Archive for May, 2008

Figured it out

The cause of my sudden artery problem has been a mystery. However, I’ve finally figured it out. (This is from the xkcd.com site.)

How it happened


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Sympathy Scar

Here’s something I wouldn’t have expected from all this. When encountering a tear-jerking moment, such as from a very sentimental part of a movie or real-life story, I feel it … in my head scar. It’s kind of a mild stinging. So if I tell you I feel your pain, I probably mean in an arc that starts on my left forehead and wraps over toward my left ear. How touching.

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Yesterday, May 10th, was the 2 month anniversary of my head opening. I’m happy to announce that it didn’t all leak out in the meantime. I’m mostly back at work, and may be done with testing for a few months, as long as things don’t change suddenly (play spooky music).

I’ve gotten tired of wearing a hat around in most of the public places I go, so I get to entertain those who notice things like scars on people’s heads. For those who are remote, here’s the new me.

You can click on it for a bigger image if you are into that kind of punishment. You may notice: (a) I finally have the left temple of my glasses back in place, (b) the scar by my ear is getting hard to see, (c) the scar abo ve the ear is healing near the top but still scabbed over in the lower part, (d) the neck scar is healing but noticeable, (e) just below that upper scabbed-over part, hair is not growing back yet. (And from that sentence, one might gather that I have a tendency to itemize things.)

That upper scar is certainly taking its sweet time to heal over. That makes Brian (who just turned 21) quite happy. He thinks it’s a cool scar … I think there’s some envy there. He’s never been so proud of me.

Still no major seizures or strokes, I’m happy to say. I’m migrating toward working full-time again. On a good week I come pretty close, and drooling has been kept to a minimum!

Parts of ear and the area around the ear are somewhat numb. At times it feels like someone is mildly tugging on that part of my face. You learn to ignore such tugging.

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One of my early symptoms, which I first noticed in India, was the ability to hear my pulse. At first it sounded like something outside, like a distant bird, or construction, making a regular sound. Then I’d realize it was form my own heartbeat.

Since the operation this effect has been going through various stages. Soon after coming home after the surgery, I’d hear it in the evening while sitting around, and it would be most noticeable in bed when things were quietest. A little background noise makes it hard to hear, so I don’t usually hear it during the daytime. I also think it’s not “on” as much during the day for some reason. Then for a while I didn’t notice it much.

But in the last few days the noise has really picked up in my left ear, by the bypass. Previously the noise would tend to be a monotone, usually in one ear. In bed it could sound like scratching a pillow gently, close to your head. Now the left ear is playing music. It’s louder than it’s been before, and It has two phases, a high pitch and then a lower one. This is hard to describe — maybe a bee-yoooo, bee-yoooo. Just a constant, repetitious wave of these, about once per second. Lately I’ve also had the joy of getting it in both ears together at times. The tonal one in the left, sometimes accompanied by the more familiar monotone one in the right side.

Someday, this may drive me insane. In the meantime, I need to work on lyrics.

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