her – cut that sucker out of there; don’t wait for it to bleed again. What’s next?

Location, Location, Location
 My cavernoma is located in the Pons region, located on the brainstem which controls (from what I understand) –

– Autonomic function (breathing, heart rate…stuff that just happens automatically *gulp*)
– Sleep (This I know)
– Messages between the cerebrum and cerebellum
– Hearing
– Fine motor skill (This I know)

There are more, but these seem to be the most prominent. Again, this info. is from my limited understanding.

I’ve written about the Pons more thoroughly HERE. For the most part, the functions listed above are accurate. I’m starting to suspect that most of the issues I’ve experienced and continue to deal with have more to do with the bridge function of the Pons rather than the functions it controls. Here’s a better explanation: let’s say the the Pons is a silly doorman at your apartment named…Pons (I couldn’t think of anything else), the apartment building is the cerebellum, the area outside the door is the cerebral cortex, and you are a message. Pons is a pretty eccentric dude, he wears sunglasses all day, and once tried to give a swirlie (swirly?) to a solicitor. You’re not concerned with his personality, you just want him to open the door. One day, he decides he doesn’t want to open the door anymore. Now you have trouble getting from the building (cerebellum) to the outside (cerebral cortex). What’s more, Pons has no direct control over your balance, but he can put a trip wire across the doorway, much like…

TBI is…Tempest Blows Indoors. I tweeted this one earlier in the week, but I’d like to give it more explanation. Here is the original explanation – For no reason, I’ll flail my arms about to regain my balance after thinking about tacos or something. You see, I often have to think about walking the way most people would think about math. That is, I have to think pretty hard about the terrain, wind, fatigue, etc. As I’ve mentioned before, there are shiny things everywhere. If/when I get distracted I can lose my balance pretty easily. Luckily, I still have a pretty good reflex to keep me upright. This comes out to – Jarrett is walking down an aisle at the store, Jarrett spots a fancy, yet useless gadget in the “As Seen On TV” display, Jarrett loses his balance, it looks like Jarrett is swimming through the air as he tries to regain equilibrium.

FIN
@JarrettLWilson

More Time Travel and Jean Claude Van-Damme

I’m not sure why, but in my early entries I’d post multiple times in one day. This vexes me verily (vexily?). Granted, there was a lot going on at the time, but could I not gather my thoughts enough to include everything in one entry? I picture myself going back in time to find out why. I get there and say, “Dude! Why do you post multiple times in one day?”
I look at myself, puzzled, and reply, “Dude! You had the opportunity to travel back in time and you choose this time and place?”

Feeling like a dimwit, but wanting to redeem myself, I ask, “When/where would you have gone?”
We get into a long discussion about orangutans and breakfast cereals, etc. Eventually, I insist that I answer my question. Just as I’m about to speak someone walks in with a box of donuts; we both reach for the maple cake donut, Our fingers touch, we both turn into big blobs of flesh, coagulate into a puddle that shrinks until it disappears (watch Timecop, it’s based on a true story of a corrupt, time traveling senator and how Jean Claude Van-Damme is a weiner. I can’t find the scene itself, but here’s a TRAILER). Anyway, I never find out why I posted several entries in one day and I blot out my own existence.

Moving on, recall from my last entry about the second part of my first entry, which had six entries on the first of July, being the seventh month of the year 2009…uhh…backfire – in my cute attempt to confuse I confused myself…I ran into a doorway at the Target and went back to a hospital (not because of the doorway).

During my stay at the rehab hospital, I’d make frequent trips to Dallas to see my neurosurgeon, Dr. Jonathan White, when I say his name or picture him in my head I hear the angels singing; this man is a god as far as I’m concerned. Here are the particulars –

The Doctor Visit

On June 30th, Jessica, My parents and I met with Dr. White, a neurosurgeon, at UT Southwestern. I also got an MRI. The doctor (and the scans) suggested I wait a while longer as there is still too much blood in my head. BUT, surgery is possible given the current location. I will go back in two months and do the same thing and hopefully the blood will have absorbed (enough to operate anyway). The surgery itself is risky and will likely send me back to rehab (if not worse). The tradeoff is a lifetime without fear of this recurring with some permanent damage or the possibility of recurrence and the fear that that possibility brings. I am opting for the former (surgery)

Dr. White looked at the pictures born out of the loud noises shot through my skull and reckoned we wait until the bleed site becomes not so bloody. I was a bit upset about this, I was ready to have that thing out of my noodle. If I may borrow the tone from the JG Wentworth commercials – IT’S MY CAVERNOMA AND I WANT IT OUT! I do worry about it growing back, but I’m glad I don’t have to worry that it’s gonna erupt again. I sometimes think how it might be if I hadn’t had the surgery, then I think about not walking and paralysis and that thought quickly goes away. For those of you contemplating surgery, many will say “it’s a very personal decision.” To me, that part is implied, my advice is this – if your doctor is confident he/she can cut it out with a minimum of residual damage and you trust in this doctor after having done your research on him/her – cut that sucker out of there; don’t wait for it to bleed again. What’s next?

 

Location, Location, Location

My cavernoma is located in the Pons region, located on the brainstem which controls (from what I understand) –

 

– Autonomic function (breathing, heart rate…stuff that just happens automatically *gulp*)

– Sleep (This I know)

– Messages between the cerebrum and cerebellum

– Hearing

– Fine motor skill (This I know)

 

There are more, but these seem to be the most prominent. Again, this info. is from my limited understanding.

I’ve written about the Pons more completely HERE. For the most part, the functions listed above are accurate. I’m starting to suspect that most of the issues I’ve experienced and continue to deal with have more to do with the bridge function of the Pons rather than the functions it controls. Here’s a better explanation: let’s say the the Pons is a silly doorman at your apartment named…Pons (I couldn’t think of anything else), the apartment building is the cerebellum, the area outside the door is the cerebral cortex, and you are a message. Pons is a pretty eccentric dude, he wears sunglasses all day, and once tried to give a swirlie (swirly?) to a solicitor. You’re not concerned with his personality, you just want him to open the door. One day, he decides he doesn’t want to open the door anymore. Now you have trouble getting from the building (cerebellum) and the outside (cerebral cortex).

TBI is…Tempest Blows Indoors. I tweeted this one earlier in the week, but I’d like to give it more explanation. Here is the original explanation – For no reason, I’ll flail my arms about to regain my balance after thinking about tacos or something. You see, I often have to think about walking the way most people would think about math. That is, I have to think pretty hard about the terrain, wind, fatigue, etc. As I’ve mentioned before, there are shiny things everywhere. If/when I get distracted I can lose my balance pretty easily. Luckily, I still have a pretty good reflex to keep me upright. This comes out to – Jarrett is walking down an aisle at the store, Jarrett spots a fancy, yet useless gadget in the “As Seen On TV” display, Jarrett loses his balance, it looks like Jarrett is swimming through the air as he tries to regain equilibrium.

The Magnet in My Head and Scurvy

 

Happy Easter (HappEaster?), internet!
Recall from last week my trip to the ER and my helicopter ride (I was going to say free, but I think it cost the insurance company about $17,000; I would’ve paid it myself but I just purchased a yacht to go with my beach house in Maui). The next entry on July 1st, 2009 reads thusly –
 
The Target Incident
I have to post this because it’s funny. On the way back from Zale, my dad and I stopped at Target to fill my prescriptions. We waited for what seemed like an eternity (I think it was 30 minutes or so), all the while, I was stumbling around like a drunk. On our way out, an employee was coming in through the out door, I just had to inform her of this. I told her then promptly slammed into the same door she was mistakenly entering. Gonna keep my mouth shut from now on.
An early symptom from the hemorrhage (this one was kinda fun) was impulsivity; I had no inner monologue – if a clever thought popped into my head, twould be uttered. In this case, I just had to inform this “team member” who OBVIOUSLY should’ve known better that she was using the wrong portal. I already had trouble doing two things at once, an injured noodle only further compounds my multitasking ineptitude (ineptitasking?). My point is that walking AND talking AND pointing out a social faux pas was very dangerous indeed. How can I be expected to do all that and NOT run into something?
The last entry on July 1st reads –
 
Back to (a) Hospital
Jess and my dad worked diligently to get me into inpatient care. After a few days, I was admitted to a rehab hospital in Allen called Twin Creeks. I have been there for about six weeks. The staff has been phenomenal (though there have been a few incidents) and the food is great. My progress has been steady…but still a ways to go. When I got to Twin Creeks I couldn’t walk, barely talk and could hardly stand up straight. As of this writing, I am able to walk (assisted) with a walker, balance myself while standing, talk and type (obviously). I still have very disorienting double vision, wonky balance and slow speech. The battle continues!
My time at Twin Creeks is surreal – I still couldn’t believe what was happening to me. Aside from therapy and getting poked with needles, I have a handful of very vivid memories from that time –
1. At the foot of my bed was a plastic panel with handles cut out on both sides. This panel was pretty wobbly; one night, I decided to put my feet through the cutouts and see if the panel would come off – it did. I didn’t plan for this event and panicked a little; but, despite my diminished coordination, I managed to maneuver it back to its place.
2. My impulsivity continued – at one point, I told my physical therapist that she smelled funny
3. There were two of everything – this got pretty annoying when watching tv, but I always got twice as much food as the other patients 😛
3. There were two of everything – this got pretty annoying when watching tv, but I always got twice as much food as the other patients 😛
4. I’d occasionally wheel myself to the entrance to greet and see off visitors. I’d say hi to someone, they’d reply in kind and ask how I was – my brain would tell my mouth to say “I’m f’ed” – having no filter, I’d say, “I’m f’ed”.
One of the more troubling difficulties I encountered soon after being infirmed is extreme posture issues. Imagine that the left side of your head is one pole of a magnet, and the ground is the opposite pole. Even when you’re standing still you feel an irresistible pull towards your left side. I recall the first time the physical therapist put me on a walker; despite my best efforts, I couldn’t walk forward, I just wanted to fall on my side so that the magnets could meet.
ITEM! Thanks to a brief visit with an OT, my left arm has found new life. It’s still shaky and slow, but I’m getting a lot more use out of it. This guy didn’t say anything I hadn’t heard before. However, he is from Scotland – the accent might be the key factor. He also showed me a nerve stretch for my left arm. Whatever the case, I actually get upset with myself when I pass up an opportunity to use my left arm. My point, I have two –
1. If you’re in (heh, pee-pee) PT and/or OT, your outcomes will improve if you imagine that your trainer is speaking in an exotic accent.
2. I get on my nerve…and stretch it everyday now. I think this stretch would benefit anyone, so here’s how it’s done –
Items needed –
a wall (or other flat, vertical surface. For example – a wall).
An arm (you should have two of these – a “right” and a “left”).
A nerve (not sure what it’s called, for purposes of this guide we’ll call it “Nerve Existing in the Region of the Deltoid, or NERD).
Stand with your feet parallel to the flat, vertical surface. Stretch one arm out to meet this surface. Turn your fingers downward, jut your shoulder out (the shoulder with the outstretched arm). Now lean your head towards the opposite shoulder and feel the stretch, really work that NERD. Count to 784, spin three times and sing the national anthem. Now you should be able to play the banjo like a pro and lift a car like so much Superman on the cover of Action Comics #1. As you can see, I skip around a lot, from NERDs to banjos to Supermans. Here’s why –
TBI is…Thought Becomes Inconsistent – I tweeted this last week, but tweets are limited to 140 characters, I thought I’d expound on this one. Here is the original explanation:
I move slow & shiny things are everywhere. I’ll get somewhere, spin & say “why’d I come here?”
I realize that many of you out there, dear readers, do this. Allow me to qualify this explanation – I USED to be very quick and astute as concerns remembering things (this blog brought to you by my ego: “nothing’s changed!”). Further proof – I went to get a glass for OJ this morning. On my way to the cupboard, I saw scuzzy grossness in the kitchen sink. I stopped to send it to that great big garbage disposal in the…my sink. I ended up having to chisel some petrified cereal off a bowl. This went on long enough for me to forget about the OJ. Because of this distraction, I’ll probably get scurvy and suffer a painful…symptom of scurvy.
I’m going to stop here. I’d like to be able to claim that I finished a piece of writing discussing how I might have scurvy.
FIN
@JarrettLWilson

The Target Incident

I have to post this because it’s funny. On the way back from Zale, my dad and I stopped at Target to fill my prescriptions. We waited for what seemed like an eternity (I think it was 30 minutes or so), all the while, I was stumbling around like a drunk. On our way out, an employee was coming in through the out door, I just had to inform her of this. I told her then promptly slammed into the same door she was mistakenly entering. Gonna keep my mouth shut from now on.

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