A bit ago, I wrote a post that touched on a bit of the medical stuff I grapple with outside of the gym. In this post (http://grappling-with-life.blogspot.com/2008/11/diagnosis.html) I talked a bit about my migraines and the mini-strokes I've suffered because of them.
Up until now, these events have come and gone without any real consequence. The T.I.A. (mini-stroke) happens, causes whatever effects and then within a few days everything is back to normal. Now, I have had a wide range of different symptoms result from these attacks; ranging from the most severe case of loss of speech, to the minor hassle of dizziness and disorientation. But the affects have always been temporary and cleared up within a few days.
Now, there has been a game changer. I just had another one this past week and unlike the others, it seems this time I did not emerge unscathed. I remember the moment of the attack. I remember the feeling of disorientation and dizziness. Then there was a numbness, weakness and tingling running down my right arm. It sort of feels like I slept on it wrong and it's now waking up.
After the dizziness and disorientation wore off, the feeling in the arm remained and I knew that I had just been thru another T.I.A. and the arm thing would be the lingering symptom. Like I said earlier, normally these things clear up after a few days....normally. Not this time. After about a week of feeling this same sensation I knew something was not as normal, so I went to the urgent care to make sure I was not in any serious trouble. I told the Doctor of my history and he sent me for the requisite Cat Scan. Now, I have had many Cat scans and MRI's because of this condition and they always end the same way, with the Doctor telling me that there is no lasting damage; to go home and everything should be ok in a few days.....not this time.
This time, the Doctor told me that I had two areas of infarction in the Basal Ganglia region of the brain. An infarction is a fancy term for loss of blood. This is where blood flow to these two areas was pinched off and they died. That's right two areas of permanent damage. The scary thing is in the fact that I have no idea what this could mean for the future. If I have a TIA in a region of the brain that controls vision for instance, I could permanently lose some or all of my sight. That is a frightening prospect.
I am hitting my doctors harder than ever now. I am determined to find the best answers I can. I don't know what this means for my BJJ. For now I think it means that don't know what it means. I know that my arm is bothersome and I am fearful of ALL blood chokes for obvious reasons. I know that my wife and neurologist have warned me away from it before. I know that I love it and I want to do it. I know I will do whatever I need to do.