Just a few words…

I’ve been ill for the most part of the last year; in early 2013 I was diagnosed with a huge cerebral Arteriovenous malformation (AVM). After three surgeries and spending a few months in the hospital and neurological rehabilitation I’m finally back again. I barely survived the surgery and am still suffering from some side effects, namely epilepsy, spasticity and a minor hemiparesis.

An AVM is pretty much a shortcut between arteries and veins. Something usually not occurring in nature. Fresh, oxygene-rich blood reaching the brain was directly dumped back to liver & lungs; quite unfortunate, for it makes you tired. Since the whole ting applied pressure to my brain, I suffered of migraine and epilepsy (although I didn’t realize it’s actually epilepsy).

Removal wasn’t straightforward; the pressure and blood-flow was quite high, so a direct surgical removal wasn’t possible. So the procedure was as follows:

  1. Embolizing the affected feeding arteries and draining veins with some kind of super-glue;
  2. Open skull;
  3. Surgically remove the AVM;
  4. Close skull.

It all went quite OK and after a few weeks I went to rehab, just to develop an abscess in my brain. I was transported back to the neurosurgery, had my skull opened again, had all the puss flushed out and closed the skull again. Good news: I was ok and didn’t die (I spare you the details). Bad news: I was paralized.

After the whole affair it took me about half a year to learn to walk again and use my arm and fingers.

Today I’m doing ok-ish, but there’s still a long road to full recovery, if that’s possible at all.

To give you an impression, a few images with comments.

That's how it looked like on the first image I've seen myself.

That’s how it looked like on the first image I’ve seen myself.

An Angiography during diagnostics before surgery.

An Angiography during diagnostics before embolization & surgery.

An Angiography during diagnostics before surgery.

An Angiography after embolization, but before surgery.

This is how it looks today, after embolization and removal.

This is how it looks today, after embolization and removal.

I’d like to thank everyone who thought about me during these hard times.

Thank you.
Alex.

One Response to Just a few words…

  1. Johan De Meersman says:

    You live. YOU HUNGER. :-p

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