Last week I had an EEG (electroencephalogram) which is a test that detects abnormalities in the electrical activity of the brain. It is the first step in trying to work out the cause of my olfactory hallucinations. If it is due to seizures, it will show up in this test, and seizures mean I might have to go back on anti-convulsants, which I DO NOT want to do. I categorically hate drugs and how they make me feel.

It’s a bizarre test, that doesn’t hurt or have any side effects but it’s boring and time consuming. When lying on a bed, the technician applied 30 electrodes to my head using a huge amount of goopy paste to make them stick. They were all through my scalp, on my forehead and temples, and under my chin. I wanted to take a picture of myself but she woudn’t let me as it is against hospital policy. It would have made for an excellent photo!

During the test you just lie there, and follow instructions to open your eyes, close your eyes, open your eyes, close your eyes, open your eyes, concentrate on a spot on the wall… thrilling I know. Then while your eyes are closed they flash lights at you at an ever increasing rate. This was the most uncomfortable part of the test as normally you would be able to cover your eyes or look away, instead you have to lie motionless and endure. The technician then turned off all the lights and I had to lie there for an exorbitant amount of time – motionless and with with my eyes closed. It was maybe 20 minutes, but could equally have been just 10, all I know was that my head started to itch and I couldn’t do anything about it!

I get the results at the end of October when I next see my neurologist again. Fingers crossed – even though I don’t believe in this, what’d done is done and it’s not in my control to change it.

“Phantosmia: smelling an odor for which there is no stimulus, a ‘phantom smell’.”

All I can say is that it is annoying, and the smell has become more chemically. It comes and goes, but if I can keep myself busy and keep my mind off it, generally it goes away. Of course I am surrounded my chemicals as I write this…

Uuugh, where’s a neurologist when you need one lol?!

People keep asking…

February 15, 2009

No, I cannot smell anything. I can’t smell if milk is bad, if food being cooked smells good, or if public washrooms are not clean. It’s very strange, and I miss being able to rely on it! My smell was that of a sniffer dog before!

So far I can taste things that are very sweet like chocolate, things that are very salty like Marmite, things that are very spicy like hot sauce, and also very acrid flavours like vinegar. A new one is strawberries. They are all very strong flavours, and all favourites of mine.

Apparently these are common complication after having an olfactory grove meningioma removed. I was lucky not to have these symptoms beforehand. It will be many months until they can be properly assessed. As in my previous post, they need to wait for the edema (swelling) to subside around my frontal lobes. In the mean time I will enjoy every new flavour as it pops back. 

I have yet to have follow ups with my neurosurgeon or neurologist, so I don’t know what they will have to say about it all. It may be that I can taste everything, but not smell anything. They are so interwoven it is hard to distinguish the two.

Pre-Op testing

January 7, 2009

Well, pre-operative testing is now booked for 19th Jan. It will take 2-3 hours, then I am free to go… only to come back at a predicted time of 6.30am on the 28th Jan for the real deal. 

Got my MRI results back yesterday. The radiologist likes to comment on every nuance they see in your brain, saying there are a zillion extra problems with you. Luckily I am seeing the Neurologist today and hopefully he can look at the MRI for himself and tell me what’s worth translating from the radiologists report.

Appointments Confirmed!

December 11, 2008

Neurosuregon: Dec 16th

MRI: Dec 18th in Buffalo (screw this waiting in Toronto)

Neurologist: Jan 7th