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Five Years On
6th March, 2017
Five years ago today, I was rushed into Bolton Royal Hospital with a sore neck, and extremely high blood pressure!
To find out the cause, they did a CT scan, and they were shocked to find a giant tumour in my head.
They sent the scans to Salford Royal Hospital, where a team of specialists suggested I get there ASAP, and I was once again popped into an ambulance and rushed up there.
Over the next five or six months, the NHS surgeons battled with my crazy blood pressure, my insane amounts of brain fluid, and of course, the big old blob of whatever it was that had grown inside my head.
I still think it was AGameAWeek ideas, solidified!
The tumour/cyst/whatever had taken up space beside my Fourth Ventricle, squeezing the Ventricle into a small area. After removing the tumour, the Fourth Ventricle was supposed to re-grow and take up its original space, but from various MRI scans, that apparently hasn't happened.
The result of this is that my brain seems to feel any and all head movement much more than it oughta.
Simplified, It's the fluid in your ears that tell your brain when it moves, and which way up it is.
But inside my head is a lot of brain fluid, and a rather large cavity left by the tumour removal, which sloshes about whenever I move my head.
This movement is seemingly slower/larger than the ear-liquid's movement, so whenever I do twist or turn my head, I get about 3 or 4 times the amount of head movement messages to my brain.
Over the course of the past few years, my brain's been slowly getting used to this.. or rather, my body has been adapting to move my head much more slowly.
I can sit on the couch, fine.
I can walk around the house, fine.
But lengthier tasks are difficult..
Standing to shower, shave or even cook a meal, are no longer things I can easily do. I stumble quite often, losing my footing and flailing about! People who see me do this are worried I'm about to fall. Luckily (so far!) my feet have been able to catch me. But I do often stumble back a few steps, whilst doing so.
Attempting to shower, shave or cook in this condition can, obviously, be rather dangerous.
Nowadays I have to bathe. It's easier to sit in the bath than it is to stand, and occasionally stumble, in order to shower.
I have to use an electric shaver so I can sit down in order to do it.
And if I dare to cook a meal, it's never more complicated than putting some noodles in a pan, then waiting for them to cook themselves.
Meanwhile, going outside is horrendous.
When outside, movement is all about glancing around. Watching for cars and people, watching your step and generally looking all around you at all times.
After a minute or so of being outdoors, the head motion is intense, my head is practically spinning with all the head movement, and I tend to stumble about.. As a result, I'm a danger outdoors!
On the rare occasions that I do get out to the shops, I always need Mum by my side to help guide me on the way, and occasionally hold me up!
My condition hasn't really changed in the time since. I'm still in this same situation, and am left mostly housebound. I'm glad that I have the friends that I do, both IRL and online, to keep my mind active and help me stay cheery.
Thanks to all who have helped along the way.
And thanks to all at Salford Royal NHS Hospital who ensured I could make it this far!