I have added some new images to my brain photography exhibition after my latest MRA last week to check my vascular health. I haven’t had one in two years, so the scan-xiety built up a little bit the day & evening before. Not that I was nervous about the MRA, I have had plenty of those (see the previous blog post!) but it’s always the results that create that uncertainty.
I was especially worried about this one because I haven’t been taking care of myself the last two years. I’m not exercising, I’m not eating right, and since my last MRA in 2018 I had developed high blood pressure. All three of those things are NOT good for maintaining good blood flow in the brain…or elsewhere for that matter. I take full responsibility…no excuses other than being lazy.
I have been reticent to sign up for all the online medical charts offered by the hospitals lately, but I decided to sign up for the one used by the state. As a result, I could view the initial findings of the MRA online on a Sunday before the doctor’s office ever called me on a Tuesday. I’m still debating whether that is a good thing to have or a bad thing. If the results have come back badly, I’m not sure how I would have handled that.
THANKFULLY, the findings were positive and my doctor’s office confirmed the diagnostic radiologist’s report with his reply and recommendations for follow-up.
Here are the main things that came from the report:
- There is normal flow within both vertebral arteries. No other aneurysm is identified. There is normal flow within both P1 segments and in the right middle cerebral artery.
- Stable appearance of the coil embolization and previously clipped left internal carotid artery bifurcation aneurysm. Small amount of flow is unchanged or slightly less apparent in the region of the aneurysm neck that measures between 3 and 4mm in size.
The first point is the best one, indicating no other aneurysm was found. I am at higher risk with my family history and my own history with two already.
The second point was also good news about the bloody remnant (narrow area where blood is starting to creep back into the aneurysm) at the neck of the original brain aneurysm being “unchanged” and that it may be “slightly less apparent”. We have been watching this remnant for several years now and I’m always nervous it will increase in size, or create a weak area and possibly burst.
When the doctor recommended I come back in a year for another MRA, I was surprised it’s not another two year follow-up. So, I have sent in a question asking why.
I am blessed to still be here and share my story with others. Keep on living. I am enjoying a celebratory scone with tea to celebrate!