Each time I read the title of this article, all that comes to mind is the old Connie Francis tune “Where the Boys Are.”
Where the boys are, someone waits for me
A smilin’ face, a warm embrace, two arms to hold me tenderly
Where the boys are, my true love will be
He’s walkin’ down some street in town and I know he’s lookin’ there for me…
Or my version:
Where the spots are, I can barely see
Thirteen lesions, some still sparkling, some still napping, some still yet to be
Where the spots are, along on the journey to find the new me….
I’ll take Concetta Franconero any day over nightmare Elvis tunes. Enough with the song references, today’s topic is important.
Many of you, after my article, It’s a Tie Score, asked for more details on where the spots/sparkles/lesions are on my brain (and spinal cord). Even folks who haven’t read that particular article have asked for details. I’m more than happy to share. I’ve hesitated to share the intimate details with the public because the information can be overwhelming or intimidating.
The discussion surrounding the article: Can We Ever Forget also brought to light the importance of presenting detailed information about my prognosis – in an effort to better educate those trying to learn more about M.S. Please remember that I am only one of 400,000 Americans with this disease. No two M.S. patients are the same.
It’s also important to note, that these are the results from my MRI from November. As we all know, MRI reports change quicker than the weather here in Northwestern Pennsylvania. This is merely a snapshot of that particular moment in time.
Here’s a very descriptive photo of the parts of the brain that also provides some details on the various functions of specific brain areas.
My lesions that were “brand-new” (roughly two weeks old) in November are located on or around:
The left lateral ventricle (one lesion that is 8 mm in signal – I call that the sparkle quotient).
The Pons (one lesion)
The Occipital Horn (two or three lesions)
My lesions that have been around for quite awhile, although they can’t tell me for certain how long, are located on or around:
The right lateral ventricle (one lesion)
Colossal septal interface (one lesion)
Within the Periventricular distribution (two or three lesions)
Right infralateral cerebellum with a faint focus in the white matter (one lesion)
Posterior colossal septial interface – right of midline (one lesion)
Plus, on the C-Spine between C4-C5 (one lesion).
I suffer a slew of varying and ever-changing symptoms, many of which are tied directly to the location(s) of the lesions on my brain and spine. Of the symptoms on this list, only one — diplopia — happened during my November attack and then improved and went away. All the rest ebb and flow, come and go. To summarize those symptoms from which I suffer (in order of regularity/frequency): Fatigue, parasthesia, neuralgia (often frightening and sudden), cognitive disfunction, vertigo, spasms/cramps, ataxia, nocturia, anxiety, L’Hermitte’s, dysarthria, emotional lability, and spasticity.
I wish John Madden was here. He’d be able to draw circles around each location in the photo to give you a clearer picture . “Bam! There’s the one on the Pons!” “Holy touchdown, Batman, there’s one running up the sideline right towards the C-Spine!”
I hope this information contributes to your understanding of lesions, locations, and brain functions.