After a summer break I am back on the round of hospital visits and brain scans


Today is one of those dates with a red circle scribbled around. 9/11 of course, a date which will always resonate with horror and sadness but it is also the day of my next appointment with the neurologist who has been treating me since I had a brain haemorrhage on the 30th October last year.

I last saw her on the 26th. of June so it has been three months since she told me to gradually to reduce my dosage of the anti-seizure drug, epanutin.

It is too nasty a drug to stay on permanently as, apparently, it has had a negative effect on my liver and my blood count.

The idea was to reduce it from 375mm a day by 50mm every two weeks so now I am on a daily dose of 75mm and would reduce that to 25mm in a week’s time. Any quicker and I would have been in danger of having another brain seizure. Hopefully, I will be off this drug altogether after then and won’t have to be replace it with another brand either.

During this time I have had to watch out for any abnormal symptoms so I have struggled not to become any more self-obsessed than normal. Struggled and failed I suspect.

I have had feed back from some of my readers on here who are interested in how I am recovering from the brain haemorrhage so I hope the rest of you won’t mind too much either if I describe my current symptoms.

This is how I have felt:

I have felt “odd” and aware of my brain being injured more than usual on the days after reducing the drug. I reduce the dosage on a Saturday and feel low on the following Monday and Tuesday.

Generally I have felt better the less the dosage but more aware of the left hand side of my head being injured.

I still get very tired every day – especially if I have been sociable or in a group of people for long.

I still get a sensation of withdrawal when I can still hear people talking but I feel like they are in another room. I get this feeling less often now maybe only a few times a day.

My stammer seems to have got worse over this period until, maybe recently, when I think it might have eased a bit. Maybe I am just getting used to it. I have found at times that my words are blocked altogether and I am unable to say anything. Mostly I get stuck on certain consonants, especially M but also B and D.

I still have some difficulty keeping my eyes synchronised and so I have double vision when looking at things up to 50cm away from me. This makes martial arts particularly awkward as there are often four hands instead of two in any grappling situation.

Now that I am on a low dosage of epanutin, I definitely feel a lot better though but I have to be careful about sudden head movements that still give me a feeling of pressure in the left hand side of my head.

Mostly, I have been doing more and more. I went to the Kungfu Summer Camp in July and kept up with the schedule as long as I took breaks to sleep during the middle of the day. I have continued to go to my taichi classes and to practise my Kungfu and Chinese Straight Sword patterns, mostly, daily. Mostly I feel fine doing this, as I am careful to a void spinning movements. I sometimes have to rest between moves for a bit but I seem to recover quickly.

It will be a year since the haemorrhage on 30th. October and I am now hopeful that the next MRI scan will show that the blood has receded but I would be surprized, based on the feeling in my head, if it has actually gone altogether.

Today’s meeting may tell me more but I suspect the end-game will begin with that brain scan. If the blood is still on my brain then I know that the surgeons will have to act. If it has gone then party time will not be far away.

I’ll tell you how I got on.

One comment

  1. Just to let you know that the neurologist meeting went according to plan.

    I will have a brain scan next month which will be the decider.

    In the meanwhile my neurologist says that it looks like I am probably recovering as expected even if it is taking longer than she hoped.

    I can increase my alcohol intake to 14 units a week too!!! and, possibly, if the scan is good news, I might be able to drive again too.

    There is still a chance of surgery though so I am not getting too excited yet. I also have to carry on taking care and resting….dammit

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