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:
- Embolizing the affected feeding arteries and draining veins with some kind of super-glue;
- Open skull;
- Surgically remove the AVM;
- 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.
I’d like to thank everyone who thought about me during these hard times.