Show and Tell

Today I managed to get my hands on a digital copy of my CSF flow MRI (that means a scan of my noggin). The first time I looked at an MRI of my own brain I honestly felt a little nauseated, but now I actually find it pretty cool so I thought I’d share some images of my very attractive brain and not so attractive Chiari with you all.

That’s a pretty sexy brain if I do say so myself. But chances are you’re sitting there right now going “WTF Ella, I can’t read MRIs, where exactly is this problem of yours?”. Don’t worry, I can’t read them either (and for the record, neither could my first neurologist, but more about that another day!). Here’s the brightly labelled with big arrows version:

So if you remember me saying in the last post that the Chiari malformation is when that little bit of the cerebellum gets all wedged in a gap in the base of the skull, you can see pretty clearly what’s going on in the picture above. That bit of squashed brain is supposed to be sitting comfortably inside the skull, but instead it’s trying to escape and getting quite smooshed in the process. It’s pretty small though, isn’t it? It’s funny how such a tiny bit of squashed brain can make the whole body go haywire.

For those of you with very good eyes, you might also be able to faintly see the tube they had to put down my throat. Getting that MRI done was a massive drama. I’ll tell you all about it another time!

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4 thoughts on “Show and Tell

  1. Ella this is very interesting and well written info – I will be following. The pictures with the explanation is as you infer yucky and even weirdly spooky ( a picture of YOUR brain) but actually I sort of like it that I can relate a brain picture to a actual person and I know that person, and that person is alive…. You know like not in a text book. Do we get more brain shots?and I have always understood the whole idea of someone messing with your head – hey I take medication which messes with the real me in my head. This operation though will enable you to take more control ( just having surgery is taking control) over your abilities – and they are obviously many, varied and valuable.
    Can’t wait for the next instalment.

    • Thank you for your kind words Mary 🙂 I have plenty more pictures of my brain and some of them apparently show my CSF flow being restricted, but I have no idea how to interpret them! I’ll have to do more research and post them up when I find out. I think we’ve all got that instinct that tells us we don’t want to lose control of our own bodies and hand them over to someone else, but you’re absolutely right. When I really think about it, even just making the decision to have the surgery is empowering and is taking steps to rid myself of the lack of control in my life. I’m lucky to have the chance to get well again.

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