The MRI is done, and it shows what we had feared. Damage. Permanent damage. Enough for the Neurologist to definitely classify at least one of the attacks I've had as a stroke rather than a simpler TIA. The Cat Scan I had pretty much said the same thing but the MRI shows the newly empty sections in glorious, cavernous detail. The good news is that the scan showed no signs of a clot, tumor or other unwanted bit of nastiness. In fact, my "right cerebellum is unremarkable", so there's that.
So, what this means. My neurologist is obviously concerned that I am not just suffering from Migraine Induced TIA as has been the assumption we have been running under since September 2006. His reasons for doubting that diagnosis now is because with Migraine TIA's, it happens predominantly in Women and there is no damage. Well, I am not a woman, and there is definitely some damage.
That is why he is having me see a Cardiologist. It will be up to the Cardio Doc, to rule out any circulatory issues (clots and such) as well as to look at the possibility of a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). A VSD is basically a problem with the tissue that divides the ventricles of the heart and because of the complications, can cause stroke.
The Cardio Doc, took about another gallon of blood to test for another billion conditions that can cause stroke. Then he performed an Echocardiogram and some ultrasounds of my Carotids and various other spots. Hopefully they find nothing, but at the same time I kind of hope someone finds something. I desperately want some answers.
I will see the Cardiologist again in about a week for all of his results and then the Neurologist again the following week. So, until then I'm supposed to be the patient patient, plod along and wait. One bit of good news I received from my neurologist the last time I saw him was regarding my arm. I asked him what the prognosis of getting normal function back and he said "your young enough, it should come back eventually". No time frame, no promise. But some hope.
I'll give them another couple of weeks before I hound them again with questions of beginning BJJ again. But I will not wait to begin trying to rebuild function in my arm. I saw my 8 year old niece last night and I had not realized how much strength I had lost until she asked me to pick her up when we were playing. It was terrible feeling like I was limited. I have to believe that working on this arm will help rebuild those damaged pathways.
UFC Fight Night:
So Dr. Evil and his son came over to watch the fights last night. It was good to see him. We have not spoken much since I've been out of the gym. We watched the fights, traded stories about the gym and even had a spontaneous light roll on the living room floor afterword. I suspect its always kind of like that isn't it. You get BJJ guys together and inevitably, somehow, a roll will begin for no good reason.
It was funny. And again, painfully obvious that my arm is junk in its current state. A big thanks to Dr. Evil (enough Doctors already) for giving me a couple minutes of BJJ during this ordeal. Thanks to everyone for their support.