I was able to finally get my MRI done by going to my old Dr. in the Neurology Department and asking for it. The results of both the MRI and CATscan done in December show some irregularities as follows:
MRI: “Scattered foci of T2 prolongation are noted in subcortical white matter, probably in left frontal lobe. . . . (foci) are nonspecific and likely represent microvascular ischemic changes however migraine, gliosis, and demyelation remain in the differential” My doctor thinks silent migraines are the most likely reason for this result – which is what he thought all along. Hopefully nerve damage can be ruled out. Mini strokes are also apparently associated with ischemic changes but cannot be verified through imaging. I am wondering if mini-strokes are what sent me to the ER 11 times in last 2 years
CATscan (Dec '14) “Small focal calcification in the left cavernous sinus, uncertain if this could be dural calcification or atherosclerotic plaque in the left cavernous carotid artery” My doctor was not sure what the significance of this finding is, but I am pretty sure neither plaque nor calcification is a good thing in brains
My doctor is sending me to a neurologist to help make sense of the test results, and to decide further diagnostics and treatment. I hope she will order a sleep EEG/video EEG as is standard for seizure patients. But I have to wait 4 months for my appointment unless something comes up.
The hospital can't offer any treatment for these debilitating symptoms until they know what is causing them. I have been able to get the seizures (still unverified) under control with help from my Chiropractor and Acupuncturist. The Chiropractor uses laser to to stimulate the production of brain chemicals and the function of GABA neurons, and the laser is also useful apparently in addressing blood clots and other physical artifacts. Based on the rapid neurologic changes during and after treatment, I believe him. That is, I prefer to believe him.
Seizure-type attacks have been reduced by about 90% since first Chiro treatment. I have only had one complex focal seizure since regularly going to the Chiropractor (compared with 5-6 daily plus additional seizures in the night during July/August), and I have only had about 3 focal seizures that lasted more than 5 minutes since that time. I am still however experiencing fleeting focal deficits (momentary confusion, weakness, limb numbness, hand grasping motions, etc). I lost all feeling in my lower face after one complex focal seizure that occurred on about 9/25/15, and had consistent mild aphasia and weakness in both legs during this time. The facial numbness and aphasia subsided spontaneously after about 4 weeks, but intermittent weakness on both sides persists.
I am using CBD oil to treat seizure symptoms, spasms, headaches, chronic nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness, and chronic pain, and I am hopeful the cannabinoids will clear plaque from my brain. A recent study found that CBD flushes out plaque during normal overnight brain activity. I am also using CBD/THC oil to successfully treat Bipolar mania, mixed Bipolar, and rapid cycling (mixed and rapid-change phases triggers suicidal behavior). Hopefully once I start to make progress with my diagnosis and treatment my stress level will be reduced. Stress level has been extremely high for the last six years due to the myriad effects of disability and due to great difficulty receiving care under the state subsidized healthcare system. At one point the stress level was so high that I regularly experienced PTSD-type symptoms.
At this point it seems as if I have managed to stop the deterioration of my neurologic and autoimmune syndromes – but I could be fooling myself. This illusion could come tumbling down with the next regression. The lifelong pattern has been one of remission/regression, with syndromes becoming steadily worse over time. But I feel better knowing what the problem likely is, and treating it in a pro-active way is definitely an improvement over being in the dark.