Sunday, April 27, 2014

Acquiring Minds Want to Know

As much as I've acknowledged for nearly four years that I've been somewhat physically hobbled by my stroke, I think I'd been somewhat unwilling to accept the higher significance of my condition. It's really only been the last year that I've allowed myself to identify with Brain Injury and the Brain Injury community, though I'm much the better for it. There's a mass of semantics at work there, between the mere word, "injury," the term Traumatic Brain Injury (which I've heard the most but which was more recently clarified for me as the external branch of Acquired Brain Injury (any Brain Injury occurring after birth [i.e. not  hereditary, congenital, or degenerative]). Because, ya know, Brain Injury is an acquired taste. And, while a rolling stone gathers no moss, it picks up a ton of other crap along the way. I was introduced to ABI at a new brain aneurysm support group sponsored by the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Funnily, while my aneurysm was the start of all my trouble and the stroke an additional acquired extension of it, that bubble in my head has long taken a backseat to my stroke/"Cerebrovascular Accident"/"Cerebrovascular Insult"/ "Brain Attack." There's no adequate language to sum up the collateral damage.

As occupied as I've been of late with being brain injured and using that standing to its best effect (i.e. paying it forward), the aneurysm support group (which consists mostly of aneurysm rupture survivors, family members of people tragically killed by an aneurysm rupture, and the rare anomaly [like myself] who had the good fortune to discover his aneurysm pre hemorrhage) was a psychosomatic wake-up call to pay closer attention to the headaches I've been having. Not to worry -- my sense was and my doctor agreed that the pain was craniotomy related, since it was local to my skull and worsened when my reassembled boneflaps move (such as when I yawn). Nevertheless, with my flight to DC looming large, my doctor ordered a precautionary CT scan.

Fortunately, the results showed my head to be "unchanged" since 2012 (which is about the best you can hope for when you have a junkyard for a noggin). As usual, I've compiled some images -- the first is most X-ray like, the others are flipbook movies of different series of scans (I recommend slowing them to half or quarter speed in the YouTube settings). Sure looks pretty weird to me, but the radiologist said, "No additional...abnormalities are identified". Don't think I could fit much more anyway.

Titanium aneurysm clips are intact.


  1. Great post! I heard a slightly different spin on TBI vs. ABI.

    A TBI is a result of external forces at work while and ABI is from within.

    Keep up the great work, Ken!

    ~David A. Grant

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