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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chasing Chances

Some classify my decompression surgery as "elective," a choice. My Dr. assured me that my condition was not life threatening, that I needed to decide what was best for my quality of life. He did inform me that I was likely to worsen over time, but that the decision of if and when to have surgery was mine alone. Here's how bad my symptoms got: If there was even a chance that I might feel better, I had no choice but to chase it.

About two days before I first saw the Neurosurgeon, I began compiling a list of symptoms on a to-do list app for my phone. This was primarily so that I would include everything in my conversation with the doctor. However, the list continued to grow right up until I underwent surgery. Now, I'm in the process of checking off items from the list.

Here is the original list. I will update this post by striking through symptoms that have disappeared and adding the date that I noticed them gone.

  • Generalized headache beginning at the base of my skull and radiating outward
  • Neck tension/pain, often spreading to shoulders and upper back
  • Headache at base of skull from sneezing
  • Headache at base of skull from coughing
  • Headache at base of skull from yawning 7/6/11
  • Headache at base of skull from bowel strain
  • Headache at base of skull from laughing
  • Headache at base of skull from yelling
  • Headache at base of skull from looking up 6/22/11
  • Throbbing headache with sajda (head, hands, knees and feet on the floor)
  • Throbbing headache with ruku (90 degree bend hands on knees, legs standing straight) 6/17/11
  • Face ache from talking (occasional)
  • Face hurts to the touch 6/22/11
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • Tingling/numbness in feet
  • Tingling/numbness in hands
  • Vision spots 7/8/11
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light (need for shades) 6/14/11
  • Sensitivity to sound (irritation)
  • Startling easily at loud noises
  • Forgetting
  • Difficulty focusing (like reading or writing)
  • General dizziness/instability when walking
  • Feeling like I'm free falling backwards 6/14/11
  • Feeling like the room/world is spinning around me 6/14/11
  • Feeling of fullness in head
  • Ringing and/or fluttering in left ear 6/14/11
  • Momentary hearing loss in left ear 6/14/11
  • Yawning repeatedly and uncontrollably 6/14/11
  • Feeling like I need to cry for no apparent reason 6/14/11
  • Blurred vision  6/14/11

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