Misty is a 43 year old massage therapist and artist with a complex medical history. Multiple motor vehicle accidents triggered a cycle of chronic pain, including a trauma induced lipoma in their low back that had to be surgically removed. Even with constant sharp pain in their right temple, their requests for brain imaging were repeatedly denied. For years they have been advocating for help from the medical community, while also seeking relief through self care and experimentation. Finally, Misty was able to convince a doctor to order an MRI, and it was discovered that they have a pineal gland cyst in their mid brain.
In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Misty talks us through their decision to undergo brain surgery in an attempt to drain their pineal gland cyst. These cysts are often asymptomatic, and it is extremely difficult to find a doctor willing to operate. However, it is well documented that these cysts can indeed cause headaches and other symptoms in some individuals. Given the mysterious nature of Misty’s constant headaches, they were willing to try any avenue that might offer relief. Unfortunately their surgeon did a shockingly poor job, only removing approximately 35% of the cyst and failing to complete the biopsy he agreed to order. His technique was so sloppy that another surgery was required to fix the protruding surgical cement covering the hole drilled into Misty’s skull. Now Misty is unsure where to turn next. They experienced a lessening in constant cranial pressure after the surgery, but their headaches are still present. They are unsure if further surgery would provide additional relief, and the medical professionals they’ve turned to for aid continue to be of little help. They discuss the importance of self advocacy, self care, and continuing to fight for doctors to take their situation seriously.
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