Enough time has elapsed since the events I am fixing to relate occurred that I feel able to put them down in bits here. Mid-August of 2010, I suffered a thrombosis of the left interior jugular vein. This is the return line for blood leaving the brain, up inside the skull. A clot completely blocked this vein off, precipitating the first migraine-like headache I had ever had. I also lost vision in the lower left section of my visual field temporarily. This all happened while I was driving up a local road called FM 249. The fun part here is that I mistook the whole thing for a caffeine withdrawal-precipitated migraine. Naturally enough, I pulled over and self-medicated by purchasing an energy drink at a gas station. Shortly thereafter, the symptoms went away and I continued on my journey.
Some time around the end of September that year, I went to the optometrist. During the course of the examination, they noticed signs of intracranial pressure behind my eyes. The words 'brain tumor' were said, and more examinations ensued. There was a 24-hour period where I felt like a dead man walking. We got a second opinion, and that opthalmologist sent me to get some MR imaging done. The imaging showed portions of me from the crown of my skull to my collarbones.
Halfway home, we recieved a call from the MR imaging facility telling us to turn around, now, and go to St. Luke's, and check into the ICU. This was done. I was transferred from there to the stroke ward at the Methodist Hospital three days later, and was finally discharged two days after that. At no point did the doctors actually figure out what caused it. An angiogram was performed, along with another MRI and a CAT scan. I was nearly given a reno-toxic dose of imaging contrast, so some work had to be done to preserve kidney function. I lost a good bit of weight, given only five days had passed. I will forever remember the point during my transfer where I was wheeled from the ambulance to the Methodist Hospital. It was the first time I had seen the sky in a while. That glimpse of blue sky was very appreciated.
When I got home, I still had upkeep to do. Subcutaneous injections of heparin, as well as warfarin tablets. The following summer, my nose bled every day for a week. They still don't know what did it, but I'm down to just an aspirin regimen now. I'm pleased to note that I have moved on. There are days when I don't even remember what happened to me. It still sneaks up on me, though.