In 1999 I went to my family doctor with a folder of medical journal articles and told him, "I think I may need brain surgery".
What was I thinking?? I had been told six weeks before that I had an arachnoid cyst in the left anterior temporal region of my head. I was told that this is not an uncommon condition, and is most definitely benign. The doctor's said that it may have been congenital or it may have been caused by a trauma. Since no one else in my family has ever had migraines (that I am aware of), I concluded that it must be due to trauma. They don't call me "Head Trauma Honaker" for nothing!
(The scan shown above is not mine and is shown for reference only)
I had heard several times over the previous 16+ years (I was first struck without warning in '82), that there was a slight abnormality in my CT scan, but it was nothing to worry about. In '98, I finally became smart enough to ask questions of my doctors and began my own research. The location of the cyst and the location of my pain were exactly the same, so I began to read everything I could find about this and similar conditions.
So... I found online articles that talked about the "exact" same condition possibly causing migraines, and that some success had been seen in fenestration (poking holes in) or removal of the cyst so that it would not contain cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) under pressure. I gave these articles to my family doctor and my neurologist, who both agreed that I should consult with a neurosurgeon about having a craniotomy.
We scheduled the surgery for the next month, two days before my birthday, and I began putting my affairs in order.
Part two, Arterial Veinous Malformation, will be posted on Wednesday, stay tuned, or click the button to subscribe to my blog.