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~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
If you're looking for information on a particular topic, type that word in the search box below. If I have written about that subject, a list of posts will appear. If no posts come up, I haven't written about it...yet. Emails, and questions in the comments section for possible posts, are welcome.
I have a "friend" who shows up once a month. She turns my world upside down, over and over again.
I am a good person, caring and sweet, but when she comes to visit, I could rip off your head.
She takes no prisoners, foul words she does spout, I try to keep the words in, she lets them come out.
People don't understand me, or what this is about, to have this creature inside my head.
I despise who I am, half of the time, I feel sorry for my daughter, family and friends.
There's no way to describe it, for those who don't know, it's a living nightmare, she really needs to go.
~Neysia Manor, Rest in Peace

Surprise, Surprise, You Need Brain Surgery!

First of all, thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and patience.  I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer, and am positive I wouldn't have made it through these past three months without every last prayer offered up on my behalf.  In February, we accidentally discovered I had not one, but two aneurysms in my brain.  We had gone to the ER because I was having an allergic reaction to something, and they took a CAT scan of my throat that was swelling and starting to cut off my breathing.  In the upper corner of the CAT scan, the radiologist noticed a rather large aneurysm.  
At that point, nobody cared anymore what had set off my allergic reaction (well, except me) as everything was focused on dealing with the aneurysm.  A follow up MRA revealed that I had not one, but two aneurysms, one behind each eye.  I'm told they start getting concerned once an aneurysm hits 7 mm.  Mine, we eventually found out, was 8.4 mm.   The other one was about half that size, so, again, nobody was really worried about it but me.  Imagine walking around knowing you have these two time bombs in your head and any minute could be your last.
Imagine being a woman with PMDD, and not being allowed to get upset about anything.  Talk about walking a tightwire.  Imagine saying "my head hurts" and everyone in the room freezing and staring.  You have to laugh, or you'll fall apart.  But such was my life for 6 weeks, as we explored our options and ended with surgery. 
I spent 5 days in the ICU and three more in a step down unit.  For eight days my world consisted of me, a bunch of tubes and wires, and whoever showed up beside my bed.  Ironically, and this is just the strangest thing, I had my period while I was in the hospital.  A full five days worth.  With absolutely no signs of PMDD.  None whatsoever.  I felt perfectly fine.  I would love to know why, what was different, what they were pumping into me that took the PMDD away. 
To that end, I have requested a copy of all my medical records, of everything that was done and given to me while I was in the hospital.  Hopefully I will be able to figure out some sort of connection.  Because I was as clear-minded and symptom-free as could be.
I was also very grateful to be so, because PMDD was the last thing I needed to deal with while recovering from brain surgery.  Unfortunately, the following month the PMDD returned, and this month it is back again.  So it was something I either ingested or did not ingest during my hospital stay that made the difference. 
But that is a story for another post.  I am now home and recovering at an amazing rate from the surgery, or so everyone says.  Me, I feel I am not recovering fast enough, mainly because I have the mental energy to resume my work, but not the physical ability.  A very frustrating place to be, and yes, my head hurts when I think about it.  I'm still not allowed to get upset about anything, or sharp, stabbing pains in my head will remind me to settle down. 
Above all, this has been an exercise in patience. 
My work involves a lot of reading.  Due to the surgery, I lost the vision in my left eye.  The big aneurysm was too close to the optic nerve.  After the surgery, my sight seemed fine.  The following day it slowly vanished as my brain began to swell from the trauma of surgery.  A second, middle-of-the night emergency surgery was required to reduce the swelling.  But the vision in that eye has not fully returned.  At the moment, my sight in my left eye is like looking through a periscope, with everything appearing in ghostly shades of tan and brown, like looking at a film negative.  Multiple visits to the eye doctor have reassured me that all the parts of my eye are healthy and working well.  But my brain is not processing my vision correctly. 
The optic nerve has also sustained visible damage.  Compression damage from the surgery or swelling or both.  We know not which, nor do we care.  I am alive and had no choice other than to have the  surgery--both surgeries.  My alternative was an abrupt and violent eruption, with a 50% chance of surviving beyond the first year.  Not to mention brain damage or a stroke or worse. 
But my brain is fine and I didn't have any complications in the hospital.  I am not on any medications at all.  (You all know how happy I am about that :))
However, when I left the hospital, I could not see well enough to count anyone's fingers in front of my face.  At last test, the vision in that eye was 20/60.  Everyone is impressed but me.  I want to stop dropping things, bumping into things, breaking things, spilling things, reaching for things and missing, stepping on my cats, missing steps, swaying without warning, and in general looking like a total klutz while pretending it's perfectly normal.
But it is for someone in my situation. 
I miss driving and my independence.  I miss cooking and cleaning, believe it or not.  I miss being able to go to the Y, or take a walk by myself. 
I miss reading.
However, I am grateful the amount of time I am able to work on the computer is lengthening, so I can write again.  Unfortunately, it comes with a price.  I use my eye and or my brain too much and it starts to tingle, and I need to lie down and rest both for a while.
So that is why I am in and out, available sometimes and not available others.
Thank you again for sharing this journey with me, and I am sure I will have more to write about in the days and weeks and months to come.


  1. Hello. I found your blog while researching PMDD and read your story about your surgery. I wanted to say I am very impressed with your attitude and will most definitely pray for you. I know it was a terrifying experience. I hope each day brings you more and more strength.

  2. Liana,
    Brave, that's all I can say. You are brave! Surgery is bad enough without having it in such a delicate place - the brain! My prayers are with you, especially dealing with the recovery, perhaps impatience with lack of progress in healing, and accepting your physical limitations. I'm curious about the "missed" PMDD in your cycle during your first hospitalization. Any clues on that yet?

  3. Wow Liana, what a journey you have been on. I feel completely blessed that you have still managed to be part of this pmdd support group regardless of your own health issues. It truly is amazing to feel that there is someone looking out for all of us women. You are an angel, thanks.

  4. Thank you! I just scanned my post above, and so much has happened since then...I had to go back in for another surgery five months later. I haven't even written about that yet. Wow. I am so far behind. But that's okay, because it gives me plenty of reasons to get up each morning...boredom is one thing I never have a problem with!

  5. Yes, I agree, thank you Liana, for keeping up with your blog and our support groups even though you are going through, went through so much!!! I appreciate your posts.