Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Out of the woods yet?

Not really. I'm still unwell even after a day of rest. I've just let out a big sneeze which released a torrent of mucus running down the nose. It's not getting any better.

And it's pretty bad timing really because I have a party to attend tonight. We're celebrating Noboborsho, the Bangla New Year at Patricia's house. She's cooking Bangladeshi food while I'm contributing a pot of masala chick peas.

And then my mum decides to make an urgent appointment with her neurosurgeon. The only slot available is this afternoon which means I have to cancel my weekly session at the school. I will also have to send the food to Pat's house early in case I can't make it to the party on time. Oh, I've to ensure that the dog and kids have something to eat for dinner tonight too.

Weekdays aren't that good for parties but I guess you can't change the date of Bangla New Year can we? Besides, it's the start of a new year, surely everything is going to be better after this.

Well, the reason why mum needs to see the neurosurgeon urgently is because she has been tormented by these electric currents running across her brain. She had implored me to do more research about this condition. I spent all day trawling the internet for answers yet was unable to find anything concrete.

I'm not a doctor afterall but I do know that we have lots of electrical activity going on in our brain at all times. I can only suspect some of her brain cells have been damaged during treatment and have gone haywire.

Apparently some people continue leading normal lives after radiotherapy for brain tumor (acoustic neuroma) while others like my mum are generally crippled by the side effects. I've read enough patients' stories to know that doctors consider the treatment successful if the tumour stops growing. What about the patient's quality of life after that?

I wish the doctors at the hospital can be more upfront about the side effects instead of sending her for a scan everytime she complains about the pain. Life had never been the same for her after radiotherapy.

For the first year, she could hardly walk across the living room without toppling over. Since then, she has been living with facial numbness, difficulty in swallowing, choking on her own saliva, mouth dryness, deafness in one ear, tinnitus (ringing and pain in her good ear), unsteadiness, facial twitches, pain in the face, dizziness, headaches and recently, electric currents running across her brain.

It has been 3 years and I've seen her health deteriorate before my very eyes. I often return home to find her lying in bed, weak and sleepy from the medication. Yet she cannot live without the pills for headache, dizziness and anxiety. She's suffering from the side-effects of treating the side effects as well.

I'm pretty sure the doctor is going to say the same things today. "If it doesn't kill you, just bear and live with it." He will order a MRI scan just to assure mum that the tumour isn't getting any bigger (that it's all a figment of her imagination and the tumour is no longer the culprit causing all her misery). Then we will be slapped with a 4-figure sum for the scan. We will return for a review with the doctor 2 weeks later.

I guess we have no choice but to go through the entire exercise until she's completely out of the woods.


JY said...

Dr's can be a pain...no matter what country. Hope there are some better solutions for your mom and hope you get better soon!

petunialee said...

I don't trust doctors all that much... even though some of my friends are doctors... I trust them as friends but not as doctors... cos I don't trust doctors. Voila.

Try gotu kola. Give her gotu kola. It won't hurt but may help. It has been used for Alzheimer's before. Gotu kola was brain food before it became skin food.

SOUL said...

do you know if your mom takes 'effexor' - a medication mainly used for depression.
it is known to cause those electrical feelings in a persons head and or face.
even a single missed dose can make it happen.
perhaps a different med can be causing that.

i hope this is figured out and fixed soon.
happy day-

Blur Ting said...

JY - We're heading to the ENT doc next week. Maybe that will help.

Blur Ting said...

Petunia - Yah, I really should get her some gotu kola to try.

Blur Ting said...

Soul - I don't think that's the one my mum is taking but she's on some kind of tranquiliser. She's going to see the ENT doctor for her severe dizziness/head spinning problems. Hope to get this resolved quickly too.