Sep 29

The continuing health saga

Wednesday morning I went for the CAT scan to see what was going on with my sinuses. Thankfully, this was much more pleasant than the last time I had a CAT scan, which was in the 6th grade when they thought I had a brain tumor. (1) At that time, they had to use these giant bolt things to hold your head in place (not *into* my skull, mind you, but pressing on sides) and they had to use an IV solution to provide some sort of contrast. Then you got stuck in what felt, at the time, like a giant washing machine, whirring and spinning, for what seemed like hours (but was probably only 45 minutes)(2). This time, by contrast, I got to rest my chin on a little cushion (no bolts) and the giant washing machine was more like a small torus (much less enclosed and scary) — and best of all, no IV!

I got to take the scan image with me, so of course I spent an hour and a half scanning it and fitting the pieces together last night (probably a 15″ x 20″ image, too big for a single pass) so I could print it out and get an annotated version from Dr. Clarke (I knew I’d have a use for the white gel pen!!). If you’re curious, here’s my brain (warning — biggum image!!). I’ve annotated my digital copy for your viewing pleasure… the takeaways are that:

  • my sinuses are normal (yah!)
  • I’ve got a deviated septum (not so yah, but fixable. And, in a way, nice to know one of the factors that’s been causing my persistant left-nose stuffiness)
  • this doesn’t help explain why I’m coughing or the persistant bronchitis thing is happening
  • I need to have an esophogeal scan thing next week to make sure it’s not GERD (reflux nastiness that’s making my throat irritated)

So, more steroids (like 18 days more!) — and more attendant puffiness — and more voice restrictions.

(1) No they didn’t tell me why I was having the CAT scan at the time. I’m pretty sure that was a good idea.
(2) They may still do all that for certain kinds of CAT scans, but they didn’t this time. (whew)

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2006/09/29/the-continuing-health-saga/


  1. jason0x21

    A non-talking Gina. People will come from miles around to witness this! We could make some money, baby.

    GERD is the noise I make when I have the occasional reflux nastiness.

    1. Anonymous

      GERD. GURGLE. yep.

      Perhaps I should charge admission… :-)

    2. gina

      GERD. GURGLE. yep.

      Perhaps I should charge admission… :-)

  2. lilbluebus

    I had my deviated septum corrected in high school. Not fun – I had to wear tampons in my nostrils for a week. My brother had the surgery too, but he got a nose job at the same time. I kept my same nose.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    1. fmi_agent

      deviated septum correction

      I got the impression at some point that this procedure has an effect on the way one’s voice sounds – it gets more nasal, or otherwise changes character. Is there any truth to that? Did it affect your voice, or your brother’s?

      Just curious…thanks in advance…

      1. lilbluebus

        Re: deviated septum correction

        I didn’t notice any change in my voice, but I did notice a difference in my brother’s. At that time he was in musical theater so I was real tuned into what he sounded like. I don’t remember what the change was except that I didn’t like his new voice as much as the old one. The rest of my family denys that there’s any difference with it though…

        1. gina

          Re: deviated septum correction

          Oh no! I hope there’s no difference (assuming I do get it fixed) — I sing, and I’d hate for my voice to go nasally.

  3. Anonymous


    There’s a guy in Raleigh named Gerd Neumann.

    Funny how GERD can be an alternate explanation for something entirely different. My Dad just had the same commentary given by his doc, but they went straight to the Prilosec instead of trying a scan. Different ways to skin a cat, I guess.


  4. thebroomecloset

    If you’re curious, here’s my brain

    I’m getting the following error when trying to access your brain:
    Fatal error: Call to a member function on a non-object in /u/www/lintqueen/gallery/classes/User.php on line 141

    Guess that’s better (slightly) than a “404 Brain not found” error. *grin*

    1. gina

      ROTFLOL. Try the link now… I think it may have had something to do with the fact that I tried to link to the “full” version.

      Dame Brammage.

      1. thebroomecloset

        It’s working now. Funky head-slice images. had the same kind of scan done a year or two ago when trying to understand the sinus issues she was having. Sadly, they haven’t been able to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

    2. Anonymous

      Yeah, I had the same problem, so Gina told me to http://www.lintqueen.com/gallery/album07 and then to click on the brain photo. It pretty much tells us what we really already knew anyway: Gina’s got a really big head! ;-)


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