MRIs

My story is a scary one. In the summer / fall of 2000 I started running a fever with no other symptoms. Lots of tests were run, which showed that I was fighting an infection, but no source was found. In a couple of weeks I was hospitalized and the intensity of the tests grew. Finally one morning I woke up with a headache. My GP ordered a cat scan of my head which in his words showed good news and bad news. The good news was that they found the infection. The bad news, it was in my brain. There were two abscesses, one on the surface and one in deep.

I was sent to a hospital about two hours from home, where they were better able to handle a brain problem. Surgery was done to excise the abscess on the surface and antibiotic was given intravenously for months to fight the deeper infection. Eventually the deeper abscess ruptured into a ventricle. At that point I should have died, but Jesus decided that I should live. At that time the medical literature said that nobody survived. Today approximately 15% of patients live, 85% die.

I had numerous MRIs on my brain throughout the illness. My infectious disease specialist would review them with my wife and I. She would show us how the brain had moved some and show us a small black place probably a little smaller than a golf ball and tell us that was where the deep infection was.

I eventually quit praying to get better and changed it to whatever God wanted me to do, and whether He wanted me to live or die was fine with me. I would know that He had healed me if I got better, so that would mean that He wanted me here, so would He please tell me what He wanted me to do, and don’t be too subtle, because I would rarely notice if He was. Of course I began to get better quickly. He was waiting for me to quit fighting and turn myself over to Him.

Three years later in the summer of 2003 I got a headache. It wouldn’t go away. After about six weeks I went to my doctor. An MRI was performed and a person who knew nothing of my history read the pictures. There was a horrible hole in my brain the size of my fist. My brain on the side with the deep abscess had become flat on the surface where it had pushed against my skull. My skull is pushed out of shape from the brain pushing against it. The right hemisphere was pushed partially into the left side of my head, pushing the left hemisphere out of the way. The right eye has brain tissue pushed snugly around it. It was a train wreck. He called my GP and said this guy needs to see a neurosurgeon right now! In three years it had gone from a small black place to a huge mess!

Accompanied by my family and loved ones, for the surgery that would surely have to happen, I arrived with my set of MRI films. My neurosurgeon already had a set of my MRIs, and showed us the MRIs from three years earlier. They were identical. I was so near death with the infection that the doctors had deemed it unwise to show me my train wreck of a brain. My brain hadn’t changed in those three years. I simply had developed a migraine. Three years earlier, he had told me, after I started getting better, that he would figure the person belonging to that MRI would be either dead or hooked up to machinery to keep him alive. He repeated that, and now we could see why. He said, “There is no way that you should be up and around!” I was handed-off to my neurologist who started treating me. His first medicine, amitriptyline, took my migraine from every day to half of the time. Waking up that first time without a headache was fabulous. Nearly ten years later, I still have a migraine, but no more than one a week, and most of those leave with Aleeve and occasionally I have to follow that with Relpax. I take Amitriptyline and Lyrica to prevent the migraines.

I kept my MRIs and am happy to show them off. I have scanned them and often email them. I say, “Look what God has made work.” The answer is normally “wow” or stunned silence. I never lost any brain function whatsoever.

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