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No mainpage, please. (TW illness)

As some of you may or may not know, I've been pretty sick this past year. I've had migraines and dizzy spells intermittently since high school, but the frequency and intensity of the spells has ratcheted up to the point where I cannot hold a job and am essentially housebound. It's basically derailed all of my plans and sucks hardcore.


After the doctors stopped looking at my weight as a possible cause of my health maladies (I plan on writing an entirely separate essay devoted to this, but here's the short version: they kept testing my blood sugar, cholesterol level, and thyroid over and over for 12 years and found nothing each time but kept doing it anyway because I'm fat so clearly it had to be one of those things), they found a cyst in the lining of my brain that just so happens to be pushing on the parts that control balance and vision. Awesome, right? We finally have a culprit!

Oh, if only it were that easy.

Most of the doctor's visits over the past year have involved them telling me how they don't think the cyst is doing anything, that it's all just migraine-related stuff, then they dismiss any concerns I have, give me a new prescription (that ultimately doesn't work) and send me on my way. We finally got them to do a spinal tap to check my cerebrospinal fluid pressure, which was supposed to be the smoking gun that proved the cyst was actually doing something. If the pressure was over a certain threshold (which it was), then they'd approve the surgery. Now, because it wasn't high enough over that threshold for their comfort, they're sending me for a different test that will totally prove once and for all whether or not it's the cyst (until they find some reason to discount the findings and send me for yet another test, lather, rinse, repeat).


On the one hand, I completely understand their hesitation. The cyst is in a spot that's incredibly difficult to get to, and the surgery carries a heavy, heavy level of risk. Even if I make it through the surgery, I might have permanent brain damage as a result. I like my brain. I think of it as one of my best features, and don't particularly want anything bad to happen to it.

On the other hand, my quality of life is shot to hell. Most days, I can't do more than lay in bed, watch TV, and comment snarkily on the internet. I'm trying my damndest to do the most I can with this, but it's nowhere near what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I've tried taking classes through Coursera and such, but my condition makes it hard to keep up with the work. Coming to grips with the fact that I might never travel abroad or get my degree or start my own business or lead anything resembling a normal life has been incredibly difficult.


At the very least, we now know that my CSF pressure is too high, so I've been given medication that's supposed to reduce the amount I produce.

Side effects include headaches, dizziness, and visual disturbances.

Illustration for article titled Random Health Update

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