Live Long & Prosper

26 05 2018

 
One of the surprising things about living with a brain tumor, is that you can indeed live with a brain tumor – hopefully for a really long time.  Before diagnosis my assumption (on the rare occassion when I even thought about it) was that if you had a brain tumor that puppy would have to come out, ASAP.  Often that is true, but not always.  It is a matter of managing risks and symptoms.  It’s not for nothing that the phase, “I need that like I need a hole in the head” is what you say about something you absolutely, positively don’t want, and having had one brain tumor removed, I would like nothing better than to never, ever have to do that again.  However, another discovery you make is that in spite of all the amazing and spectacular things that medical science continues to learn about our bodies, what we don’t know about our brains far outweighs what we do know.  The majority of treatment options are, for lack of a better term; trial and error.  There is absolutely no option that guarantees a return to pre-tumor “normal” and there are as many opinions on care plans as specialists recommending them.  So I’ve become my own researcher and specialist, and I’ve stopped expecting a single doctor to offer a singular magic fix.  I look for treatments that have the least negative impact on the rest of my body.  I look for options that I can layer, each one giving a degree of improvement in symptoms.  I have tried some weird things that I would have rolled my eyes at a few years ago; some have helped, some haven’t.  I’ve got oils, teas, tonics, herbs, tinctures, and powders from around the world.  I’ve been needled, jolted, rolled, frozen, heated, floated, and weighted down; some of it helps, a lot of it doesn’t.  I must confess though, my favorite weird remedy is frequent (daily during good spells and multiple times a day in rough patches) use of neuromodulation therapy.  It lets me reduce some of the heavier chemical pain remedies, and every time I see myself in the mirror wearing this particular device, I think I should be invited to make a cameo on Star Trek.🖖


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