Medical malpractice, in pictures

Friday, October 3, 2008

So, I both wanted to be able to compare my MRI images for myself and better illustrate my great levels of frustration over the radiology clusterfuck, so I'm going to share some MRIs. They're not as fun and illustrated as the last ones, but my head didn't hurt as bad the last time I did MRIs on here, so, well, deal.

For reference, here are 2 normal MRIs of the brain. The pink line is one I drew. It shows where the brain should end, anatomically speaking. It might vary a little from person to person, but more or less, there (at the foramen magnum), the brain should stop, and on both of these, they pretty much and pretty clearly do. Also, notice how the cerebellum (the ball that looks like a small tree in the bottom right of the brain) is distinctly separate from the brain stem (the part of the brain that's connected to the spinal cord).

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So now you have the idea of a "normal" brain (though I'm questioning the cerebellum on the second one, it might be smaller than normal, but you get the general idea). Here is my brain 6 months pre-surgery (February 2007)

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Here is my brain post-surgery. Note that the brain is STILL below the pink line meaning that, despite what the radiologist didn't notice, I still have rather obvious (for a radiologist) chiari...

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The other obvious thing to note is the skull. Here is my pre-surgery MRI. Just look at the bottom right of my skull.

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And now look at my post-surgery one. Anyone notice that I seem to be missing a big piece of skull? Does this seem like something that a radiologist should have seen? Or at least noted? Observed? Asked about?

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I realize I seem to be over-dramatizing, but this is a doctor, it is their job and well, it's my brain, so I'll bitch if I want to.

The latest news is that my neurosurgeon has looked over the films and I have an appointment with him October 15th. Not sure what the next move is. There's nothing glaringly wrong, but thankfully someone with a medical degree seems to be appreciating that everything is not okay either.


Anonymous said...

OCTOBER 15th? Have these people lost their minds? That is way too LONG to wait. You need to be seen NOW.

I will ask my neuro on Wednesday, as promised, if he has any ideas. I will pray that he does.

This is crazy. Again, I know your pain.......15 years of pain levels of 8+ daily and we won't even talk about my spikes (many times a week). We both most have high pain tolerances or adjusting; NOT). However, you are MUCH stronger than me; becasue I can't work (I also have a lot of other medical issues).

I don't wish the kind of pain we have daily on anyone (and there are quite a few people I don't like these days).

There was an episode on Mystery Diagnosis about a women that had severe headaches; like we do and her doctor suggested a heart scan of some sort to check to see if she had a hole in here heart. It turned out she did, therefore, making in more difficult for oxygen/blood flow to the brain(someone told me about it). She had is fixed and has been HA free for YEARS.

Maybe something to look in to?? That was something my doctors ruled out many years ago.

Hope you get a bit of time outside fun this weekend.

If today is any indicaion of my weekend I will be in bed all Saturday and Sunday; just where I was today.

Take care and let me know if I can do anything else.

How far are you from Hattisburg (I know I spelled that wrong)? There is a great neurologist there (she)? Let me know and I will get you the info (I am assuming you will know who this is even though I will show up anonymous).


PS. My head hurts to bad to even spell/grammar check. Sorry to all!

the queen said...

Ow. That LOOKS like that hurts. I don't think they took out enough skull. It looks like it's digging into your brain.Ow!

Anonymous said...

Let us see ... it's 3am my time, I am two scotches into the night and as I saw your last posted MRI with the missing skull piece I actually said aloud, "WHOA!" (in my bed all alone, mind you). I mean, I am almost drunk and it's 3am and although I work in Neurology, I am not actually a Neurologist and I noticed that shit RIGHT.AWAY!!!!!



Anonymous said...

Like lilsass, I noticed right away - and I don't work in neurology. I just barely woke up, don't function well in the mornings, am a junior high social studies teacher (meaning science/math/all that technical stuff and I are not friends) and I don't have my glasses on yet - but as soon as the images came up on my screen I was like "Dude! Where's her skull?"

I can only conclude that your radiologist was high on mushrooms.

Flea said...

Your brains looks very FULL. No real definition to it. Very MENSA, right? Praying for you still. In fact, waking in the middle of the night sometimes, just feeling an urgent need to pray for you. Hang in there.

Lipstick Jungle said...

It doesnt get more obvious than that I would say. Even knowing you had already commented on a missing piece, I didnt know where it would be from. So to have the eye immediately draw to that area of missing bone to a lay person (who also just woke up and is foggy still), a trained Radiologist should notice it.

Good luck sweetheart!

I cannot believe you have another week and a half to wait. It is wrong, just plain old wrong!!!!!!!!!!!

brneyedgal967 said...

I don't know what it's called - but the top of the brain - on the comparison MRI's the folds are nice and easy, deep lines... whereas, yours seem crammed together like. I also noticed your sinal passages seem noticeably smaller than the comparison MRI's. And yeah, the missing skull is glaringly obvious.

Wow- thanks for sharing, this does illustrate it very well even for non-medical folks. Something is definitely wrong.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Your brain is ginormous. Fire thy doctor!

The Floydster said...

This is all beyond words. Please, Powers that Be in the Universe, let there come to Katie freedom from the pain, peace and a restful night.

Unknown said...

I just came over to say congratulations about winning Bossy's giveaway. I will really be praying about this for you! It looks scary! I hope you have a headache free weekend!

joanne said...

This is so wrong on so many levels. I wish I had some answers or good advice. that doc NOW and get some real help PLEASE.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... so we can tell something's up with the MRI but the person who went to medical school for all those years couldn't? Maybe we're just all very brilliant?

Anonymous said...

Well, part of the decompresion is removing part of the skull. Now, they do seem to have removed a lot there, but the problem usually stems from that part being way too big anyhow.

Aside from all that, your neurosurgeon SHOULD have completely cleared up the Chiari during the first surgery. He (or she) certainly seems to have done something incorrectly.

My Chiari was about as bad as yours before surgery, and is completely gone afterward. I'm sorry that you've had such a bad experience with all this.

He's not close to you at all, but Dr. Barnett at Texas Neurosurgery in Dallas is listed as one of the top Chiari doctors in the country. He's who I was referred to, and he treated me well.

If you can get yourself to Dallas, it may be worth the trip. Also, if you do go that route, let me know, we may can meet up or something.

Best of luck.